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Volume 3 Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog 26th Ed. 2016

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DETENTION AND
CORRECTIONS
CASELAW CATALOG

26th Edition
2015-2016

Volume Three: Sec. 15-26
Rod C. Miller
Donald J. Walter
Research and Review:
Joseph Heltzel
Chris Dickey
Richard Drennon
Kyle McCarty

CRS, Inc.

A Non-Profit Organization
925 Johnson Drive
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 338-9100
Fax (717) 718-6178
www.correction.org
rod@correction.org
Copyright 2017

Table of Contents
DETENTION AND CORRECTIONS CASELAW CATALOG
VOLUME 1
How to Use the Catalog
Index and Topic Finder
Table of Cases
1. Access to Courts
2. Administration

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Administrative Segregation
Assessment of Costs
Attorney Fees
Bail
Civil Rights

VOLUME 2
8. Classification and Separation
9. Conditions of Confinement
10. Cruel and Unusual Punishment
11. Discipline

12. Exercise and Recreation
13. Ex-Offenders
14. Failure to Protect

VOLUME 3
15. Facilities
16. False Imprisonment/Arrest
17. Female Prisoners
18. Food
19. Free Speech, Expression, Assoc.
20. Good Time

21. Grievance Procedures, Prisoner
22. Habeas Corpus
23. Hygiene-Prisoner Personal
24. Immunity
25. Intake and Admissions
26. Juveniles

VOLUME 4
27. Liability
28. Mail
29. Medical Care

30. Mental Problems (Prisoner)
31. Personnel

VOLUME 5
32. Pretrial Detention
33. Privacy
34. Programs-Prisoner
35. Property-Prisoner Personal

36. Release
37. Religion
38. Rules & Regulations-Prisoner

VOLUME 6
39. Safety and Security
40. Sanitation
41. Searches
42. Services-Prisoner
43. Sentence
44. Standards

45. Supervision
46. Training
47. Transfers
48. Use of Force
49. Visiting
50. Work- Prisoner

CRS, Inc.
925 Johnson Drive, Gettysburg, PA 17325 (717) 338-9100
www.correction.org Fax (717) 718-6178 rod@correction.org
All Rights Reserved

SECTION 15: FACILITIES
Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog All Rights Reserved
CRS Inc, 925 Johnson Dr., Gettysburg PA 17325 (717) 338-9100 www.correction.org/
The following pages present summaries of court decisions which address this topic area. These summaries provide
readers with highlights of each case, but are not intended to be a substitute for the review of the full case. The cases
do not represent all court decisions which address this topic area, but rather offer a sampling of relevant holdings.
The decisions summarized below were current as of the date indicated on the title page ofthis edition of the
Catalog. Prior to publication, the citation for each case was verified, and the case was researched in Shepard's
Citations to determine if it had been altered upon appeal (reYersed or modified). The Catalog is updated annually.
An annual supplement provides replacement pages for cases in the prior edition which have changed, and adds new
cases. Readers are encouraged to consult the Topic Index to identify related topics of interest. The text in the
section entitled "How to Use The Catalog" at the beginning of the Catalog nrovides an overview which may also be
helpful to some readers.
The case summaries which follow are organized by year, with the earliest case presented first. Within each year,
cases are organized alphabetically by the name of the plaintiff. The left margin offers a quick reference, highlighting
the type of court involved and identifying appropriate subtopics addressed by each case.

1970
U.S. District Court

CELLS
DORMITORIES

Holt v. Sarver, 309 F.Supp. 362 (E.D. Ark. 1970). State pr~ners challenged
conditions and practices in the state prison system. The district court held that
conditions and practices in the Arkansas penitentiary system, including a trusty system
whereby trusties ran the prison, open barracks system, conditions in isolation cells, and
absence of a meaningful rehabilitation program, were such that confinement of persons in
the system amounted to cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by eighth and fourteenth
amendments. Confinement in an otherwise unexceptional penal institution is not
unconstitutional simply because an institution d(Jes not operate a school, or provide
vocational training or other rehabilitative facilities and services, but the absence of an
affirmative program of training and rehabilitation may have constitutional significance
where in the absence of such program, conditions and practices exist which actually militate
against reform and rehabilitation.
Term "cruel and unusual punishment• cannot be defined with specificity. It is flexible
and tends to broaden as society tends to pay more regard to human decency and dignity and
becomes, or likes to think that it becomes, more humane. Generally speaking, punishment
that amounts to torture, when it is grossly excessive in proportion to the offense for which it
is imposed, or that is inherently 1Ulf&ir, or that is unnecessarily degrading, or that is
shocking or disgusting to people of reasonable sensitivity is a •cruel and unusual
punishment"; and punishment that is not inherently cruel and unusual may become so by
reason of the manner in which it is inflicted. (Arkansas Prison System)

1972
U.S. District Court

SEPARATION
U.S. District Court

CELLS
PLUMBING
CHAPEL
PADDED CELL

Patterson v. Hopkins, 350 F .Supp. 676 (N.D. Miss. 1972). Juveniles need not be kept
in a separate detention center from adults as long as they are provided with separate
quarters in the county jail. (Coahoma County Jail, Mississippi)
·
Taylor v. Sterrett, 344 F.Supp. 411 (N.D. Tex. 1972), reh'g. denied, 420 U.S. 983
(1974). The use of substandard facilities for punitive segregation, and the practice of
placing inmates in segregation cells without clothing are unconstitutional. Court
ordered that solitary cells be provided with a bunk, water closet, drinking fountain and
lavatory, and be of not less than forty square feet in dimension. An inmate who is
confined in a solitary cell for more than three days shall have a hearing, before an impartial
board, and no inmate shall be confined in solitary for over fifteen days. Court ordered
county officials to include quarters for chapel services in permanent plan for new facilities.
Court ordered that padded cells with hammocks be provided for insane persons. (Dallas
County Jail, Texas)

19'75
U.S. District Court

SEPARATION
SPECIAL CELL

Albertiv. Sheriff of Harris Co., 4~ F.Supp. 649 (S.D. Tex.1975). No pretrial detainee
shall be housed in the same cell or cellblock with any person who has been convicted
and sentenced. Alcoholic and drug-dependent inmates shall be housed in an
incarcerative environment specifically designed and equipped for the treatment of
withdrawal problems. Jail officials shall establish a separate diversion program for alcoholic
and drug-dependent inmates, including hiring a specialist in drug and alcohol withdrawal
treatment and developing specially equipped facilities. (Harris Co. Jail, Texas)

15.1

1976
U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
ATI'ORNEY-CLIENT
AREA

U.S. District Court
KITCHEN
ATI'ORNEY-CLIENT
AREA

Mitchell v. Untreiner. 421 F.Supp. 886 (N.D. Fla. 1976). No pretrial detainee may be
housed in the same cell with a convicted person. Facilities-for confidential attorney
client conferences must be established. Restrictions on visiting contribute to-denial of
effective assistance of counsel, ability to assist in preparation of a defense and t.o
secure witnesses. (Escambia County Jail, Pensacola, Florida)
Moore v. Janing, 427 F.Supp. 567 (D. Neb. 1976). Deterioration of kitchen area
con.tributes t.o finding of unconstitutionality. Use of public hallway for attorney-client
consultation contributes to finding of unconstitutionality. Private facilities must be
provided. (Douglas County Jail, Nebraska)
1977

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY

Anderson v. Redman, 429 F.Supp. 1105 (D. Del. 1977). Overcrowding is found t.o have
caused a breakdown in prison classification system. Pretrial detainees are exempted
from population limit based on "classification capacity" because detainees are not
classified. However, design capacity is never t.o be exceeded. (Delaware Correctional
Center)
.

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL EXAM

Vest v. Lubbock County. 444 F.Supp. 824 (N.D. Tex. 1977). Sick call is to be held by
a physician at least twice a week. Examination facilities are to be provided. (Lubbock
County Jail, Texas)
1978

U.S. District Court
CEIL CAPACITY

Burks v. Walsh, 461 F.Supp. 454 (W.D. Missouri, 1978). Actions were brought seeking
injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of inmates at the Missouri State
Penitentiary. Aft.er a trial limited t.o the issues of overcrowding and unsanitary
conditions, the district court held that: (1) triple celling inmates in 59.2-square-foot cells in
the diagnostic center, in 65-square-foot cells in the administrative segregation unit, and in
66-square-foot cells in the adjustment unit, as well as double celling of inmates in 47.18square-foot cells in the special treatment unit, constituted cruel and unusual punishment
in violation of the eighth amendment, but (2) except in such instances, the conditions in
the aggregate which presently existed at the State Penitentiary did not violate the cruel
and unusual punishment clause of the eighth amendment.
In examining conditions of state penitentiary, the court's inquiry had to be limited to
determining whether conditions at the penitentiary caused inmates to suffer deprivations
of constitutional dimensions. In determining whether conditions at the state penitentiary
constituted cruel and unusual punishment, the district court had t.o be cautious not to
place undue emphasis upon "design capacities" and minimum square footage mandates of
other courts, nor were rn.immum square footage standards of various professional
associations dispositive. Furthermore, in applying the "totality of circumstances" approach
to Missouri Penitentiary conditions, the relaxed amicable atmosphere generated by the
prison administration had to tip scales in favor of the state in areas of doubtful
constitutionality. In the aggregate, and with certain exceptions regarding overcrowding in
certain units, all conditions presently existing at Missouri State Penitentiary, including
but not limited to conditions and qualities of individual cells, showers, toilets, dining halls,
kitchen, windows, temperature, noise level, canteen, recreational areas, laundry service,
ventilation. systems, visiting room, pest control program, prison industries and other
activities, are not intolerable in light of the modern conscience, or shocking to the
conscience of the court, and thus do not violate cruel and unusual punishment clause of
the eighth amendment. The Missouri State Penitentiary is overcrowded but, because it
has so much acreage within the walls, because of the many and varied activities available
to inmates, and because of the relative freedom enjoyed by inmates to utilize recreational
areas and the many activities available to them, the penitentiary, viewed as a whole, is
not now so overcrowded as to be intolerable, inhumane, totally unreasonable in light of
the modern conscience. or shocking to the conscience of the court. Double celling of
penitentiary inmates in 65-square-foot cells in adrnini~ative segregation unit was not
intolerable, inhumane, totally unreasonable or shocking to the court's conscience where
common areas of UDit were very clean and sanitary, individual cells were reasonably clean
and sanitary, and the unit was utilized t.o punish those inmates who committed serious
offenses while conf'med in penitentiary. Double celling of state penitentiary inmates in
diagnostic unit cells measuring 59.2 square feet for period of one to five weeks did n.ot
violate the eighth amendment, in spite of the fact that inmates were confined t.o their cells
for greater portion of day than were inmates in general population, where they could leave
their cells three times daily for meals, once a week to go to can.teen, once a week to go to
movies, and once a week for two hours of gym and where, in addition, much of their time
was occupied by meetings with caseworkers, taking a battery of tests and physical
examinations. (Missouri State Penitentiary)

15.2

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
CEILS
DORMITORY.
MEDICAL AREAS

M.C.I. Concord Advisory Bd. v. Hall, 447 F.Supp. 398 (D. Mass. 1978). In a civil
rights action brought to challenge conditions of confinement at a state correctional
institution, the district court held that: (1) plaintiff prisoners sustained the burden of
proving that incarceration of inmates in protective custody cells, in awaiting action cells
and in institutional holding cells violated eighth amendment standards, but (2)
plaintiffs failed to sustain their burden of proving that double celling in one area and
use of a hospital wardroom for a dormitory violated eighth amendment standards.
Injunctive relief was granted in part.
An eighth amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment is flexible,
drawing its meaning from evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of
maturing society, and penal measures are to be evaluated against broad and idealistic
concepts of dignity, civilized standards, humanity and decency. An equal protection
challenge to a policy under which inmates undergoing classification and placement at
state institutions were single-celled in contrast to double celling during classification at
one institution involved neither suspect classification nor fundamental interest, and a
heavy burden rested with plaintiff prisoners to demonstrate that no rational justification
existed for separate classification programs.
Nothing in the constitution requires prison officials to treat all inmate groups alike
where differentiation may avoid institutional disruption or violence. Actions of prison
officials in separating newly admitted inmates and protective custody prisoners from the
general prison population are subject to a basic due process requirement that such
distinctions be rational rather than arbitrary or capricious, but, on record, that method of
classifying inmates within this particular institution was not shown to be arbitrary or
capricious.
Prisoners failed to sustain burden of proof that dormitory use of a hospital wardroom
violated constitutional rights of inmates who slept therein and failed to show that use of
the wardroom infringed on constitutional rights of inmates to adequate medical care.
(M.C.I. Concord, Mass)
1979

U.S. Supreme Court
DOUBLE CELLING
CEIL CAPACITY

Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979). Pretrial detainees confined in the Metropolitan
Correction Center (MCC) in New York City challenged virtually every facet of the
institution's conditions and practices in a writ of habeas corpus, alleging such
conditions and practices violate their constitutional rights.
MCC is a federally operated, short-term detention facility constructed in 1975. Eightyfive percent of all inmates are released within sixty days of admission. MCC was intended
to include the most advanced and innovative features of modern design in detention
facilities. The key design element of the facility is the "modular" or "unit" concept,
whereby each floor housing inmates has one or two self-contained residential units, as
opposed to the traditional cellblock jail construction. Within four months of the opening of
the twelve-story, 450 inmate capacity facility, this action was initiated.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of N.Y. enjoined no less than twenty
practices at the MCC on constitutional and statutory grounds, many of which were not
appealed. See, United State Ex Rel. Wolfish v. Levi, 439 F.Supp. 114 (S.D.N.Y.). The
Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court decision, See, Wolfish v. Levi.
573 F.2d 118 (2d Cir. 1978), and reasserted the "compelling-necessity" test as the standard
for determining limitations on a detainee's freedom.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari "to consider the important constitutional
questions raised by [recent prison decisions] and to resolve an apparent conflict among the
circuits." 441 U.S. at 524: Do the publisher-only rule, the prohibition on receiving
packages from outside sources, the search of living quarters, and the visual inspection of
body cavities aft.er contact visits constitute punishment in violation of the rights of pretrial
detainees under the due process clause of the fifth amendment?
HELD: "Nor do we think that the four MCC security restrictions and
practices... constitute 'punishment' in violation of the rights of pretrial detainees under the
due process clause of the f:afth amendment.• 441 U.S. at 560, 561.
REASONING:
a. [T]he determination whether these restrictions and practices
constitute punishment in the constitutional sense depends on whether
they are rationally related to a legitimate nonpunitive governmental
purpose and whether they appear excessive in relation to that
purpose. 441 U.S. at 561.
b. Ensuring security and order at the institution is a permissible
nonpunitive objective, whether the facility houses pretrial detainees,
convicted inmates, or both..• [W]e think that these particular
restrictions and practices were reasonable responses by MCC officials
to legitimate security concerns. [Detainees] simply have not met their
heavy burden of showing that these officials have exaggerated their ·
response to the genuine security considerations that activated these
restrictions and practices. 441 U.S. at 561,662.

15.3

CLOSING COMMENTS OF MAJORITY OPINION: "[T]he inquiry of federal courts
into prison management must be limited to the issue of whether a particular syst.em
violates any prohibition of the constitution, or in the case of a federal prison, a statute.
The wide range of 'judgment calls' that meet constitutional and statutory requirements are
conf"med to officials outside of the judicial branch of government." 441 U.S. at 562.
GENERAL NOTES: The Court saw this case, a challenge to virtually every aspect of
the operation of a state of the art detention facility, as an opportunity to clarify the
judiciary's role in the operation of prisons. The five-four decision indicates there was no
general consensus as to what that role is, 2!'. how it should be applied. No less than three
possible standards of review are contained in the majority and dissenting opinions: 1) A
"rational basis", subjective test; 2) A balancing of interests test; 8) An objective standard of
review.
Despite J. Rehnquist's statement that "our analysis does not turn on the particulars of
the MCC concept or design," the majority's reasoning frequently looks to that concept or
design for justification of its positions. 441 U.S. at 525. Clearly, the "double-bunking"
holding should be interpreted as applicable only to facilities where:
a) Inmates are locked in their cells a maximum of eight hours a day and have
access to a wide range of activities and programs; and
b) No inmate is detained longer than sixty days.
Situations other than these likely will not fall within the strict holding on this issue.
(Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC), New York)
U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
DORMITORIES

Feliciano v. Barcelo, 497 F.Supp. 14 (D. P.R. 1979). The institution is found to be
overcrowded. The court orders that the housing shall immediately provide at least
thirty-five square feet of space per inmate and that eventually, standards of seventy
square feet per inmate in cell and fifty-five square feet per inmate in dormitories be
implemented. (Correctional System, Puerto Rico)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION

Jones v. Diamond, 594 F.2d 997 (5th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 102 S.Ct. 27 (1980). In
this opinio:11, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed Mississippi District Court
Judge William Cox1s ruling on what the Fifth Circuit termed a "challenge to nearly every
conceivable facet of the Jackson County Jail at Pascagoula, Mississippi."
The court first noted that the conditions at the Jackson County Jail were not
"uncivilized" or "barbaric and inhumane", as the court had found rulings on the conditions
of other jails.
·
A peculiar aspect of this case was that convicted felons were being held in the jail
while the state penitentiary was being brought up to constitutional standards.
Consequently, there were convicted felons, convicted misdemeanants and pretrial
detainees in the jail. Accordingly, the court, in reviewing the conditions at the jail,
applied different standards depending on whether the inmate was a pretrial detainee or a
convicted felon or misdemeanant.
The court then reviewed the history of corrections in the State of Mississippi and
specifically in Jackson County. It noted that Jackson County officials had spent a
considerable amount of money and instituted several new programs in the last ten years.
In addition, at the time of this opinion, the county was in the process .of erecting a new
jail. After noting these facts, the court made rulings in the following areas.
DISCRIMINATION. The appellate court upheld the lower court's ruling that the cells
at the Jackson County Jail were not segregated. Two bull pens at the jail, however, were
ruled to be unconstitutionally segregated. In response to the plaintiff's interrogatories, the
jail officials had produced documents showing that the large bull pen was "white" and the
small bull pen with "colored.". The jail officials argued that they were not responsible for
the segregation because each new inmate was given the freedom to choose which bullpen
he wished to occupy. The court held that this was not enough, stating: "In the inherently
coercive setting of a jail, it is evident to us that the withdrawal of decision making by the
public officials for only part of the jail (here, the bull pens), amounts to impermissible
racial segregation of prisoners.
OVERCROWDING. Although there had been a serious overcrowding problem at the
jail, the construction of the new jail eliminated any further problem. The court ruled,
however, that overcrowding at the old jail was prohibited.
·
CLASSIFICATION. The court noted that the Constitution does not require that a
classification plan be put into effect, although a court may order such a plan to protect
inmates from homosexual attacks, violence and contagious diseases. The court ruled that
the policies in existence under the Mississippi Code were adequate to protect the inmate.
SANITATION. At the Jackson County Jail, the prisoners were responsible for
cleaning their own cells, and a trusty was to assume responsibility for cleaning the cells
when the inmate was unable to unwilling to clean after himself, There was no evidence of
rodents in the jail. The jail was sprayed for insects once a month tn rniuirniz~ the .
cockroach problem. Sheets and other bedding as well as clothes were cleaned regularly.
Under ~ circumstances, the court found no constitutional violations regarding the
sanitation of the Jackson County Jail. (Jackson County Jail, Pascagoula, Mississippi)

15.4

1980
U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY

Campbell v. Cauthron, 623 F.2d 503 (8th Cir. 1980). The U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Eighth Circuit ruled that the county jail shall provide 130-154 square feet of space
for four inmates detained more than sixteen hours per day. The same space must be
available where three are held, if they are detained more than one week. (Sebastian
County Jail, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING

Capps v. Atiyeh, 495 F.Supp. 802 (D. Ore. 1980). The court suggests a five part test
to determine whether overcrowding is unconstitutional:
1. The duration of prison confinement;
2. The degree to which the population exceeds the institution's design
capacity;
3. The size of the living quarters and the number of hours that an inmate
must spend therein;
4. The effects of the increased population on the prisoner's mental and
physical health;
5. The relative permanency of the overcrowding.
The court finds the institution to be overcrowded and accepts the defendants' plan to
relieve the overcrowding without necessarily endorsing any portion of it. (Oregon Stat.e
Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY
NOISE
LIGHTS
VENTILATION
WINDOWS

Huu:binp v. Corum, 501 F.Supp. 1276 (W.D. Mo. 1980). Class action is brought
challenging the constitutionality of numerous conditions and practices at the county
jail. The district court held that: (1) prison authorities' failure to immediately evacuat.e
inmates from any sewage contaminated cell, pending thorough cleaning of cell, violated
constitutional rights of inmates subject to that condition; (2) deficiencies in jail,
including lack of fire escape, absence of windows, lack of necessary fire doors, and
limited number of fire extinguishers amounted to constitutionally intolerable conditions.
Prison conditions for an unconvicted person are to be judged against due process
standards of the fifth and fourteenth amendments and conditions within the penal
institution which are unconstitutional for the convicted person under eighth amendment
review are likewise an abridgment of due process guarantees afforded unconvicted
persons.
The claim that financial restrictions have prevented improvements in jail conditions is
not a defense to constitutional violations.
Although lights were left on all night in the county jail, and there was a high noise
level at night, such were not per se unconstitutional conditions, since inmates could sleep
during the day, and there was no indication that inmates had developed psychological or
physiological problems.
An entirely inadequate ventilation syst.em at the county jail constituted a
constitutionally intolerable living condition.
Deficiencies in the county jail, including lack of fire escapes, absence of windows,.lack
of necessary fire doors, and limited number of fire extinguishers amounted to
constitutionally intolerable conditions. (Clay County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
PLUMBING

Lightfoot v. Walker, 486 F.Supp. 504 (S.D. lli. 1980). All cells are to have a working
toilet and sink with hot and cold water. (Menard Correctional Center, Menard, lliinois)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
RELIGIOUS AREAS
RECREATION AREAS
EDUCATION AREAS
VISITATION AREAS

West v. Lamb. 497 F.Supp. 989 (D. Nev. 1980). The lat.est round of litigation
concerning conditions at the Las Vegas Central Detention Facility and Annex has
resulted in a court ordered reduction in the prisoner population. The United Stat.es
District Court for Nevada began hearing complaints about conditions at these facilities
after a class action suit was f"tled in August, 1977. In a series of inquiries since that
time, the court has heard from experts in the field of det.entions and corrections.
These experts inspected the jails and reported that brutal, depraved, cruel. uncivilized and
inhuman treatment of the inmates was occurring. The experts found severe overcrowding,
racial segregation, poor morals among correction officers and inmates alike, regularly
occurring homosexual attacks, inadequate health care, unsanitary conditions, inadequate
food services, no recreational, religious, educational or exercise facilities and poor
visitation facilities.
After reviewing this information, the court stated that if there were any other
correctional facilities available in southern Nevada it would close down the subject jails.
The court found the jails unfit for human habitation and deemed it doubtful that they
could be made fit without gutting and rebuilding. The court stated that a delicate balance
must be maintained between public safety and the confining of inmates in as humane
conditions as possible. It held that public safety must always come f"ll'St and that the lives
and safety of inmates are secondary. The court then ordered that the inmate population
be reduced from 500 to 178 and that jail officials attain this goal within 180 days. The
court then cautioned state judges not to enlarge the population by ordering prisoners to be
housed in the jail after the limit had been reached. (Las Vegas Central Detention Facility
and Annex, Nevada)

15.5

1981

U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
CELLS

Heitman v. Gabriel. 524 F.Supp. 622 (W.D. Mo. 1981). Plumbing conditions are cited.
In this case against the Buchanan County Jail, the United Stat.es District Court
ordered that no inm.at.e is to be assigned t.o a cell used as a communal t.oilet, and
ordered the jail's plumbing to be cleaned and repaired. The court also found that the jail
was overcrowded considering all of the conditions, particularly the plumbing and the lack
of out-of-cellblock exercise. (Buchanan County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING

Hendrix v. Faulkner. 525 F.Supp. 435 (N.D. Ind. 1981), cert. denied. 104 S.Ct. 3587
(1983), aff'd, 715 F.2d 269. The conditions of overcrowding at the Indiana Stat.e Prison
constitute a violation of the eighth amendment in light of the physical plant and limits on
staffing. Therefore, prison officials were required t.o take immediate action t.o ameliorate
the conditions. Contributing to the limited time out of the cell is a sheer number of
in.mat.es. There was testimony that some inmates had not had outside recreation in five
months. However, other conditions at the prison did not rise t.o the level of constitutional
violations. (Indiana State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
CROWDING

Jones v. Diamond, 636 F.2d 1364 {5th Cir. 198l)(en bane). Where the conditions of the
institution have improved but there is nothing in the record which would suggest any
basis for an assurance that the conditions would not change, injunctive relief is
warranted. An injunction prohibiting racial segregation, overcrowding and discipline,
except in accordance with the newly prescribed rules, was entered. (Jackson County Jail,
Pascagoula, Mississippi)

U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING
CEIL CAPACITY
DORMITORY
DAYROOM

Lareau v. Manson. 651 F.2d 96 (2nd Cir. 1981). Adopting most of the findings of the
district court. the United Stat.es of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered major
reforms in the Hartford Community Correctional Cent.er (HCCC). dealing generally with
overcrowding. The constitutional standard for the legality of conditions of confinement
is different for pretrial detainees and for convicted mm.at.es. For pretrial detainees, the
t.est is whether the conditions amount t.o punishment without due process in violation of
the fourteenth amendment. With respect t.o convicted inmates, the criterion is whether
the punishment is cruel and unusual as defined under the eighth amendment. Reviewing
the numerous findings of the district court. the appellate court looked t.o the supreme
court case of Bell v. Wolfish. 441 U.S. 520. Viewing overcrowding at the HCCC as related
to pretrial detainees, the court cited the following standard of whether such conditions
amount to punishment: "It must be shown that the overcrowding subjects a detainee over
an extended period t.o genuine privation and hardship not reasonably related t.o a
legitimate governmental objective." Based upon this standard the court found that doublebunking in cells originally designed for one person, compounded by overcrowded
dayrooms, imposed unconstitutional punishment on pretrial detainees in all cases except
where such hardship was related t.o a legitimate governmental purpose. The court here
found that these hardships promoted neither security nor the effective management of the
institution. Other conditions were even less acceptable. The use of glass enclosed
dayroom (dubbed the "fish tank") as a dormit.ory room housing numerous inmates on a full
time basis was held t.o amount t.o punishment and was thus unconstitutional with regard
t.o pretrial detainees. In addition, the placing of mattresses on the floors of cells t.o
accommodate more inmates and the assignment of healthy inmates t.o medical cells
(sometimes with mentally or physically ill cellmat.es) t.o alleviate overcrowding were held
t.o constitut.e impermissible punishment. The court further stated that the length of
incarceration of pretrial detainees becomes relevant in such determination: "Conditions
unacceptable for week or months might be t.olerable for a few days.• As such, the court
indicated that while double-bunking and overloaded dayrooms might be t.olerable, and
thus constitutionally permissible for a few days, after 15 or so days, they would become
unacceptable punishment. The use of the "fish tank" and floor mattresses, however, were
held t.o constitute punishment regardless of the number of days imposed. Viewing the
conditions as they related to convicted persons, the court pointed out that is was t.o be
guided by a wholly different standard. Here, in order t.o constitute a constitutional
violation, the conditions had t.o be such as t.o amount t.o cruel and unusual puni•hment.
Nevertheless, the court found the overcrowded conditions int.olerable. Noting that the
thirty t.o thirty-five square feet of living space per inmat.e fell far short of the standards
promulgated by groups such as the Connecticut Department of Corrections, the American
Correctional Association, the Unit.ed Nations and the National Sheriffs' Association, and
further noting that the dayroom at the HCCC offered the "relief of a noisy subway
platform" the court held that double-bunking, with respect t.o convicted inmates, was
unconstitutional except where mm.at.es are conf'med no more than about thirty days. As
with the pretrial detainees, the court found that the constitutional rights of the convicted
mm.at.es werf" jmme,liat.ely violated by conf'mement in the "fish tank" and by policies
requiring them t.o sleep on mattresses on the floors and t.o be assigned t.o medical holding
cells for no. reason other than t.o alleviate overcrowding.

15.6

Finally, the court ordered that all newly admitted inmates, with minor exceptions, be
given a medical examination within forty-eight hours of admission. (Hartford Community
Correctional Cent.er, Connecticut)
U.S. Appeals Court
CELLS

Lock v. Jenkins. 641 F.2d 488 (7th Cir. 1981). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit ruled that having pretrial detainees confined t.o twenty-seven square
foot cells for twenty-two hours a day at the Indiana State Prison constitutes illegal
"punishment" under Bell v. Wolfish. In Wolfish, the Supreme Court found no due process
violations in holding two pretrial detainees in a cell measuring seventy-five square feet.
The Court pointed out that inmates were required t.o be in their cells only seven t.o eight
hours a day and that of the pretrial detainees at the Metropolitan Correctional Cent.er, the
facility sued in Wolfish, more than half were released within ten days, three-quart.ers
within a month, and more than eighty-five percent within sixty days. Therefore, the
Seventh Circuit cited Wolfish because of the amount of time spent by pretrial detainees at
the Indiana institution, an average of about sixty days. The Circuit Court stated:
It seems t.o us that a minimum requirement as t.o cell area should be imposed and
this minimum should be determined flexibly in relation t.o the amount of time
individuals are t.o be kept in the cell...Except where individual circumstances show
the need for more restrictive confinement, (detainees) should be allowed t.o spend
significant periods of each day out of their cells and some activities or programs
should be regularly available t.o them in their time out of cells...
We do not read anything in Wolfish as requiring this court t.o grant aut.omatic
deference t.o ritual incantations by prison officials that their actions foster the goals of
order and discipline. Under the facts before us, we find that the (detainees) in this action
have been denied equal protection of the laws by being held under significantly more
burdensome conditions than convicted prisoners in the absence of any justification of such
treatment of each individual. (Indiana Stat.e Prison, Michigan City. Indiana)

U.S. Supreme Court
CELL CAPACITY
SAFETY
GENERAL
CONDITIONS

Rhodes v. Chapman, 101 S.Ct. 2392 (1981). In a remarkable 8 t.o 1 decision, the
Supreme Court upheld double celling at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at
Lucasville. The maximum security facility was built in the early 1970's with
gymnasiums, workshops, school rooms, day room, two chapels, a hospital ward, a
cc>rnrnissary, a barber shop and a library. The physical plant itself is a t.opfl.ight first
class facility. Each cell is sixty-three square feet in area and contains a bed or bunk bed
measuring thirty-six by eighty inches, a cabinet nightstand, a wall-mount.ed sink with hot
and cold wat.er, a flushable t.oilet and a built-in radio. One wall of each cell is barred.
Day rooms are open from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., and inmates may pass between these
rooms and their cells for a ten minute period each hour. At the time t.o the trial, the
facility housed 2,300 inmates, two-thirds of whom were serving life or long-term sentences.
Some 1,400 men were double celled. Despite the favorable nature of the plant's design,
the district court found that double celling constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
The Supreme Court reversed, noting: "No static test can exist by which courts determine
whether conditions are cruel and unusual, for the Eighth Amendment must draw its
meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing
society." Applying those principles t.o this institution, the court found that the evidence
did not support a conclusion that the eighth amendment was violated. The majority said:
The double celling made necessary by the unanticipated increase in prison
population did not lead t.o deprivations of essential food, medical care or
sanitation. Nor did it increase violence among inmates or create other conditions
int.olerable for prison confinement. Although job and educational opportunities
dirninished marginally as a result of double celling, limit.ed work hours and delay
before receiving education do not inflict pain, much less unnecessary and want.on
pain. Deprivations of this kind simply are not punishment.
The Court continued, "We would have t.o wrench the eighth amendment from its
language and history t.o hold that delay of these desirable aids t.o rehabilitation violates
the Constitution." Three justices, Brennen, Blackmun and Stevens, authored a concurring
opinion. It attempted t.o list some of the things which would determine whether a facility
has such poor conditions as t.o violate the eighth amendment. Those conditions are:
- Physical plant conditions: lighting, heat, plumbing. ventilation, living
space, noise levels, and recreation space.
- Sanitation: control of vermin and insect.s, food preparation, medical
facilities, lavat.ories and showers, clean places for eating. sleeping and
working.
·

15.7

- Safety: prot.ection from violent, deranged or diseased inmat.es, fire
prot.ection and emergency evacuation.
• Staffing: trained and adequate guards and other staff, and avoidance of
placing inmates in positions of authority over other inmates.
This majority of justices cautioned that sixty-three square feet of cell space is not
enough for two men. Such conditions, they noted, are a clear signal to legislative officials
that additional facilities must be constructed or inmate populations reduced by other
means. The justices did state, however, that cramped facilities are not unconstitutional
per se.
NOTE: This decision dealt with long-term convicted inmates, not short-term persons
in county and city jails. In some circumstances, pretrial detainees who are still presumed
innocent until convicted have greater rights, such as access to lawyers and courts. On the
other hand, because of the short periods of confinement, a jail facility does not need as
elaborate areas for recreation, libraries, exercise and other services, as required for the
longer term population of prisons. (Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, Lucasville)
U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
ANTIQUATED
FACILITY

Smith v. Fairman. 528 F.Supp. 186 (C.D. Ill. 1981), rev'd, 690 F.2d 122 (7th Cir. 1982)
cert. denied, 103 S.Ct. 2125 (1983). Officials at the Pontiac, Illinois State Penitentiary
had been ordered by a federal district court to end the practice of placing two inmat.es
in a cell designed many years ago to house only one person. The order came as a
result of an action filed by numerous former inmates and one current inmate of the
institution, seeking to challenge the prison's policy of punishing inmates who refused to
accept a cell with another inmate.
The district court heard a great deal of evidence on the issue of double celling at
Pontiac. A number of prisoners also testified, describing the problems resulting from the
double celling, such as attacks by other cell mates, loss of property, and difficulty in
practicing their religion. The court made a lengthy comparison between the conditions at
Pontiac and those in Rhodes v. Chapman, 101 S.Ct. 2392 (1981). The court indicated that
in Rhodes, a case in which double celling was approved, the conditions were markedly
different. The facility in Rhodes was new, relatively quiet and modern, and the inmat.es
were permitted to be out of their cells on a regular basis. In this case, the prison was old
and noisy, and the cells were small. Furthermore, a number of the inmates were required
to spend practically all of their waking hours in their cells.
The District Court noted that Rhodes made clear the point that prisoners need not be
free of discomfort. However, the court said, ndeplorable and sordid conditions cannot be
tolerated. n The court noted that the conditions were so bad at Pontiac that even the
prison's own medical director testified that the punishment meted out·to prisoners was
cruel and unusual. Summing 'lP, the court said: n...the inescapable conclusion is that the
Pontiac Correctional Center is overcrowded, antiquated and has inadequate facilities to
provide significant and constructive correctional programs to the inmates."
The court then ordered submission of a detailed plan calling for the eventual end of
the double celling practices at Pontiac. On appeal, the double celling was allowed. (State
Penitentiary, Pontiac, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
DAYROOM
CROWDING

Vazguez v. Gray, 523 F.Supp. 1359 (S.D. N.Y. 1981). Court outlines a response to
overcrowding. The United States District Court found the Westchester County Jail
overcrowded and determined that the proper method of determining a remedy was to
examine the causes of the overcrowding. The court considered and rejected orders
which reduce bail or set a population limit for the institution. Instead, it ordered:
1) that no mattresses be placed on the floor for sleeping,
2) that no more than two persons be confined in a cell,
3) that the use of day rooms for housing for more than five days be
prohibited, and that the court be advised where individuals are kept
in such housing for more than forty-eight hours.
The court approved using dormitories as long as the use complied with state
regulations and as long as the use of the dormitories did not deviate from the plan which
they provided to the court. The court refused to enter a comprehensive order regarding
the general conditions of the institution until the provisions of the initial order had time
to be implemented. (West.chester County Jail, New York)
1982

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY

Campbell v. McGruder, 554 F.Supp. 562 (D.C. D.C. 1982). Double celling of pretrial
detainees is allowed but additional guards are ordered to be placed in each cellblock in
which double-celling occurs. No pretrial detainee is to be confmed in the company of
another inmate in his cell for more than twelve hours per day. No pretrial detainee is to
be double-celled for more than thirty days. (D.C. Jail)

15.8

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY

Glynn v. Auger, 678 F.2d 760 (8th Cir. 1982). Double-celling is not cruel and unusual
punishment. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the double-celling of an
Iowa Men's Reformatory (IMR) prisoner did not violate the ex post fact.o clause. The court
also found that the policy did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
After reaching the highest level of a prison incentive program, the prisoner was
housed in a single cell in a remodeled housing unit of the prison. Due to an increase in
the number of inmates, officials began double-celling a portion of the building. When the
plaintiff objected to this procedure, he was given the choices of being double-celled, being
single-celled in a smaller cell with no loss of privileges or being placed in a lower level cell
with reduced privileges.
The inmate brought suit contending that the double-celling was an ex post fact.o
increase in his punishment. The district court disagreed, also finding that the action was
not a punishment. The inmate then appealed.
The Circuit Court agreed with the lower court, stating: 'The constitutional prohibition
against ex post fact.o law was designed to secure substantial personal rights against
arbitrary and oppressive legislative action, and not to obstruct mere alteration in
conditions deemed necessary for the orderly infliction of humane punishment." Malloy v.
South Carolina, 237 U.S. 180, 35 S.Ct. 507 (1915).
The appeals court also found that the double-celling did not constitute cruel and
unusual punishment. (Iowa Men's Reformatory)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING

Gross v. Tazewell County Jail, 533 F.Supp. 413 (W.D. Vir. 1982). The prison inmates'
constitutional rights are violated as a result of overcrowding in a county jail. When
injunctive relief was necessary to arrest the violations of constitutional rights, good faith
on the part of the prison officials was no defense. The fact that state law prohibited or
failed to authorize a part to alleviate a wrong did not excuse a continuing violation of
fundamental guarantees. The U.S. District Court for the western district of Virginia
entered an injunction against crowding in the Tazewell County Jail, finding signjficant
differences between jails and prisons relative to overcrowding.
Responding to claims by officials that the transfer of the jail inmates would only result
in overcrowding elsewhere, the court answered:
It is simply not appropriate to lump all inmates into an abstract category and
assert that overcrowding exists everywhere...A comparison of inmates versus
available beds is not the true index of unconstitutional overcrowding. The
manifestations of such overcrowding in daily life must be considered. Hite v.
Leeke. 564 F.2d 670 (4th Cir. 1976). It is abundantly clear that extreme
overcrowding in a local jail is of greater practical effect and constitutional
consequence than in a larger institution or a common road camp. Simply stated,
all overcrowding is not equal. Perhaps more importantly, the local jail houses a
high percentage of pretrial detainees...As a matter of common sense and
fundamental fairness, the criminal. justice system must ensure that pretrial
detainees are not housed in more deprived circumstances than those accorded to
convicted persons. Without doubt, the oppressive conditions of the instant case do
not withstand the stricter degree of scrutiny which must necessarily be applied in
situations involving pretrial detainees. Overcrowding in a local jail cannot be
quantitatively equated with overcrowding in a state penal institu~ewell County
Jail, Virginia)

U.S. District Court

Grubbs v. Bradley. 552 F.Supp. 1052 (M.D. Tenn. 1982). Conditions at several
institutions are cited. Prisoners in the Tennessee correctional system brought action
against the state challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of confinement in
several of Tennessee's adult penal institutions.
The United States District Court held that certain conditions of confinement and
practices amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, including: double-celling of inmates
in certain units of the state penitentiary and the Nashville Regional Correctional Center;
conf'mement of any inmate for more than one week in a cell not equipped with hot water;
conf'mement in Block D of the Brushy Mountain Prison and the Main Building at the
Nashville Center; the failure to maintain minimum sanitary conditions in food storage,
preparation and service areas at certain facilities; the failure to protect inmates at several
facilities; the failure to provide mjnima)]y adequate medical care for prisoners; the
conf'mement of inmates in segregation status for more than one week without any
opportunity for exercise at the prison for women. A federal master was ordered and
master plans were required. (Tennessee Correctional System)

C:EILS
PLUMBING
KITCHEN
DINING

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY

Miller v. Carson. 550 F.Supp. 543 (M.D. Fla. 1982). Defendants are found in contempt
for exceeding population limit. The court found the defendants individually and in
their official capacity for exceeding the capacity of the jail which was set in a permanent
injunction. A fine of $10,000 was imposed and fmes in excess of $5,000 per day were
authorized in the event of further violations. (Duval County Jail, Florida)

15.9

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY

Mobile Co. Jail Inmat.es v. Purvis, 551 F.Supp, 92 (S.D. Ala. 1982), aff'd, 703 F.2d 580
(11th Cir. 1973). Defendants are found in cont.empt for failing to reduce population.
The court found the defendants in cont.empt for failing to reduce population. The court
found the defendants in cont.empt for failing to comply with the requirements of a court
order by reducing the population of the Mobile County Jail and established a daily fine of
$5,000 for each day the defendants are out of compliance with the order. (Mobile County
Jail, Alabama)
1983

Stat.e Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY

Bowen v. Stat.e Com'n of Correction, 461 N.Y.S.2d 668 (App. 1983). Double bunking is
not prohibited. A New York court has det.ermined that double bunking in jails is not
per se prohibited, but rather the t.est to be applied was the actual conditions in the cont.ext
of the eighth amendment. Double bunking is not permitted if it would be cruel and
unusual, would involve unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain or would be totally
without penological inspection. The court also indicat.ed that consideration should be

given to whether double bunking would cause deprivation of essential food, medical care,
or sanitation, and whether it would lead to an increase in inmat.e violence or creat.e other
conditions intolerable for prison confinement. (Saratoga County Jail, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
WINDOWS

Rutherford v. Pitchess, 710 F.2d 572 (9th Cir. 1983), rev'd, 104 S.Ct. 3227 (1984),
Pretrial detainees class action suit brings changes. A class action suit was filed
against the Los Angeles County central jail by pretrial detainees. The federal district
court ordered twelve changes after a trial. Three of the changes were appealed by county
officials.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that: low risk detainees were to be
allowed one contact visit per week; detainees would be allowed to be present during
searches of their cells; and the replacement of transparent windows by concret.e enclosures
was justified, Subsequently the United States Supreme Court reversed on the first two
issues. (Los Angeles County Central Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING
CELL CAPACITY

Union County Jail Inmat.es v. Di Buono, 713 F.2d 984 (1983), cert. denied, 104 S.Ct.
1600 (1983). Overcrowded conditions are found unconstitutional. Litigation challenging
severe overcrowding at the Union County Jail in New Jersey resulted in a finding by a
federal district court and its special master that the overcrowded conditions at the jail
were unconstitutional. The most serious concern of the court was placement of inmat.es on
mattresses on the floor of one man cells. Rejecting the stat.e corrections commissioner's
request to resolve the problem by double bunking, the district judge ordered the convicted
inmat.es removed from the jail and into the stat.e prison system to which they had been
sent.enced (537 F.Supp. 1009).
In reversing the district court's prohibition against double bunking, the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled that under the "totality of the circumstances," the double bunking
proposal would satisfy the constitutional prohibitions against the punishment of pretrial
detainees and against cruel and unusual punishment of sentenced prisoners.
In reaching its decision, the Third Circuit relied on Bell v. Wolf'1Sh, 441 U.S. 520
(1979), in which the Supreme Court held that while detainees may not be punished, there
is no punishment where confinement conditions serve legitimat.e nonpunitive purposes and
are not excessive in relation to those purposes. In addition, the court must inquire as to
whether the conditions cause inmat.es to endure "genuine privations and hardship over an
extended period of time. n
Both courts concluded that overcrowding served two legitimat.e purposes: effective
management of a det.ention facility during a stat.ewide prison overcrowding emergency and
the int.erests of stat.e and local government in not releasing inmat.es into the streets.
However, the circuit disagreed with the lower court's f'mding that conditions would still
violat.e the due process rights of detainees because of sheer lack of space and because the
totality of conditions would in any event be unconstitutional.
According to the appeals court, double bunking would resolve the "totality" issue by
providing aclequat.e space for sleeping and would allow for reclaiming large recreation
areas, permitting each inmat.e one hour of exercise each day in the larger space. The
circuit claimed that this recreation period would offset the "cramped and overcrowded
conditions" of the remaining fifteen waking hours, during which square footage per
inmat.e varies from thirty-one to thirty-three and one half square feet. The circuit court
was further persuaded that such conditions were not unconstitutional because they were
convinced that the majority of detainees are confined for no more than sixty days, an
assertion disputed by some local parties. (Union County Jail, New Jersey)
1984:

J.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY
CROWDING

McElvenn v. Prince William County, 725 F.2d 954 (N.D. Vir. 1984), cert. denied. 105
S.Ct. 88. $210,000 is awarded to inmat.es held in jail. A federal jury awarded
$210,000 to approximat.ely 7,000 inmat.es held in the Prince William County (Virginia)

15.10

jail between August 1980 and January 1982. Two months before, the jury had found that
the facility was unconstitutionally crowded, exceeding at times its inmate capacity by 400
percent. Witnesses had t.estified that the facility lacked medical care and security and
was unsafe. Pretrial detainees are t.o receive $170,000 of the award, with the remaining
funds t.o be divided among the sentenced prisoners held at the jail.
Meanwhile, the county has filed its own case against Virginia state corrections
officials, claiming that a chronic backlog of prisoners awaiting transfer t.o state facilities
contributed t.o the jail crowding. The jury had rejected county claims during the class
action suit that state officials should accept or share liability, after U.S. District Judge
Richard L. Williams ruled that state employees are immune under the eleventh
amendment from civil damages in their role as officials. The court continued them in the
case as individuals, but instructed the jury that they were entitled t.o claim they had acted
in good faith. (Prince William County Jail, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
CAPACITY

Monmouth County Correctional Institution Inmat.es v. Lanzaro, 595 F.Supp. 1417 (D.
N.J. 1984). Federal court sets cap on New Jersey county jail population and orders
relief for prisoners. Aft.er an extensive review of the conditions at the Monmouth County
Jail, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has concluded that both pretrial
and sent.enced inmat.es are being denied constitutional rights. The court placed a cap on
the population of the jail and ordered relief in the areas of physical conditions, bedding,
recreation, medical care, classification and visiting. (Monmouth County Correctional
Institution, New Jersey)

1985
State Supreme Court
FACILITY DESIGN

Attorney General v. Sheriff of Suffolk County. Mass.• 477 N.E.2d 361 (Mass 1985).
The attorney general filed a complaint seeking an order t.o compel the sheriff t.o accept
into his custody all pretrial detainees committed t.o him by courts of the Commonwealth.
The sheriff then brought action seeking injunctive and declarat.ory relief against the
mayor, city council and commissioner of corrections. The actions were consolidat.ed, and
the detainees and inmat.es were permitt.ed to intervene. A single justice ordered the
construction of a sevent.een story jail and report.ed the propriety of those orders. The
Supreme Judicial Court, Suffolk County held that: (1) mandamus was available t.o require
the city council to construct the jail; (2) the order requiring fulfillment of the city's
statutory obligation t.o provide a suitable jail did not violate the principle of separation of
powers; and (3) the orders did not violat.e the supremacy clause. (Suffolk County Jail.
Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY

Dohner v. McCarthy. 635 F.Supp. 408 (C.D. Cal. 1985). Inmates brought a class action
suit against the director of California Department of Corrections and the prison
superintendent to challenge the constitutionality of conditions of confinement, and some
inmat.es moved for certification of subclasses. The district court held that: (1) conditions
for certification of subclasses were not satisfied; (2) double-celling, overcrowding, medical
care, sanitation, food, clothing, and safety did not violate the eighth amendment; and (8)
no alleged liberty int.erest in medical and mental health treatment, entitlement t.o work
credits, or visitation rights was violated.
Cells housing two inmat.es, despite the design for one inmate which contained about
eleven and one-half square feet per person when the extra bed was lowered, which
required the inmat.es to crawl over beds t.o travel from one end of the cell t.o the other, but
which were adequat.ely cleaned and ventilated, which had windows, which had a desk and
storage area, and which had noise within t.olerable levels were not unfit for human
habitation, and, thus, the cell itself satisfied the requirements of prohibition against cruel
and unusual punishment.
The fact.ors relevant in assessing pain inflicted by a minimally sized cell for the
purposes of cruel and unusual punishment clause includes the following: characteristics
of prison population; prison staff's morale; amount of time the inmate has t.o spend in the
cell each day; opportunities available for activities outside the cell; and the ability of the
prison staff t.o be flexible and responsive t.o individual needs and problems created by
double-celling.
The amount of time that the inmates are able to spend away from the cells is a critical
fact.or in determining whether conditions of confinement involve want.on and unnecessary
infliction of pain in violation of the cruel and unusual :p11njshment clause. The
permanence of double-celling of inmates in cells designed for a single inmate is a fact.or t.o
be considered t.ogether with the size of the cells and the opportunities for inmates t.o leave
the cells during the normal routine of the prison life in determining whether doublecelling consti.tut.es cruel and unusual p11nishment. (California Men's Colony, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY

Duran v. Elrod. 760 F.2d 756 (7th Cir. 1985). Appeals court modifies consent order allows double bunking of prisoners. In 1983 Cook County entered int.o a consent
agreement concerning crowding and conditions of confinement at the jail. The agreement
called for a halt t.o putting two prisoners in small (sixty-four square foot)

15.U

cells in the facility. Later, the County asked for a modification of the order due to rapid
growth in the jail population. The district court not only denied the request but placed a
cap on the number of prisoners which could be housed. As a result, the county was
ordered to release pretrial detainees in reverse order of the size of their bonds. The cap
was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (713 F.2d 292).
A study which was completed by the county showed that many of the released detainees
became fugitives or were rearrested for subsequent crimes. Based on the study, the
county again sought relief from the district court. The motion was again denied.
However, a majority of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with the lower
court and allowed double occupancy of the cells.
The appeals court criticized the county for "foot-dragging" in its compliance efforts and
for destroying its credibility with the lower court. The majority noted, however, that
double bunking in sixty-four square foot cells is clearly constitutional. Denying the
motion, they argued, would punish the citizens of the county rather than the
governmental entity. The public interest in protection against the release of the accused
criminals outweighs the inmates' expectations under the original consent decree. (Cook
County Jail, Illinois)
U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHT
VENTILATION
SAFETY

Hoptowit v. Spellman, 753 F.2d 779 (9th Cir. 1985). Inmates brought an action
challenging conditions of confinement in a state prison system. On remand, 682 F.2d
1237, the United States District Court entered judgment finding conditions in violation
of the eighth amendment and ordered relief; the state appealed. The court of appeals
held that: (1) the change of administration, resulting in defendants named in the action
either leaving officer or changing positions, did not warrant reopening the record on
remand; (2) inadequate lighting, vermin infestation, substandard fire prevention, and
safety hazards in the prison violated minimum requirements of the eighth amendment;
and (3) the order for relief was overbroad in requiring provision of adequate food and
clothing where there were no findings of inadequate food and clothing.
Adequate lighting is one of the fundamental attributes of adequate shelter required by
the eighth amendment. The evidence that the lighting at the state prison was so poor
that it was inadequate for reading, caused eyestrain and fatigue and hindered attempts to
insure that basic sanitation was maintained supported the district court's conclusion that
the lighting violated the eighth amendment.
The plumbing at the state prison which was in such disrepair as to deprive inmates of
basic elements of hygiene and which seriously threatened inmates' physical and mental
well-being amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the eighth amendment.
Vermin infestation at the state prison, considered in light of unsanitary conditions
such as standing water, flooded toilets and sinks, and dank air, was unnecessary and
wanton infliction of pain proscribed by the eighth amendment.
The prisoners have a right not to be subjected to an unreasonable threat of injury or
death by fire and need not wait until actual casualties occur in order to obtain relief from
such conditions. Substandard fire prevention at the state prison which endangered
inmates' lives violated the eighth amendment.
Lack of adequate ventilation and air flow which undermined the health of prison
inmates and the sanitation of the prison violated the minimum requirement of the eighth
amendment.
Persons involuntarily confined by the state have a constitutional right to safe
conditions of confinement. Safety hazards found throughout the state prison's
occupational areas, which were exacerbated by prison's inadequate lighting and which
seriously threatened the safety and security of the inmates, created unconstitutional
infliction of pain.
The failure to provide adequate cell cleaning supplies in light of overall squalor at the
state prison violated the eighth amendment. (State Penitentiary, Washington)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
PLUMBING
SANITATION
SAFETY
SECURITY

Miles v. Bell, 621 F.Supp. 51 (D.C. Conn. 1985). The focus of this complaint was
overcrowding, particularly in the housing unit, which once consisted of open
dormitories. Pretrial detainees brought a class action suit primarily alleging that the
overcrowded dorms increased the spread of disease among them and were
psychologically harmful because of the stress, lack of control over their areas and lack
of privacy.
Most of the plaintiffs proof on the issue was based on comparisons between illness
rates in dormitories and other housing methods such as cubicles or single or double cells.
Testimony did show higher levels of complaints and a higher level of illness among
inmates housed in the open dorms. A doctor testified that the installation of cubicles
could correct many of these problems.
In fact, the defendants had corrected the situation by installing cubicles, rendering
much of the pretrial detainees' complaint moot. The cubicles mitigate the spread of
disease, as well as afford privacy, testified the doctor. He said that the decrease in stress
would likely improve both the physical and mental states of the inmates. Although there
was no testimony as to what effect the cubicles had on ventilation, the court found no
violation on the matter. The barriers were likely to decrease the effects

15.12

of smoking and body odor of other inmates. The inmates complained of drafts if windows
were left open and of stifling heat if left closed. The living units made up of cubicles were
not challenged by the inmates.
The court also found no constitutional violation in that the number of toilets and
showers did not conform to the standards set by the American Correctional Association
(ACA) and by the American Public Health Association (APHA). The ACA advised one
toilet and shower facility for every eight inmates, and the APHA advised one toilet for
every eight inmates and one shower for every fJfteen inmates. The defendants provided
one toilet for every ten to fifteen inmates, and one shower for every fourteen to twentyfour inmates, depending on the housing unit. These figures were nearly twice that
advised. Still, the court found no violation absent a showing that waiting in line led t.o
either physical or mental problems. Sanitary conditions were not challenged.
Although there were certain violations of the health code in the food service in that
maggots.and weevils were occasionally found, the court found no constitutional violation.
With regards to recreational opportunities, the inmates had enough forms of exercise and
equipment available regularly.
For security reasons and for the safety of a correctional officer, he is not permitted to
carry a key to the exterior doors in the housing units if he is working alone. The inmates
claim this and staff shortages would prevent them from evacuating in case of a fire. The
court found no violation, since the correctional officer does carry keys to exit doors that
empty into adjoining units. A door in the laundry room that was supposed to be one hour
fire resistant according to code, did not amount to a constitutional violation. Finally, the
court found no violation in the unannounced entry into the dorms by female correctional
officers, who occasionally see unclothed inmates. (Federal Correctional Institution at
Danbury, Connecticut)
1986

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
CELL SIZE

Inmates of Occoquan v. Barr;y, 650 F.Supp. 619 (D.D.C. 1986). A class of inmates
confined at state medium security facilities brought a federal civil rights action seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief for deprivation under color of state law of fifth and
eighth amendment rights. The district court held that overcrowding and systemically
deficient conditions constituted cruel and unusual punishment justifying equitable relief.
Overcrowding and systemically deficient conditions at state medium security
institutions constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the eighth
amendment justifying equitable relief of imposition of cap on a number of inmates at each
facility and requirement of periodic reports indicating what steps were being taken to
address deficiencies. The court ruled:
Accordingly, the Court will order that by June l, 1987, the population of Occoquan
I, II, and III shall not exceed a total of 1,281 inmates, with specific caps set for
each dormitory. This total is based on a formula providing each inmate a total of
95 square feet of floor space for sleeping and day room purposes. If defendants
provide all inmates with opportunities for work, vocational education or other
meaningful programs to eliminate enforced idleness among the inmates, the Court
will entertain a motion to modify the square footage formula to 85 square feet per
prisoner. In connection with the establishment of a population cap at Occoquan,
the Court will also order the defendants to provide the Court with a written report
by January 15, 1987, indicating precisely how they propose to comply with the
population cap.
The plaintiffs contend that an excessive inmate population, deficiencies in
environmental health and safety, food services, and mental health care, alone or in
combination, violate their rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
The classification of inmates is essential for the prison security. One critical function
of classification is the efficient identification of violent, aggressive inmates and those in
need of psychiatric care, so that they can be separated from the rest of the population.
See, e.g., Palmigiano v. Garrahy, 443 F.Supp. 956 (D.R.!. 1977). The classification
system at Occoquan appears to be dangerously overtaxed by the crush of inmates in need
of classification.
Idleness among inmates results in a variety of problems, including heightened tension,
frustration, and violence. The lack of adequate programs can also have an adverse impact
on inmates' chances for parole. There was no disagreement among the expert penologists
that inmates should be engaged in some productive enterprise, properly supervised.
Nonetheless, enforced idleness presents a major problem at Occoquan.
The correctional officers do not supervise properly the sleeping areas of the
dormitories. Correctional officers do not make patrols on a frequent and regular basis, nor
are officers stationed in the rear of each dormitory so as to facilitate supervision of the
living area when inmates are present.
Medical services experts agreed that deficiencies in the medical care delivery system
at Occoquan exist which are likely to cause harm to the inmates. These deficiencies are
systemic in nature, c:oncerning staffing, facilities, and procedures. (Lorton Correctional
Complex, District of Columbia)
15.13

U.S. District Court

HYGIENE
PLUMBING
SANITATION

Jackson v. Gardner, 639 F.Supp. 1005 (E.D. Tenn. 1986). Inmates of a county jail
brought a Section 1983 action challenging the constitutionality of conditions of
confinement. After resolution of some of the conditions complained of, and stipulation
as to others, the district court held that: (1) Prison conditions under which an average
inmate was confined twenty-four hours a day in a physically dilapidated, insect infected,
dimly lit, poorly ventilated area averaging under twenty square feet per inmate, without
any available recreation or diversion other than some reading or letter writing, sharing a
shower which might not have hot water with twelve to fourteen others, sharing a sink and
toilet with three or four others, and possibly sleeping on an unsanitary floor, or within
inches of a toilet, in clothing which may not have been recently washed, constituted cruel
and unusual punishment; (2) In order for the county jail to provide constitutionally
acceptable confinement, population at the main jail facility had to be reduced, regular outof-cell recreation had to be provided, visitation increased, and fire escape plans had to be
co=unicated to inmates and prominently displayed in corridors at all times. (Sullivan
County Jail, Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
CROWDING

Reece v. Gragg, 650 F.Supp. 1297 (10th Cir. 1986). A pretrial detainee representing a
class of all present and sentenced inmates held in the county jail brought action
seeking injunctive relief to require that operation of the jail under present conditions
cease. The district court held that: (1) the current operation and condition of the county
jail violated the due process clause of the fifth and fourteenth amendments and the eighth
amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and (2) due to
unconstitutional conditions at the jail, an injunction was warranted, but would be stayed
under conditions outlined by court.
To the extent that the county jail is unable to segregate pretrial detainees and
sentenced inmates, the higher standard applicable under the due process clause, rather
than the eighth amendment, must be met by the entire facility.
Jail overcrowding for the purpose of allowing the county to house more inmates
without creating more jail space is an impermissible justification for resulting violations of
due process and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Severe overcrowding
combined with lack of area for exercise, lack of separate dining area, inadequate
ventilation, inadequate temperature control, and antiquated and unsanitary plumbing at
the county jail violated due process clauses of the fifth and fourteenth amendments and
ran afoul of the eighth amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment.
(Sedgwick County Jail, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHT

Shelby County Jail Inmates v. Westlake, 798 F.2d 1085 (7th Cir. 1986). Conditions of
the Shelby County Jail in Indiana did not violate the constitutional rights of inmates,
says a U.S. Appeals Court. Inmates at the Shelby County Jail (SCJ) filed a suit alleging
that the totality of conditions and practices at SCJ violated their constitutional rights.
The inmates claimed the jail's twenty footcandles of illumination did not meet minimum
standards. The county's expert, however, took readings in the courtroom which revealed
eighteen footcandles at the judge's bench.

U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN
CELL CAPACITY

Ruiz v. McCotter, 661 F.Supp. 112 (S.D.Tex. 1986). The Texas Department of
Corrections was in contempt of court for failure to afford sufficient single-occupancy
cells, in failing to assign housing to prisoners according to their respective custody
classifications, in failing to maintain a specified number of personnel, and to deploy staff
in the housing areas, in failing to employ a substantial number of health care
professionals, in failing to meet the needs of the physically handicapped, in failing to
afford prisoners in administrative segregation appropriate housing facilities, and in failing
to build and properly equip recreation yards and gymnasiums. On the whole, the court
found, TDC had been habitually and inexcusably dilatory in complying with the orders in
question. The court noted that contempt represents more than delay in performance or
lack of perfection. It is, instead, failure to accomplish what was ordered in meaningful
respects. Defendants may defeat finding of contempt by demonstrating that they
employed, in good faith, utmost diligence in discharging their responsibilities. Prison
inmates were not required to show that Texas Department of Corrections had violated the
Eighth Amendment or to develop a method by which the Department could achieve
compliance with consent decree in order to support a finding of contempt for violating the
decree. Rather, inmates were required to establish by clear and convincing evidence that
the Department had inappropriately mixed custody classifications or had housed prisoners
not in minimum custody status in dormitories, and had done both, in violation of
stipulations forming bases for district court orders. Motions to modify so as to alleviate or
eliminate conditions or restrictions imposed by prior court order require a clear showing of
grievous wrong evoked by new and unforeseen conditions. Texas Department of
Corrections' alleged change in philosophy to a belief that dormitories provide adequate,
secure housing for women prisoners in medium and close custody classifications was not
sufficient to require modification of stipulations incorporated in court orders requiring
inmates to be housed with inmates of like classification, in light of the fact that certain
women inmates had been moved to cell housing, and conflicting testimo:cy regarding
appropriateness of dormitory housing for women requiring medium or close custody.
(Texas Department of Corrections)

15.14

1987
U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING

Akao v. Shimoda, 832 F.2d 119 (9th Cir. 1987). cert. denied, 108 S.Ct. 1301. A Federal
lawsuit alleging overcrowding was brought by three prisoners in Hawaii. Finding no
eighth amendment violation, the lawsuit was dismissed by the disb-ict court. The decision
was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals, which concurreft that an allegation of
overcrowding without additional cruel and unusual treatment does not state a claim.
However, it found these prisoners had alleged more. The prisoners claimed that because
of the increased population, there was "an increase in stress, tension, communicable
diseases, and a high increase in confrontations between inmates." (Oahu Community
Correctional Center, Hawaii)

U.S. Disb-ict Court
CROWDING

Beniamin v. Malcolm, 659 F.Supp. 1006 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). Temporary relief was granted
to New York City correctional facilities to allow them to cope with the recent increase
in population. However, "no further requests for modification will be granted regardless of
foreseeable or unforeseeable problems which may arise." (Brooklyn House of Detention for
Men and Queens House of Detention for Men)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING

Cody v. Hillard, 830 F.2d 912 (8th Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 108 S.Ct. 1078. An inmate
brought a class action under a civil rights statute complaining of overcrowding and
substandard living conditions. The United States District Court for the District of
South Dakota ordered an end to the practice of double-celling of inmates; prison
officials appealed. The Court of Appeals initially affirmed (799 F.2d 447).
After granting a petition for rehearing en bane, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit,
held that the practice of double-celling did not evince the "wanton and unnecessary
infliction of pain" necessary to constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment. On
appeal, prison officials contended that the trial court erred in f'mding that double-celling of
inmates at the South Dakota State Prison (SDSP) violates the eighth and fourteenth
amendments to the United State Constitution. They also claimed that the district court
erred in using the "rated capacities" of the American Corrections Association (ACA) as a
reference for measuring the permissible capacity of the prison under the eighth
amendment. The appeals court reversed the disb-ict court's order with respect to doublecelling. According the appeals court, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Rhodes v.
Chapman that "...when the conditions of confinement compose the punishment at issue,"
those conditions "must not involve the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain, nor may
they be grossly diSProportionate to the severity of the crime warranting imprisonment."
The Supreme Court referred to conditions that are "totally without penological
justification," at 346, 101 S.Ct. at 2399 (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 183, 96
S.Ct. 2909, 2929, 49 L.Ed.2d 859 (1976), as the kind of conditions that violate the eighth
amendment. According to the appeals court, "•.. as Rhodes and Whitley make clear, the
Eighth Amendment leaves very broad latitude to the states in the administration of their
prisons. '[C]onditions that cannot be said to be cruel and unusual under contemporary
standards are not unconstitutional. To the extent that such conditions are restrictive and
even harsh, they are part of the penalty that criminal offenders pay for their offenses
against society.' Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347, 101 S.Ct. at 2399. Moreover, the federal courts
traditionally have adopted a broad hands-off attitude toward problems of prison
administration." The court cited Procunier: •... Suffice it to say that the problems of
prisons in America are complex and intractable, and, more to the point, they are not
readily susceptible of resolution by decree. Most require expertise, comprehensive
planning, and the commitment of resources, all of which are peculiarly within the province
of the legislative and executive branches of government. For all of those reasons, courts
are ill equipped to deal with the increasingly urgent problems of prison administration
and reform." Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 404-05, 94 S.Ct. 1800, 1807. 40
L.Ed.2d 224 (1974)(footnotes omitt.ed). The appellate panel concluded that, "all of these
observations aptly fit this case.... Even granting that the District Court's factual fmdings
are correct, double-celling at SDSP simply does not evince the 'wanton and unnecessary
infliction of pain' necessary to constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Rhodes,
452 U.S. at 347, 101 S.Ct. at 2399....The record in this case falls far short of supporting
the district court's conclusion that the line drawn by Rhodes has been crossed by doublecelling at SDSP. Accordingly, there is no constitutional basis for the district court's
remedial order with reSPect to double-celling." The court also noted that "We have found
nothing in the record or the Disb-ict Court's findings of fact to persuade us that our
conclusions regarding double-celling generally should be different with regard to the
protective custody area of the prison.•
The appellate court noted that the district court's remedy in its f'mal order was based
on compliance with ACA rated capacities, which in turn were based on recommendations.
by the South Dakota penitentiary authorities. 'The Supreme Court has explicitly rejected
the proposition that such standards establish a constitutional norm. In Bell v. Wolfish,
the Court stated that 'while the recommendations of these various groups [such as ACA]
may be instructive in certain cases, they simply do not establish the constitutional

15.15

minima, rather, they establish goals recommended by the organization in question.' 441
U.S. 520, 543-44 n. 27, 99 S.Ct. 1861, 1876 n. 27, 60 L.Ed.2d 447 (1979). In Rhodes, the
court quot.ed the foregoing stat.ement from Wolfish and further observed in regard to
eighth amendment claims that 'generalized opinions of experts cannot weigh as heavily in
det.ermining cont.emporary standards of decency as "the public attitude toward a given
sanction.'•..We need not consider the propriety of the District Court's final order
mandating relief and its reference to ACA rat.ed capacities in view of our conclusion that
on the record before us double-celling at SDSP does not violat.e the eighth amendment."
The appeals court reversed the order of the district court concerning double-celling,
left undisturbed the aff'll'Dlance .of the district court's order rejecting the prot.ective custody
inmat.es' challenge to the additional restrictions attendant to their prot.ective custody, and
remanded the case to the district court and directed it to vacat.e its order requiring SDSP
to cease double-celling and to bring its imnat.e population within ACA guidelines. (South
Dakota Stat.e Penit.entiary)
U.S. District Court
CEU..S
CROWDING

Feliciano v. Colon, 672 F.Supp. 627 (D. P.R. 1987). An order that would give imnat.es
35 square feet of living space was refused modification by a federal court. Issued eight
years ago in Feliciano v. Barcelo, 497 F.Supp. 14 (D. P.R. 1980), was an order
requiring that each imnat.e be provided with at least 35 square feet of living space. A
federal court denied Puert.o Rican prison authorities' request that it modify this order.
Refusing to accept the argument that all persons presently incarcerat.ed would present a
danger to the community if released, the court stat.ed that prison authorities had failed to
explore alt.ernatives which might include the transfer of imnat.es to federal prisons,
t.emporary housing, or halfway houses. Since prison authorities did not notify the court of
predictable problems in compliance when the inmat.e population had increased faster than
earlier estimates and it became clear the estimat.es were too low, this did not justify
modification of the order. (Puert.o Rico Syst.em)

Stat.e Court
ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACT

Jensen v. Webb, 520 N.Y.S.2d 971 (A.O. 3 Dept. 1987). A stat.e court ruled that the
prison overcrowding crisis facing New York City fell within the definition of an
emergency situation, justifying an exception to the requirement of an Environmental
Impact Stat.ement and refused to enjoin construction on the basis of any of the other
alleged violations. Because the city had failed to file an Environmental Impact Stat.ement
as required by stat.e and city law, had failed to comply with a city land use
review procedure, had failed to obtain certain permits and were violating the federal
Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251, in operating a septic system, a neighborhood
committee asked a New York Court to enjoin the construction of a correctional facility.
The court ordered a trial, however, on the claimed violations of the other statut.es. (New
York City Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
CElLS
FACILITY DESIGN

Morales Feliciano v. Hernandez Colon, 672 F.Supp. 627 (D. Puert.o Rico 1987). Puert.o
Rican prison authorities moved to modify stipulation and an order that they provide
each prisoner with at least 35 square feet of living space. The district court held
that: (1) prison authorities were not entitled to relief under subsection of federal rule
allowing modification on the ground that changed circumstances would make further
compliance with order unjust; (2) prison authorities failed to show that compliance would
result in pernicious consequences, and failed to show changed circumstances warranting
relief; and (3) building project undertaken to increase dramatically available beds for
housing did not entitle prison authorities to relief. The possible release of prisoners by
Puert.o Rican prison authorities as a result of compliance with a court order that they
provide each prisoner with at least 35 square feet of living space was not a "pernicious
consequence" of compliance and did not entitle them to relief from order under Rule
60(b)(6); there was little factual support for assertion that all persons presently
incarc:erat.ed in Puert.o Rico would present danger to the community if released, argument
had an undert.one of disingenuity, and compliance would not int.erfere with efforts of
Commonwealth as to enforcement of criminal law or any other policy decision of that
entity. The court ruled that prison authorities should have known that the population
projection figure on which they relied was, in all probability, inaccurat.e, and, even i,f they
did not properly assess information available at that time, they certainly knew by the end
of 1986 that they had drastically underestimat.ed the actual rat.e of growth, but did not
make the motion for relief from the stipulation, informally apprise the court of predictable
problems in compliance, solicit assistance of monitor or seek discussions with plaintiffs'
counsel. (Puert.o Rico System)

U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
NOISE

Nilsson v. Coughlin. 670 F.Supp. 1186 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). Inmat.es stat.ed a claim under
the Eighth Amendment for cruel and unusual punishment. The imnat.es alleged there
was raw sewage in the cells, unsanitary dinmg facilities, a constant level of noise that
was physically harmful, a lack of meaningful vocational, educational or recreational
programs, and a host of other conditions. The federal court ruled that a fair inference
could be drawn from the pro se complaint that the prison officials were grossly :negligent
in supervising or, alt.ernatively, in promulgating policies, that caused unconstitutional
conditions. (Sullivan Correctional Facility, New York)

15.16

U.S. Appeals Court
CELl., CAPACITY
SPECIAL CEU,

Tyler v. Black. Sll F.2d 424 (8th Cir. 1987). cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 1760. On appeal,
a federal court held that: {l) the mass transfer of inmat.e to a segregation unit during
a period of prison unrest did not violat.e due process, but (2) double celling of inmat.es
in small cells with solid "boxcar" type doors was cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of Eighth Amendment. The mass transfer of inmat.es to a segregation unit
during a period of prison unrest did not violat.e due process, where inmat.es were given
posttransfer hearings, the warden perceived move as a necessary emergency security
measure, no punitive purpose was involved, and the transfers were purely t.emporary
administrative segregations. However, double celling of inmat.es in segregation unit in
small cells with solid "boxcar" type doors was cruel and unusual punishment in violation
of the Eighth Amendment; inmat.es with history of assaultive behavior were placed in
closed cells for up to 23 hours a day for a period of several months. (Missouri Stat.e
Penit.entiary, Special Management Facility)
1988

U.S. District Court

CROWDING

U.S. Appeals Court

CROWDING
CELl., CAPACITY

Stat.e Appeals Court

RECREATION
AREAS

Albro v. Onondaga County. N.Y., 677 F.Supp. 697 (N.D.N.Y. 1988). The alleged
offender is afforded prot.ection by a due process clause instead of the Eighth
Amendment, which prevents holding a detainee under conditions that would be equal to
punishment. A violation of due process was found to exist when crowded conditions were
found at a pretrial det.ention facility, causing many detainees to sleep on cots in the
walkways and creating a hazard to both detainees and staff. There was no operational
compensation for overcrowding conditions such as adequat.e exercise time, vocational
training, or free time in the dayroom or other open space. Detainees frequently spent only
a free hour on a walkway or in "passive" recreation and were confined to their cells at
least 23 hours a day. The court found correctional staff insufficient to safely respond to
duties. Further, the court also concluded that inmat.es "have ready access to weapons
through the dismantling of their cots.• The capacity of the facility was capped by the
court. Daily f"mes were levied on the county as an appropriat.e remedy for continuing
overcrowding at the det.ention facility whenever the inmat.e population exceeded its
capacity for four days or more. The county was ordered to pay $1,000 per day if the
population reached 213-217, up to $10,000 daily if the population goes over 247. Even
though the plaintiffs had withdrawn the motion for cont.empt, the court kept the power to
punish violations that may have occurred, or might occur in the future. (Public Safety
Building)
Lyons v. Powell, 838 F.2d 28 {1st Cir. 1988). A pretrial detainee brought action
alleging violation of his civil rights. The federal district court dismissed complaint for
failure to stat.e cause of action, and appeal was taken. The appeals court held that the
pretrial detainee's allegations that he was confined to a cell for 22-23 hours per day for a
27-day period, and was forced to sleep on a floor mattress, were sufficient to stat.e a
Section 1983 cause of action on ground of deprivation of liberty without due process. The
court was troubled by the inmat.e's cont.ention that he was commed to a cell for 27 days
with another inmat.e, during which time he was forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor
of the cell, and his claims that the mattress nearly covered the floor of his cell, and placed
appellant in a position which was in close proximity to the open toilet in the cell.
According to the court, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that "double-bunking," that is,
placing two inmat.es in a cell presumably intended for a single inmat.e, does not constitut.e
punishment. This practice, then, does not constitut.e a per se violation of a pretrial
detainee's due process rights. Bell v. Wolfish, supra, 441 U.S. at 541, 99 S.Ct. at 1875.
The Court left open the possibility, however, that "comming a given number of people in a
given amount of space in such a manner as to cause them to endure genuine privations
and hardship over an extended period of time might raise serious questions under the Due
Process Clause as to whether those conditions amount.ed to punishment. •• " Id. at 542, 99
S.Ct. at 1875-1876. In Lareau v. Manson, 651 F.2d 96 {2d Cir. 1981), the Second Circuit
held that double-bunking of pretrial detainees was constitutionally permissible for a
period of no more than 15 days, but that the use of a floor mattress constitut.ed
punishment "without regard to the number of days for which a prisoner is so commed."
According to the court, •Based on the foregoing considerations, we conclude that the
district court incorrectly dismissed appellant's complaint for failure to stat.e a cause of
action." The court ruled, however, that the pretrial detainee was not denied access to
court. The detainee was given periodic access to a law library, and was not
constitutionally entitled to also receive assistance from "persons trained in the law." (New
Hampshire Stat.e Prison)
N.Y. Stat.e Com'n of Correction v. Ruffo, 530 N.Y.S.2d 469 (Sup. 1988). The
New York Stat.e Commission of Correction went to court seeking an order
compelling a county and its sheriff t.o build an outdoor recreation area for
inmates of the county jail and to transport inmat.es to the county's other jail facility for
daily recreation while the :new outdoor recreation area is being built. New York
regulations, the Commission argued, provide that inmat.es be allowed to use recreation
areas for a minimum of one hour a day and further requires that county jails provide
15.17

an outdoor play area of a minimum of 1500 square feet to enable prisoners to engage in
basketball, jogging, handball, weightlifting, calisthenics and other active recreation. The
court found that the Commission had no authority to compel the county to construct a new
facility. Further, the sheriff was not authorized by law to build a new jail or to raise taxes
to fund a major renovation of the old one. The court did, however, grant the Commission
an order directing the sheriff to transport prisoners to the county's other jail each day and
allow each inmat.e one hour of outdoor recreation, not including travel time. (Broome
County Jail, Binghamton, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY

Plyler v. Evatt, 846 F.2d 208 (4th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 241. The Stat.e
requested modification of a consent decree so as to allow double-celling at new prisons
and also appealed a court-ordered release of 700 inmates. This request was denied by the
district court. The federal appeals court found that the Stat.e had made a good-faith effort
to comply with the consent decree and had faced an unanticipated increase in the prison
population and that it was an abuse of discretion not to allow double-celling--ordering the
district court to modify the consent decree to allow double-celling at the five new facilities.
The appeals court not.ed that the state had embarked on an aggressive program of new
prison construction, involving the spending of over onehundred million dollars, as well as instituting early release programs to alleviat.e
overcrowding. The court also not.ed that there were potential dangers from the early
release of high risk inmat.es- dangers which "far outweigh any imposition on the inmat.es
from double-celling" in some of the "modern, air-conditioned facilities" which have been
construct.eel. The court retained jurisdiction to order further remedies should the doublecelling result in any UDCQnstitutional conditions of conf'mement. (South Carolina
Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACILITY DESIGN

Rowland v. U.S. Dist. Court for N.D. of Cal., 849 F.2d 380 (9th Cir. 1988). Prisoners
brought a lawsuit seeking to correct prison conditions. The federal district court issued
a permanent injunction and ordered a monitor to inspect a new prison; prison officials
sought a writ of mandamus to vacate the order. The appeals court held that the district
court was without jurisdiction to authorize a monitor to inspect new prison because the
facility was not covered by its permanent injunction correcting various facility-specific
unconstitutional conditions at the old facility. To establish whether violations existed at
the new facility, a new lawsuit must be brought. The court noted that removing
segregat.ed prisoners from the old facility was one way for prison officials to satisfy the
purpose behind the injunction by removing prisoners from the facility that was found to be
old, overcrowded and dirty and could not have been to subvert or undermine the
permanent injunction. (New Folsom Prison, California)

1989
Stat.e Supreme Court

VENTILATION

U.S. District Court
CROWDING

RECREATION AREAS

Bedell v. Schiedler, 770 P.2d 909 (Or. 1989). An inmate at a women's
corrections center petitioned for writ of habeas corpus, alleging that failure to
provide adequate ventilation and circulation of clean air violated her constitutional rights
against cruel and unusual punishment. The Marion County Circuit Court allowed a
motion to dismiss the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the court
of appeals affirmed. The State Supreme Court, reversing and remanding, found that a
hearing was required on the merits of the inmate's allegations.
The court said that the inmate's allegations that she was unnecessarily suffering
clogged sinuses, severe headaches, dry and irritated skin, and a sore throat--and that
those health problems would continue unless ventilation problems were remedied-presented unresolved issues of fact "requiring immediate judicial scrutiny." It was no
basis for dismissal that she had failed to allege: 1) that she had not suffered her ailments
before confinement, 2) that her physical ailments are linked medically to the alleged lack
of ventilation, or S) that she had unsuccessfully sought and undergone medical treatment
to alleviat.e her ailments. These three allegations were not required, since they were all
defenses that the prison might have raised but did not. "Construed liberally," the court
noted, the inmate had alleged that the "environment in which she is conf'med
unnecessarily subjects her to serious health hazards. If prisoners are entitled to
reasonable and necessary medical care, it reasonably follows that they also are entitled to
an environment that does not unnecessarily subject them to serious health hazards."
(Oregon Women's Correctional Cent.er)
Essex County Jail Inmates v. Amato, 726 F.Supp. 589 (D. N.J. 1989). The inmates of
a county jail sued the county seeking imposition of sanctions for the violation of a consent judgment under which the county was to abide by overall population limits and
population limits within sections of the jail, and to afford each inmate an opportunity for
one hour of recreation per day. The district court found that the imposition of fines for
overcrowding based upon the agreed upon figure of $100 per day per inmate was
warrant.ed and the fine for the failure to provide recreational facilities, based on $20 per
day per inmate affected, was warranted despite the claim that exercise
15.18

opportunities could not be provided because of security concerns that prevent.ed the
installation of equipment in each tier. The federal court had authority t.o impose
sanctions for violations of the agreement, embodied in the consent judgment, between
inmates in the county prison and the county providing for maximum levels of occupancy of
the prison and one hour of recreational opportunities per day per inmate as part of the
court's general power t.o interpret and enforce contracts. A prior contempt finding against
the prison for violating the maximum inmate population cap established by an agreement
between inmates and the prison which was embodied in the consent judgment did not
nullify a continued noncompliance with the order by the county. (Essex County Jail, New
Jersey)
U.S. Appeals Court
DORMITORIES
PROTECTIVE
CUSI'ODY
CAPACITY

Fisher v. Koehler, 718 F.Supp. 1111 (S.D.N.Y. 1989), affd., 902 F.2d 2 (2nd Cir. 1990).
Prison inmates brought a class action against prison officials and others, challenging
conditions of confinement as violative of their rights under the federal constitution.
Following a finding, 692 F.Supp. 1519 (S.D.N.Y. 1988), that violence at the prison
reached a level which violated the eighth amendment, the defendants were given the
opportunity t.o submit a reasonable plan for the court's consideration. The district court
found that the proposed plan t.o reduce violence by staff and inmates against inmates t.o
comply with the eighth amendment would be adopt.ed, with some modifications. The
prison officials would be allowed t.o house protective custody inmates in dormit.ories in
light of plan for exclusion from protective custody of inmates with a significant hist.ory of
violence and for cell housing of inmates whose vulnerability or hist.ory of violence required
their separation. Before the court would limit the prison population by prohibiting the
housing of more than 50 inmates in a dormit.ory, which would have required the .
displacement of approximately 500 inmates, the Department of Corrections would be given
an opportunity t.o reduce the level of violence at the prison t.o a constitutionally acceptable
level by addressing major sources of violence other than crowding. The prison officials
were entitled t.o an opportunity t.o establish that periodic, rather than permanent,
presence of an officer would prove sufficient t.o prevent violence in dormitories consisting
of inmates with little or no history of assaultive behavior.
The appeals court found that conditions at the prison violated the eighth amendment,
and the district court's remedy was properly formulated. (Correctional Institute for Men,
New York City, New York)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
CROWDING
FIRE SAFETY
SANITATION

Inmates of Occoquan v. Barry, 717 F.Supp. 854 (D.D.C. 1989). Inmates
conimed at a state prison brought a civil rights action seeking declarat.ory and
injunctive relief. The judgment for the inmates, 650 F.Supp. 619, was vacat.ed
and remanded, 844 F.2d 828. Upon remand, the district court found that the
prison conditions violat.ed the inmates' eighth amendment rights, even though
the District of Columbia had implement.ed a number of new procedures. The
housekeeping manual was not followed, fire inspection was lacking, new evacuation plans
had not been posted and proper training had not occurred. Sick call had been increased t.o
five days from three days but had not cured other chronic problems. New procedures for
medical problems, and new procedures for medical records transfers and follow-up had
either not been implement.ed or had failed t.o work. The court also found that the housing
of "protective custody" inmates in a block with punitive segregation inmates violated the
protective custody inmates' eighth amendment rights, and inmates with mental health
problems could not be housed with punitive segregation inmates. Officials at the medium
security federal prison were prohibit.ed from exceeding the current population at the
facility pending renovation, and they were required t.o submit a written report on their
proposals for correcting the constitutional violations in areas of sanitation, bathroom
facilities, fire safety, health care, and staffing. The court of appeals also found error with
the court's "continuous resort t.o the standards articulat.ed by professional agencies in
evaluating the constitutionality of the conditions at Occoquan." (District of Columbia's
Occoquan Facility, Lort.on Correctional Complex)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
DOUBLE CELLING
CONSENT DECREE

Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 717 F.Supp. 268 (D. N.J.
1989). Imnates brought an action challenging the conditions of confinement in
a county correctional facility which housed both pretrial detainees and
sentenced inmates. The plaintiffs specifically sought t.o reinstate the
prohibition against double bunking in Wings A and B, contained in the consent judgments
of 1985 and 1986, and to reduce the total inmate cap by 24 beds thereby setting the
maximum inmate male capacity of 536. Following an issuance of a remedial order, and an
order of modification on the report of a special master, the public advocate filed a .motion
that would be treated as a request for modification. The district court found that an
overall cap on male inmates was adopt.ed, rather than caps on specific wings. An o~er of
modif'J.Cation was not intended t.o modify the agreement not t.o double bunk specific wings;
and the parties' agreement not to use the county correctional facility to it.s full capacity
was not the basis upon which the district court had t.o modify its factual conclusion
regarding the male population cap for the facility, in the action challenging the conditions
of the facility, in absence of changed facts,
15.19

circumstances or law. The district court set a t.otal cap of 304 male inmates for the county
correctional facility, rather than adopting the master's initial recommendation regarding
caps for specific wings of the facility, as a remedy in the action. The district court's
decision regarding the conditions of the facility was not intended t.o modify the parties'
agreement not t.o use wings t.o what might be their full capacity, and would be amended t.o
omit references indicating the propriety of partial double bunking in wings, where the
correctional officials indicated that the wings had never been double bunked, that they did
not intend t.o double bunk them, and that they did not ask t.o do so, and the officials did
not seek relief from the consent judgment pursuant t.o which the parties agreed t.o prohibit
double bunking of those wings. (Monmouth County Jail, New Jersey)
U.S. Appeals Court
CAPACITY
CELL SIZE
COURT ORDER

Morales-Feliciano v. Parole Bd. of Com. of P.R., 887 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1989), cert, denied,
ll0 S.Ct. 15ll. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused t.o overturn a lower court
decision which held the Commonwealth of Puert.o Rico in contempt for keeping
prisoners conf'med in less than 35 square feet of space in violation of a 1987 court
order. The U.S. Court of Appeals had affirmed the decision and found that the civil
contempt order was appealable. The Commonwealth's compliance was not so substantial
as t.o invalidate a finding of contempt, and the Commonwealth's good-faith efforts t.o
comply with the remedial order did not excuse the noncompliance. The sanction of $50
per excess prisoner per day, with a rate increase of $10 per month, was not unlawfully
high, and the Commonwealth was not entitled t.o an oral hearing prior t.o the entry of the
contempt order. (Commonwealth, Puert.o Rico)
1990

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
DOUBLE CELLING
DINING

Harris v. Murray. 761 F.Supp. 409 (E.D. Va. 1990). An inmate filed an action under a
federal civil rights statute, asserting numerous allegations relating t.o conditions of
confinement. On the defendants' motion for ·summary judgment, the district court found
that the dismissal of the inmates various claims was warranted. The inmate's claim that
he was occasionally forced t.o stand while eating due t.o insufficient seating space in the
dining area did not state sufficient facts t.o warrant a finding of cruel and unusual
punishment. Finally, the court found that the double celling of prisoners does not amount
t.o an Eighth Amendment violation where other prison living conditions are
constitutionally adequate; although a cell is designed for one inmate, double or even triple
occupancy is not in itself cruel and unusual punishment. {Nott.oway Correctional Center,
Virginia)

U.S. District Court
COURT ORDER

Shaw v. Allen, 771 F.Supp. 760 (S.D. W.Va. 1990). A class of inmates brought a petition
for contempt, alleging that prison officials were in contempt of previous orders requiring
that conditions of the county jail be in compliance with constitutional standards. The
district court found that the failure of officials t.o bring the conditions in the county jail up
t.o constitutional standards warranted appointment of a receiver t.o operate the jail.
According t.o the court, there was. a dismal history of noncompliance and allowing
additional time for compliance would only likely result in additional injunctions or
contempt proceedings and would offer little hope of anything other than further
confrontations and delays. (McDowell County Jail, West Virginia)
·

·u.S. Appeals Court
DOUBLE CELLING
ANTIQUATED
FACILITY
CROWDING

Tillery v. Owens, 907 F.2d 418 (3rd Cir. 1990). An inmate brought an action
challenging conditions of confinement at the state correctional institution. The
U.S. District Court granted relief and the state and prison officials appealed.
The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the evidence supported a
determination that double-celling violates the eighth amendment in view of
other conditions t.o which inmates were subjected, and an order banning the double-celling
was within the district court's discretion given its determination that the institution was
overcrowded, that the lighting, ventilation, plumbing, showers, and fire safety provisions
fell below constitutional norms, that violence and insecurity were pervasive, that medical
and mental health care were constitutionally deficient, that inmates had limited
opportunities for recreation outside their cells, that inmates were double-celled for long
periods of time, and that inadequate screening before double-celling of inmates resulted in
"fatal pairings". It was not necessary that there be a showing that double-celling itself
caused increased violence, disease, and other negative conditions. The totality of
conditions within the institution must be considered in determining whether conditions of
conf'mement violate the eighth amendment. The constitutionality of double-celling had to
be analyzed in context of the district court's determination, well supported by record, that
almost every element of physical plant and provision of services at the institution fell
below constitutional norms. The district court order requiring state and local authorities
t.o cease double-celling inmates in cell blocks by a specif"ied date, t.o remedy the eighth
amendment violation, was within its discretion, and did not im.perm.issibly invade the
state's prerogative in view of the option available of hiring more guards so that empty
tiers at the institution could be used, as an alternative t.o transferring inmates to other
institutions. (State Correctional Institution, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

15.20

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
SANITATION
VENTILATION

Williams v. White, 897 F.2d 942 (8th Cir. 1990). An inmate proceeding in
forma pauperis brought a pro se complaint against the prison superintendent
under Section 1983. The U.S. District Court dismissed, and the prisoner
appealed. The appeals court, vacating and remanding with instructions, found
that the inmat.e's claim was not frivolous. The prisoner assert.ed he was placed in solitary,
punitive confinement for no articulated reason and without a hearing and alleged that he
was placed in a single cell with another prisoner with no hot water and no ventilation or
air from outside and that he was required to use a mattress infest.ed with bugs and
insects. The prison superint.endent can be liable under Section 1983 for operating the
prison with unsanitary and inhumane conditions and can be directly liable if he fails to
properly train, supervise or control subordinates. Dismissals under the in forma pauperis
statut.e on the ground of frivolity are t.o be made early in the proceedings, before the
service of the process on the defelldant and before burdening the defendant with the
necessity of making a responsive answer under Rules of Civil Procedure. (Missouri)

1991
U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE

Kelldrick v. Bland, 931 F.2d 421 (6th Cir. 1991). Inmates sought to have prison officials
held in contempt for violation of a consent decree. The U.S. District Court denied the
motion, and the inmates appealed. The court of appeals found that the district court
properly refused to hold the prison officials in cont.empt in the absence of a showing of
institutionwide violations, but remand to district court was required for clarification of the
term "available" as used in the provision of the consent decree requiring that inmates be
present during searches of their cells if the inmat.es are "available". In a certain sense, all
inmates are available because they are within the institution but, in another sense, they
may not be available if they are working in prison illdustries, are in classrooms, or are at
meals. (Kentucky Stat.e Reformat.ory, LaGrange, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
CONSENT DECREE
HANDICAPPED

Kroll v. St. Charles County. Mo., 766 F.Supp. 744 (E.D. Mo. 1991). On a motion to hold a
county in cont.empt of court for failing to comply with the provisions of a consent order, the
district court found that the county courthouse, government building and administration
building violated accessibility stalldards and federal handicapped laws. The buildings
lacked electronic doors, sufficient space to accommodate wheelchairs, and ramps or
elevat.ors. If the county failed to fund improvements to bring the courthouse, government
building and administration building into compliance with accessibility standards and
federal handicapped laws, the court would consider an imposition of a property tax
increase of 25 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation on all property located
in the county for a period of ten years. It might also enjoin a roll back of local taxes. (St.
Charles County, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION

McCord v. Maggio, 927 F.2d 844 (5th Cir. 1991). A state prisoner brought a suit against a
warden for alleged violation of Eighth Amendment rights arising from prison conditions.
The U.S. District Court ent.ered judgment in favor of the warden. The court of appeals,
affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. On remand, relief was again denied,
and the prisoner appealed. Th~ court of appeals found that the prisoner's Eighth
Amendment rights were violated by his repeatedly having to sleep and live in sewage and
foul water, and remand was necessary for consideration of whether an "extraordinary
circumstances" defense applied and whether causation and signfficant injury were shown.
(Louisiana Stat.e Penit.entiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE

Picon v. Morris, 933 F.2d 660 (8th Cir. 1991). A prisoner sought relief from dismissal of a
consent decree so that he could file an action for civil contempt _to enforce the decree
regarding the use of emergency segregation cells. The United States District Court denied
relief, and appeal was taken. The appeals court, reversing and remanding, found that the
prisoner was entitled t.o proceed with the action. The fact that the district court had found
compliance with the decree and entered a dismissal order did not justify the denial of the
prisoner's motion for release. The compliance fillding had been issued based on allegedly
erroneous stat.ements by prison officials that the cells in which the prisoner was housed
had been abandoned. (Missouri Training Center for Men)

U.S. Appeals Court
COURI'ORDER
CROWDING

Williams v. McKeithen, 939 F.2d 1100 (5th Cir. 1991). A preliminary injunction was
issued by the United Stat.es District Court which ordered Louisiana sheriffs to remove
prisoners held in parish jails pursuant to contracts with the District of Columbia alld
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The sheriffs and the District appealed. The
appeals court, reversing the decision, found that the All Writs Act did not authorize a
preliminary injunction t.o remove all prisoners held in Louisiana parish jails. Even though
the sheriffs had previously agreed to limit the number of prisoners to specuied population
limits, there was no imding that any parish jail was housing inmates in excess of the

15.21.

limits, or that any jail was not accepting or was Ullable to accept Louisiana state
prisoners. The injunction required substantial, uncompensated change in parish jails'
existing operations, and the injunction did not have a close nexus to the underlying order
which limited populations. Even if a preliminary injunction was authorized, the
injunction was invalid where no attempt was made to provide adequate notice of hearing
to the District or the sheriffs. (Louisiana)
1992
U.S. Supreme Court
CONSENT DECREE
DOUBLE CELLING

Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail, 112 S.Ct. 748 (1992). A county sheriff filed a
motion to modffy a consent decree requiring construction of a new jail, including a request
to house inmates in single cells in the newly-opened facility. The U.S. District Court
denied the motion, and the sheriff appealed. The court of appeals affirmed, and certiorari
was granted. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the "grievous wrong" standard does not
apply to a request to modify a consent decree stemming from institutional reform
litigation. The Court also found that a party seeking modification of a consent decree
bears the burden of establishing that a significant change in circumstances warrants a
revision of the decree. If the moving party meets that standard, the court should consider
whether the proposed modification is suitably tailored to the changed circumstances. The
party seeking modification of a consent decree may meet its initial burden of establishing
significant change in circumstances by showing either significant change in factual
conditions or in law. Remand was required to determine whether changed circumstances
warranted modification of the decree. (Suffolk County Jail, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE
CROWDING

Stone v. City and County of San Francisco, 968 F.2d 850 (9th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113
S.Ct. 1050. In connection with a consent decree governing city jail population levels, the
United States District Court entered a contempt order, and appeal was taken. The
appeals court, affirming in part and vacating in part, found that the entry of the contempt
order was appropriate. However, the sheriff should not have been allowed to override
applicable state laws by conducting early release as state law override provisions were not
the least intrusive option on state government operation. The district court should have
waited to see whether the threat of sanctions would induce compliance or at least have
made a finding that other alternatives were inadequate. (San Francisco Jail, Hall of
Justice, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CAPACITY
COURI' ORDER
CROWDING

Williams v. McKeithen, 963 F.2d 70 (5th Cir. 1992). A parish sheriff moved to vacate a
district court order directing the inspection of parish jails by a court-appointed expert.
The United States District Court denied the motion, and appeal was taken. The court of
appeals, affirming the decision, found that the federal district court had authority,
pursuant to a consent decree in which the parish had agreed to limit the jail population,
to order the inspection of parish jails by its experts. This was in order to determine the
number of inmates which could be housed in the jails on a permanent basis, the number
of guards and support personnel required in the jails, whether any repairs or other
renovations were required to meet fll'e, health· and constitutional standards, and any other
information which would aid the court in setting population limits at the jails.
(Louisiana)
1993

Canell v. Bradshaw, 840 F.Supp. 1382 (D.Or. 1993). An inmate brought a Section 1983
U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION action against county officials and the State Department of Corrections, arising from the
inmate's temporary incarceration at the department's intake center which was operated by
the county. The defendants moved to dismiss or for summary judgment. The district
court found that the inmate failed to state a Section 1983 claim for violation of equal
protection by alleging merely that inmates at the intake center were afforded different
privileges than inmates at other Department institutions. The inmate did not allege that
he was personally singled out for disparate treatment. (Oregon Department of Corrections
Intake Center)
U.S. Appeals Court
CAPACITY
CONSENT DECREE

Collins v. Thompson, 8 F.3d 657 (9th Cir. 1993). Washington State sought to vacate a
consent decree requiring the state to reduce the inmate population at a reformatory to 656,
contending that the decree was consummated in 1987, even though the inmate population
had increased since then. On remand after prior appeal, the U.S. District Court vacated the
decree, terminating the court's jurisdiction, finding that there was no present violation of
constitutional rights of the inmates and that continued supervision would result in the court's
over-involvement in the management of the state prison. The inmates appealed. The appeals
court, aff"ll'ming the decision, found that under the clear language of the consent decree, the
state was only required to reduce the inmate population at the reformatory to 656, not to
maintain the population at that level. The district court properly refused to exercise
continuing jurisdiction pursuant to the consent decree. (Washingt.on State Reformatory)
15.22

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE
DOUBLE CEILING

Inmates of Suffolk County Jail v. Rufo, 12 F.3d 286 (1st Cir. 1993). The Commissioner of
Corrections moved to vacate a consent decree between a county sheriff, the Commissioner,
and inmates of the county jail after the county sheriff moved to modify the decree to allow
double-bunking of pretrial detainees. The U.S. District Court denied the motion and the
Commissioner appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the
Commissioner was not entitled to have the decree vacated in the absence of adequate record
and in light of the prospect of further proceedings. The approach proposed by the
Commissioner for vacating the consent decree gave insufficient weight to the problem of
recurrence of the constitutional violations. The court could not assume that double-celling
of inmates, contemplated by the county sheriff in the foreseeable future, was clearly
constitutional. (Suffolk County Jail, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE

Johnson v. Robinson, 987 F.2d 1043 (4th Cir. 1993). Prisoners brought a class action
challenging conditions of confinement at Maryland correctional facilities. Upon motion of
prisoners, the United States District Court converted a timetable into a court order, and the
prison officials appealed. The court of appeals, reversed and remanded with instructions.
It found that the district court exceeded. its authority when it adopted the order specifying a
timetable in which Maryland prison officials had to make 83 improvements at prison
facilities. The parties never formally agreed upon duties specified in the timetable, which
added substantially to those accepted by prison officials in the original consent decree.
(Maryland House of Corrections and Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown)

1994
U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE
COURT ORDER

Cooper v. Noble, 33 F.3d 540 (5th Cir. 1994), modified, 41 F.3d 212. County jail inmates
brought a class action against county officials challenging jail conditions. Following the
entry of a final consent judgment governing jail conditions, the officials moved for relief
from the consent judgment. The inmates requested that officials be held in contempt for
violations of the consent judgment. The U.S. District Court denied the motion for relief and
held the officials in contempt. The officials appealed. The appeals court, affirming the
decision, found that the officials failed to demonstrate that changes in factual conditions
compelled the magistrate judge to grant their motion for relief from the fmal consent
judgment governing jail conditions. Despite contentions that the new jail housed more
prisoners than the old jail, and received prisoners from different governmental agencies with
diverse criminal. records, and was subject to inspections by governmental agencies, the
officials did not adequately explain how increased inspections and changes in the number and
diversity of inmates affected the workability of the fmal judgment, compliance with the
judgment, or enforcement of the judgment. The court found that the off"lcials failed to
demonstrate that changes in the factual conditions compelled the magistrate judge to grant
their motion for relief. Also, the magistrate judge's finding that county off"icials were in
contempt for failure to comply with the fmal consent judgment governing jail conditions was
neither clearly erroneous nor an abuse of his discretion, where the officials asserted only
substantial compliance with the judgment, admitting to noncompliance in some areas.
(Madison County Jail, Mississippi)

U.S. Appeals Court
CAPACITY
CROWDING

Harris v. Angelina County, Tex., 31 F.3d 331 (5th Cir. 1994). In a prisoner class action
under Section 1983 challenging conditions at a county jail, the U.S. District Court found
conditions to be unconstitutional and granted injunctive relief in the form of a population
cap. Appeal was taken. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that evidence
supported the finding that population exceeding 111 led to denial of basic human needs of
both convicted felons and pretrial detainees. In addition, evidence supported a finding that
the county was aware of the overcrowding and the resulting conditions. Evidence showed
that the county could and had in the past taken some steps to relieve overcrowding, and, even
if a cost defense was cognizable, it was inapplicable in the absence of any evidence that
additional funding was unavailable from taxpayers to address overcrowding. (Angelina
County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
COURT ORDER

Inmates of the Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, 848 F.Supp. 52 (W.D.Pa. 1994). In a civil
rights litigation pertaining to conditions at a county detention facility, the district court
found that upon the county's compliance with court orders concerning jail conditions, the
court would relieve the county of the obligation to pay further fines. In addition, fines
already paid would be returned for the exclusive purpose of contribution to jail
construction or drug rehabilitation programs. (Allegheny County Jail, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
CONSENT DECREE

Inmates of Suffolk County Jail v. Rufo. 844 F.Supp. 31 (D. Mass. 1994). A county sheriff
moved to modify a consent decree requiring construction of a new jail. The U.S. District
Court denied the motion and the sheriff appealed. The court of appeals affll'med and
certiorari was granted. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case for
reconsideration. On. remand, the district court found that the matter would not be
reassigned to another judge and that the sheriff was not entitled to modification of the

15.23

decree to permit double-bunking. The Commissioner of Corrections appealed. The court
of appeals affirmed. The sheriff subsequently revised the motion to modify the consent
decree to permit double-bunking. The district court found that the proposed modification
to the consent decree, proposing an increase in capacity by double-bunking in 161 cells,
was not tailored to fit the changed circumstance of an increased number of pretrial
detainees. The court found that the consent decree would be modified to allow alteration
of up to 100 cells to permit double occupancy, even though this would impair some
inmate's access to common areas. In addition, the final order closing the case was not
immediately entered. The court provisionally found that it was appropriate to allow a five
year period before closing the case, to allow parties to seek relief from the order. (Suffolk
County Jail, Massachusetts)
U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

McNeil v. Lane, 16 F.3d 123 (7th Cir. 1994). A state prisoner filed a Section 1983 suit,
alleging prison officials violated his right under the Eighth Amendment to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment by placing him in a cell within close proximity to asbestoscovered pipes. The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim,
and the inmate appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the
allegations that the defendants allowed asbestos-covered pipes to exist directly outside of
the inmate's cell, and that the defendants told the inmate that they could not transfer him
to another cell, did not establish that the defendants acted with minimum level of
culpability sufficient to trigger Eighth Amendment protection. In addition, the complaint
did not allege facts sufficient to establish that conditions were serious enough to be
considered cruel and unusual, in the absence of an allegation that the inmate was exposed
to unreasonably high levels of asbestos. (Stateville Correctional Center, Joilet, lliinois)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
HYGIENE
PLUMBING
SANITATION

Sanford v. Brookshire, 879 F.Supp. 691 (W.D. Tex. 1994). An inmate filed a Section 1983
action asserting cruel and unusual punishment resulting from confinement to a filthy cell
in a county jail for six days without functional plumbing or hygienic supplies. The district
court found that the county jailer and her supervisor violated the inmate's Eighth
Amendment rights, for purposes of the inmate's Section 1983 claim, by acting with
deliberate indifference to complaints about filth in the cell and a nonfunctioning toilet and
sink, lack of toilet paper, and a shower head which produced only a thin stream of cold
water. The jailer left the inmate in the cell for six days while a written maintenance
request was processed, and the jailer's supervisor told the inmate he could not receive
cleaning supplies until cleaning day. However, the inmate failed to present any evidence
of actual damages from violation of his civil rights and, thus, was only entitled to recover
nominal damages of one dollar from the county jailer and her supervisor who were
deliberately indifferent to the inmate's complaints. (Ector County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Taifa v. Bayh, 846 F.Supp. 723 (N.D.lnd. 1994). Prisoners brought a class action suit
challenging conditions of confinement at a prison operated by the Indiana Department of
Corrections. The district court approved a settlement agreement involving assignment
and transfer of prisoners, along with improvement of various prison conditions at the
Maximum Control Complex (MCC). The state agreed only to assign prisoners to MCC
under specified conditions and to transfer prisoners out of MCC after a specified period of
time, subject to certain conditions, and agreed to alter MCC conditions in many areas.
The agreement also provided for a decrease in the intensity of the 24-hour lights in the
cells. (Maximum Control Complex, Indiana Department of Corrections, Westville,
Indiana)
·

U.S. District Court
ADA • Amer. with
Disab. Act
HANDICAPPED

Torcasio v. Murray, 862 F.Supp. 1482 (E.D. Va. 1994). An inmate brought a suit against
state officials, alleging that his civil rights were violated by prison officials' failure to
provide for his morbidly obese condition. The district court found that the inmate failed to
state an Eighth Amendment violation, except as to the size of the toilet in his cell. The
prisoner, who was five feet seven inches tall and weighed in excess of 460 pounds and had
a girth of 78 inches, alleged that the handrails for the toilet facilities were inadequate to
accommodate him. In addition, the commode was so small that the defendant's groin and
genitals were often submerged in the toilet bowl. The court found that the inmate did
state a cause of action under the Rehabilitation Act (ADA) in connection with claims that
the shower, toilet, pod tables, cell doors, outdoor recreation activities, indoor recreation
activities, location of the housing unit and his cell, and conditions of his confinement in
the infirmary were unreasonable. (Virginia State Prison)

1995
U.S. Appeals Court

CAPACITY
CONSENT DECREE
COURT ORDER
CROWDING

Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 46 F.3d 1347 (5th Cir. 1995). Appeal was taken from remedial
orders in an action challenging conditions in a county jail system. The appeals court
found that the stat.e could be held liable for conditions in the county's jail if deliberately
indifferent, and remanded. On remand, the U.S. District Court found the state and county
liable. The county and state appealed and the appeals court affirmed. Subsequently, the
district court denied the state's motion to modify a final order or stay the imposition of fines
and modified conditions imposed in the consent decree. The stat.e appealed and the

15.24

plaintiff-prisoners cross-appealed. The appeals court found that the court order mandating a
maximum inmate population and imposing a fine if that order were violated, based on the extent
of the violation, was not improper. In addition, the district court did not abuse its discretion by
concluding that it could ensure compliance with the population cap order by fining the state for
overcrowding, even though it did not identically fine the county to ensure its compliance with the
court order. The court found the majority of problems at the county jail resulted from the large
number of transfer-ready felons which the state would not receive, and found that the primary
responsibility for the overcrowding crises at the jail lay with the state defendants. The district
court did not abuse its discretion by holding the state responsible for 90% of the costs of the
monitors for the time period after the state entered the litigation. The state's actions in failing to
accept transfer-ready felons were the primary cause of overcrowding in the county's jails and it was
that overcrowding that predominately necessitated the presence of the monitors under the consent
decree. The district court had authority to modify the jail conditions consent decree. (Harris
County Jails, Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
SPECIAL CEIL

Anderson v. County of Kern, 45 F.3d 1310 (9th Cir. 1995). Pretrial detainees and
convicted prisoners brought an action against pri80.Jl- officials under Section 1983. The
U.S. District Court refused to enjoin prison officials from placing mentally disturbed or suicidal
prisoners in safety cells. The detainees and prisoners appealed. The appeals court found that the
district court did not err in refusing to enjoin the county from ever making use of safety cells for
mentally disturbed or suicidal prisoners. There was ample testimony that some prisoners became
so violent and such a danger to themselves that temporary placement in a safety cell was needed
to deprive the prisoners of all means of harming themselves. The fact that some prisoners who
were violent might be mentally disturbed or suicidal did not detract from the need. The
deprivation of sinks, stand up toilets, and beds for short periods of time during violent episodes was
constitutionally justifiable because the inmates were confined to the safety cells only for short
periods of time. (Kem County Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
ADA-AMERICANS WITH
DISABILITIES ACT
HANDICAPPED

Clarkson v. Coughlin. 898 F.Supp. 1019 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). Male and female deaf and hearing•
impaired inmates sued correctional officials alleging failure to accommodate their hearing
impairments in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
due process, and the Eighth Amendment. The inmates also alleged violation of equal protection
because male inmates were granted access to a sensorially disabled unit, but not females. The
district court found that the defendants violated all statutes and constitutional provisions under
which the inmates had sought relief, warranting declaratory and injunctive relief. The court found
violation of the requirements of the ADA with regard to protection against discrimination and the
location of accessible services, activities and facilities. The court found violation of ADA's selfevaluation obligations, noting that while the department did complete the physical plant and
personnel portions of the self-evaluation, those did not include an evaluation of inmate housing.
The court found that the defendants violated the Rehabilitation Act and ADA by failing to provide
them with timely access to telepbone communication devices, close caption decoders for televisions,
and special alarms to alert them in the event of a fire. The court held that even if all of the needs
of deaf and hearing-impaired inmates were met at a sensorially disabled unit at one prison, the
defendants violated their rights under the Rehabilitation Act and ADA by transferring them to
other facilities for disciplinary, safety ancVor medical reasons. Also, the court found that the fact
that there were more male deaf and hearing-impaired inmates requiring services than female did
not justify the fact that many male inmates--but no female inmates--had access to a prison's
sensorially disabled unit. (New York Department of Correctional Services)

u.s. DiS'lrict Court

Demaio v. Mann, 877 F.Supp. 89 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). An inmate brought a Section 1983
action against officials at a New York correctional facility. On cross-motions for summary
judgment, the district court found that the inmate had no protected liberty interest in confmement
in an unshielded cell. The addition of a plexiglass shield to the cell did not inflict cruel and
unusual punishment on the inmate where the shield did not interfere with the air circulation and
the cell was, in all other respects, identical to the standard cell in which the inmate had been
previously housed. (Shawangunk Correctional Facility, New York)

CEI.LS

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENT DECREE
CROWDING

Harris v. City of Philadelphia. 47 F.3d 1311 and 1333 (3rd Cir. 1995). In a jail conditions
case, appeals were taken from orders of the United States District Court assessing
stipulated penalties against a city, directing production of a facilities audit required under
a consent decree, declaring the city in contempt and dismissing a motion to modify the decree. The
appeals court found that the imposition of penalties stipulated in the decree to be imposed for a
delay in submitting planning documents "without any further direction from the Court," did not
require notice and a hearing that would be required for a civil contempt sanction. In addition, the
court was·not required to find that there was no good cause for the city's delays for imposition of
the penalties. Any additional cost if a facilities audit was submitted before the physical standards
were approved did not make submission of the audit "impossible.• The court also found that
changes in administrative policy resulting from the election of a new mayor did not permit the city
to unilaterally default on its obligations to the court and other litigants under the consent decree
and did not preclude an imposition of a contempt sanction. In the jail conditions litigation, the
dismissal of the city's motion to modify the consent decree was an

15.25

inappropriat.e sanction for civil cont.empt based on a delay in submitting plans, as the sanction was
not compensatory nor was it denied to have a coercive effect because it had no provision explicitly
permitting the city to refile a motion once the documents were submitt.ed. The U.S. District Court
held the city in cont.empt for failing to comply with an order requiring the city to maintain a 90%
occupancy rat.e in a residential drug treatment facility. The appeals court found that the city was
provided notice and a hearing sufficient to satisfy its due process rights before the district court
imposed a cont.empt sanction of $125,000. (Philadelphia Prison System, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
CELL SIZE

Karacsonyi v. Radloff, 885 F.Supp. 368 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). A federal inmat.e sued a prison official
alleging violation of his constitutional rights by the official's decision to penalize him for not
participating in the lnmat.e Financial Responsibility Program (IFRP). The district court granted
summary judgment for the official on issues relating to the IFRP decision, but found that the
inmat.e's placement in a four-person cell which measured approximat.ely 115 square feet (roughly
29 square feet of living space per man) may have amounted to cruel and unusual punishment
depending upon the duration of this living situation and whether it lead to deprivations of essential
needs, such as sanitation. (Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institution, New York)

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE-CELLING

Madrid y. Gomez, 889 F.Supp. 1146 (N.D.Cal. 1995). lnmat.es brought a class action suit
challenging conditions of confinement at a new high-security prison complex in California. The
district court found for the plaintiffs in the majority of issues present.ed, ordered injunctive relief
and appointed a special master to direct a remedial plan tailored to correct specific constitutional
violations. In the beginning of its lengthy opinion, the court not.ed that this "...is not a case about
inadequat.e or det.eriorating physical conditions ... rather, plaintiffs cont.end that behind the newlymint.ed walls and shiny equipment lies a prison that is coldly indifferent to the limit.ed, but basic
and elemental, rights that incarcerated persons--including the 'worst of the worst'--retain
under ... our Constitution." The court held that the fact that a prison may be new does not excuse
its obligation to operat.e it in a constitutionally acceptable manner. The court held that prison
inmat.es established prison officials' deliberat.e indifference to the use of excessive force by showing
that they knew that unnecessary and grossly excessive force was being employed against inmates
on a frequent basis and that these practices posed a substantial risk of harm to inmat.es. According
to the court, officials consciously disregarded the risk of harm, choosing inst.ead to tolerat.e and even
encourage abuses of force by deliberat.ely ignoring them when they occurred, tacitly accepting a
code of silence, and failing to implement adequat.e systems to control and regulat.e the use of force.
The court found that officials had an affirmative management strat.egy to permit the use of
excessive force for the purpose of punishment and det.errence. The court found that double-celling
and inmat.e assaults did not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation in the absence of
evidence that the overall total number of cell fights over a three-year period was significantly more
than would be expected for a facility of the prison's size and security designation. (Pelican Bay
Stat.e Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Masonoff y. DuBois, 899 F.Supp. 782 (D.Mass. 1995). Prison inmat.es filed a class action suit
against prison officials alleging that conditions of confinement violat.ed their rights under the
Eighth Amendment. The district court grant.ed summary judgment, in part, for the inmat.es.
The court found that the use of chemical toilets violated the Eighth Amendment rights of the
inmat.es where the use and emptying of the toilets resulted in extremely unsanitary conditions,
the toilets caused an unbearable stench, and prison inmat.es suffered numerous health problems
caused by the use of toilets including nausea, burns, and rashes. The court also found that there
were genuine issues of mat.erial fact as to whether prison officials acted with deliberat.e indifference
regarding chemical toilets, precluding summary judgment. The court denied summary judgment
for the prison officials with regard to fire safety issues raised by the inmat.es. lnmat.es alleged fire
hazards caused by the lack of a functioning sprinkler system and the lack of automatic locks on cell
doors, which are required by a stat.e building code. Prison officials responded that the facility had
implemented a rigorous fire safety program which mitigated any dangers imposed by these
deficiencies. The court noted that while it may look to stat.e codes in its effort to det.ermine society's
standard of decency, such standards do not necessarily reflect constitutional minima. The court
found that the inmat.es' assertion that their exposure to asbestos fibers causes cancer stated a
cognizable Eighth Amendment claim, precluding summary judgment. (Southeast Correctional
Cent.er, Massachusetts)

HYGIENE
PLUMBING
SANITATION

1996

u.s. Appeals Court
NOISE
LIGHTS

Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422 (7th Cir. 1996). A county jail resident filed a prose§ 1983
action against jail officials, alleging constitutional deprivations. The district court dismissed
the suit and the inmat.e appealed. 'Ibe appeals court affirmed the lower court decisions
regarding some conditions of confinement and issues, including floor-sleeping, theft of his property,
lockdowns, denial of access to courts, and denial of opportunity to participat.e in rehabilitative
programs to earn good-time credits. But the appeals court reversed the lower court by finding that
several allegations were sufficient to stat.e claims. The inmat.e alleged that he was restricted to his
cell or unit for ext.ended periods of time and had insufficient space to exercise in his unit. His
claims that his pleas for psychological treatment were ignored and that he was deprived of
necessary medication were also sufficient to overcome a motion to

15.26

dismiss. The court found that although the inmate had no right to leave his cell to go to a general
reading library, his allegation of denial of access to reading materials and inadequate lighting for
reading in the jail stated a § 1983 claim. The inmate's claim of excessive noise in the jail also
stated a § 1983 claim. He alleged that noise occurred every night--often all night--and interrupted
or prevented his sleep. He also stated a claim by alleging that he was denied protection from cold
temperatures in the jail by the jail staffs failure to provide him with blankets. (Cook County Jail,
Illinois)
U.S. Appeals Court
Bryanty. Madigan. 84 F.3d 246 (7th Cir. 1996). A paraplegic inmate sued prison employees
ADA-AMERICANS WITH under the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for allegedly
DISABILITIES ACT
refusing his request for guardrails for his bed, and for denying him pain medication. The
district court dismissed the case and the appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part,
finding that the inmate failed to state a claim under ADA. The appeals court discussed the
question of whether the ADA is applicable to correctional facilities, noting that the question has
divided the circuit courts. The court stated that it was very far from clear that prisoners should
be considered "qualified individual[s]" within the meaning of the Act According to the court,
incarceration, which requires the provision of a place to sleep, is not a "program" or "activity" of a
public entity within the meaning of the Act, nor is sleeping in one's cell. Even if there were some
applicability of the Act to inmates. the court found that ADA would not be violated by a prison's
simply failing to attend to the medical needs of its disabled prisoners, or by medical malpractice.
The court found that the inmate did not allege discrimination based on his disability, but rather
incompetence in the treatment of his condition. 011. Dept of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
EQUIPMENT
FURNISHINGS

Davidson v. Scully, 914 F.Supp. 1011 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). A prisoner moved for a preliminary
injunction in his suit against prison officials. The district court refused to grant an injunction
regarding the prisoner's claim that furnishings and supplies were inadequate .to allow him to
prepare his case. The court noted that although having to sit on a bed and write on a shelf'
attached to the wall, with an undersized pen, using only an overhead light fixture as lighting,
might cause strain and make writing less comfortable, these complaints did not amount to an
unconstitutional denial of reasonable access. The court found that the state's decisions regarding
furnishings and supplies available to inmates in the special housing unit were reasonably related
to legitimate penological interests, supporting the need to limit furniture and light fixtures to items
that are immobile. (Auburn Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CEIL SIZE

Ferguson v. Cape Girardeau County, 88 F.3d 647 (8th Cir. 1996). A prison inmate filed civil
rights claims and state law claims against county officials alleging violation of his constitutional
rights when he was a pretrial detainee. The district court granted summary judgment for some
defendants, and the appeals court affirmed in part and remanded in part The court found that
confinement of the pretrial detainee in a space of just over 30 square feet and the use of a floor
mattress for 13 nights did not constitute "punishment" in violation of the detainee's due process
rights. The court noted that the totality of circumstances supported the existence of a legitimate
governmental interest, based on the short duration of confinement, the necessity to keep the
detainee under observation for both his medical condition and safety concerns, and the amount of
time he spent out of his cell. (Cape Girardeau County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court

Keenan v. Hall. 83 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 1996). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against
prison officials and employees. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part,
finding that summary judgment was precluded for several allegations. The appeals court found
that a disputed issue of material fact as to noise in the prison--whether there was constant yelling,
screaming and banging--precluded summary judgment The court also found that allegations that
the prison had inadequate ventilation and air flow might state a claim for cruel and unusual
punishment if the conditions undermine the health of inmates and the sanitation of the prison.
Confinement in a 54 square foot cell did not violate the inmate's right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment. Although the average temperature of the inmate's cell tended to be either
well above or well below room temperature, the inmate's constitutional rights were not violated.
The court ruled that the practice of requiring inmates to live in constant illumination results in
unconstitional physical and psychological harm. (Oregon State Prison)

LIGHTS
VENTILATION
CELL SIZE

U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING
CONSENT DECREE
COURT ORDER

McClendon y. Cit,y of Albuquerque, 79 F.3d 1014 (10th Cir. 1996). After a class action suit was
filed against a detention facility, the district court granted a preliminary injunction to reduce
the population. The district court judge had made an unannounced visit to the facility, which
was followed by a one-day evidentiary hearing. The preliminary injunction was converted into
a permanent injunction based on a partial settlement agreement between the parties. The district
court ordered the facility to reduce its inmate population according to a schedule of progressively
decreasing population caps, and imposed detailed conditions concerning the day-to-day operation
of the facility. To comply with the population caps, the order required the defendants to implement
a "Matrix Release System" (MRS) which assigned a numerical score to each inmate, providing the
basis for the release of selected prisoners when the population cap was exceeded. After using the
MRS twice, the defendants decided to avoid exceeding the population caps by housing inmates in
other facilities. The plaintiffs objected to the arrangements that were proposed (which included
using tents, the basement of the courthouse, and re-opening a facility which had been closed) and

15.27

filed suit. The judge imposed a condition which required the defendants to make any proposed site
available to plaintiffs' counsel for inspection; in the event of a dispute between the parties, the
judge noted that he would be "happy to tour any other facilities that may be used as an interim
measure." Local government officials and employees filed an application for an emergency stay
of the order and a writ of prohibition seeking relief from the injunction. The district court had
required prior court approval and inspection by inmates' counsel of any confinement facilities that
were to be used other than the local detention center. The appeals court assigned the petition for
writ to a panel for review, and granted a stay of the district court order, fmding that the local
officials had demonstrated the likelihood of success on appeal. The officials secured a stay of the
order and eventually the court vacated some elements of the decision when the City opened a new
facility (100 F.3d 869) (Bernalillo Co. Det. Center, N. M.)
U.S. District Court
ADA-AMERICANS WITH
DISABILITIES ACT
CELLS

Roe v. County Com'n of Monongalia County, 926 F.Supp. 74 (N.D.W.Va. 1996). A mental
health patient brought an action under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against a
county and county officials for alleged statutory and constitutional violations which occurred
when the patient was picked up on a mental health warrant. The district court denied the
defendants' motions to dismiss, finding that the action was timely and that the patient stated a
claim under ADA. The patient claimed he was held for a time in a padded cell, was handcuffed
and shackled, was not given proper treatment or a hearing, and was not allowed to use a bathroom,
change clothes or eat without handcuffs. The court found that the inmate was unable to
communicate with his family, was unable to attend to his personal hygiene, and was isolated and
segregated in a manner that the ADA was designed to prevent. (Monongalia County Sheriffs
Department)
1997

U.S. Appeals Court
CONSENI' DECREE

Benjamin v. Jacobson, 124 F.3d 162 (2nd Cir. 1997). Prison officials who had entered
into a consent decree governing conditions at New York City jails moved for the
immediate termination of those decrees under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pretrial
detainees opposed the motion. The district court vacated the decrees and the detainees appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part, finding that the PLRA's consent decree
termination provision did not violate the separation of powers principle, equal protection or due
process. The court found, however, that the provision refers to constitutional termination of federal
remedies arising out of consent decrees, but does not mandate the termination of the decrees
themselves. The court also found that the PLRA provision made only the nonfederal aspects of a
consent decree unenforceable by federal courts; nonfederal provisions remained binding but could
only be enforced by state courts. (New York City Department of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act

Crawford v. Indiana Dept. of Corrections, 115 F.3d 481 (7th Cir. 1997). A former state
prisoner sued the Indiana Department of Corrections alleging violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The district court dismissed the
suit on the ground that the Act is inapplicable to prison inmates and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to
state prisoners. The court stated that although incarceration itself is hardly a "program" or
"activity" to which a disabled person might wish access, there is no doubt that an educational
program is a program and when it is provided by and in a state prison it is a "program" within the
meaning of the ADA. The court also held that the use of a state prison library and dining hall are
"activities" under ADA, conferring rights on qualified disabled individuals. The State had conceded
that ADA applied to a prison's relations with its employees and visitors, as well as to public
schools. According to the court, ADA was cast in terms of eliminating a form of discrimination that
Congress considered unfair, not in terms of subsidizing an interest group. The court decision did
not discuss the Rehabilitation Act separately because it found it to be "materially identical to and
the model for the ADA." (Indiana Department of Corrections)
·

U.S. Appeals Court
VENTILATION

Dixon v. Godinez, 114 F.3d 64-0 (7th Cir. 1997). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against prison officials alleging that conditions of his confmement in protective custody
violated the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded
in part. The appeals court held that poor ventilation in the inmate's cell during the summer did
not violate the Eighth Amendment. as the cell had a window which opened and a small electric fan,
and a small "chuckhole" in the door which provided some cross-ventilation. The prisoner's claims
that the rank air in the cell exposed him to diseases and caused respiratory problems was not
backed by medical or scientific sources. The appeals court found that summary judgment was
precluded by issues of fact as to whether clothes and bedding provided to the prisoner adequately
protected him from cold temperatures in his cell in the winter. The court noted that to determine
whether low temperatures in the cell violated the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights, the court
should examine such factors as the severity of the cold, its duration, whether the prisoner has an
alternative means to protect himself from cold, the adequacy of such alternatives, and whether the
prisoner must endure other uncomfortable conditions as well as cold. (Stateville Correctional
Center, Illinois)

15.28

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY
HYGIENE
LIGHTS
NOISE
PLUMBING
SAFETY
SANITATION
EARTHQUAKES
CELLSIZE
CROWDING
STAFFING
DOUBLE CELLING

Jones v. City and County of San Francisco, 976 F .Supp. 896 (N .D.Cal. 1997). Pretrial
detainees brought a class action against the City and County of San Francisco and
various city officials challenging the constitutionality of their conditions of confinement
at a jail. The district court granted various summaiy judgment motions tiled by the
plaintiffs and the defendants, enjoining future overcrowding based on past
unconstitutional overcrowding. The court found due process violations based on the
defendants' inadequate response to fire safety risks at the jail, excessive risks of harm
from earthquakes, physical defects in the jail's water, plumbing and sewage systems,
excessive noise levels, and poor lighting. The court held that the plaintiffs failed to
show deliberate indifference or another basis for liability on the claims of current
overcrowding, inadequate food preparation and storage, provision of medical services,
personal visitation, hours and accessibility of legal visitation, legal materials and
assistance, and outdoor recreation. The court noted that pretrial detainees enjoy the
greater protections afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause, rather
than the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
The court found that some conditions of pretrial confinement may violate the
Constitution in combination when they would not do so alone, but only when they have a
mutually enforcing effect that produces deprivation of a single, identifiable human need
such as food, warmth, or exercise.
Conditions violated the pretrial detainees' due process rights where the jail operated at
about 124% of its capacity on average during a nine-month period, resulting in doublecelling of inmates in 41-square-foot cells designed for single occupancy, and causing
excessive time in cells and insufficient day room space when inmates were allowed to leave
their cells.
The court found that officials were entitled to summaiy judgment precluding any
finding of deliberate indifference on crowding and space allocation claims because of their
efforts to move inmates from the jail to relieve overcrowding.
The court found that the detainees were not provided with reasonable safety from fire
because the defendants failed to install door assemblies or additional sprinklers and had not
responded reasonably to fire safety risks at the jail.
The detainees were exposed to excessive risks of harm from earthquakes in violation of
their due process rights, where the jail lay a quarter mile from the San Andreas fault and
faced a 50% chance of experiencing a high magnitude earthquake over the next 50 years.
The jail appeared structurally unable to withstand substantial seismic activity and had a
malfunctioning bar locking system and inadequate staffmg that further augmented risk by
potentially leaving inmates trapped in their cells during and after an earthquake. The court
rejected the government's contention that more than 30 public buildings in the area had the
same seismic rating as the jail. The court noted that the public's alleged tolerance of risk
associated with entering a poorly-constructed library or museum for an hour did not equate
to tolerance for spending 100 days continuously trapped in such a facility.
The court found deliberate indifference to the risk of earthquakes despite the
defendants' contention that it would cost more than $33 million to upgrade the jail and
efforts to gain voter approval for funding for a new facility had failed. The court noted that
the city could have attempted other funding methods and did have some funds allocated for
seismic repairs but diverted that money to other projects.
The court found due process violations resulting from physical defects in the jail's water,
plumbing and sewage system which created safety hazards. The jail's antiquated water
supply system violated public health requirements and safe drinking water codes.
Deteriorated sanitary fixtures such as unsealed floors, hot water pipes with deteriorated
asbestos insulation, violated the detainees' rights as did sewage leaks from plumbing
equipment. These conditions violated detainees' rights even though there was no evidence of
any disease resulting from the deficiencies.
Despite some efforts to reduce noise in the jail, the detainees established a constitutional
violation in noise levels which ranged between 73 and 96 decibels, exceeding acceptable
levels, and caused increased risk of psychological harm and safety concerns due to officers'
inability to hear calls for help. The extent to which noise continued to exceed maximum
standards suggested that previous noise reduction efforts were merely cosmetic and that far
more could be done.
The court found due process violations from poor lighting where correctional standards
mandated lighting of at least 20 foot--<:andles in living areas, and some health standards
required 30 foot-candles, but readings in the jail ranged from 0.28 to 5 foot-candles.
The court concluded that development and implementation of a narrowly tailored
remedial plan was an appropriate remedy, and that the plan was to address each condition
that was found unconstitutional including fire safety, seismic safety, water, plumbing,
sewage, noise, lighting and overcrowding. (San Francisco Jail No. 3, California)

U.S. District Court
VENTILATION

Thomas v. Irvin, 981 F.Supp. 794 (W.D.N.Y.1997). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 action
against prison officials alleging that their placement of him in drug watch isolation
status for seven days violated the Eighth Amendment and his due process rights. The
district court found that the state did not violate the inmate's due process rights, noting that
the room in which he was confined was larger than an average cell at the prison and was
equipped with all of the essential items necessary for proper rest and hygiene. The inmate

15.29

was allowed to exercise and smoke cigarettes, and he received regular meals and daily
medical attention. The officials had obtained credible information from a confidential
informant that the inmate was in possession of narcotics after a visit. The prisoner had
alleged that the isolation room had inadequate ventilation because two air vents in the room
were covered as a security measure to prevent inmates from concealing contraband in the
vents. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)

1998
U.S. District Court
VENTILATION
DOUBLE CELLING
CELL SIZE

Bolton v. Goord, 992 F.Supp. 604 (S.D.N.Y. 1998). Inmates brought a§ 1983 suit claiming
that New York's practice of housing two inmates in a prison cell previously used to house
one inmate violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court held that
double celling under the conditions set forth at trial did not constitute cruel and unusual
punishment and that New York had not conferred on inmates a protected liberty interest in
single-cell housing. The court held that the application of the Eighth Amendment is guided
by contemporary standards of decency, but while the opinions of experts and the standards
established by concerned organizations may be helpful on some questions, they do not
establish constitutional minima. According to the court. public attitudes toward certain
punishment, or what society is willing to tolerate in its prisons, is the more appropriate
gauge of contemporary standards. The court noted that when double-celling was researched
prior to its implementation, officials considered whether an inmate was violent or victim.prone before placing him in a double cell, evidence did not establish a cause and effect
relationship between double-celling and an increase in violence, and guidelines for doublecelling took into account medical conditions. According to the court, double-celling was in
effect in most other state prison systems and in the federal system at the time it was
implemented in New York. Inmates had the same access to extensive programs and services
after double-celling was implemented, and there was no evidence of "overcrowding" in the
sense that the facility had to compromise its services in order to handle the additional
number of inmates. The court also noted that disputes between cellmates were handled
quickly and never rose to more than minor incidents of physical violence, the small cell size
was not shown to have resulted in the deprivation of any basic human need, and there was
no indication that natural ventilation was so inadequate as to cause injury. According to the
court, the Eighth Amendment does not guarantee inmates a certain type of ventilation or a
certain rate of air exchange. (Woodbume Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
PLUMBING

Craig v. Eberly, 164 F.3d 490 (10th Cir. 1998). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983
action against a sheriff in his individual capacity. and a county, alleging he was
subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was confined in the
jail. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the detainee
appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that summary judgment for the
sheriff was precluded by the nature, seriousness and duration of the alleged deprivations.
The detainee alleged that he was placed in a cell that measured eleven by fifteen feet with
five or six other men for 24-hours a day, that his bed linens were never cleaned nor
exchanged, that he was permitted only two showers a week in an unsanitary shower stall,
that the sink in his cell frequently clogged and prevented his basic hygiene, that his cell had
poor ventilation, and that he was allowed out of his cell for recreation only two times during
his confinement. The parties disagreed on the length of the detainee's confinement. which
the court found to be between two-and-one-half months and six months. (Otero County Jail,
Colorado)

U.S. District Court
CONSENT DECREE

Essex County Jail Annex Inmates v. Treffinger. 18 F .8upp.2d 445 (D.N .J. 1998).
Inmates filed a motion to hold county corrections defendants in civil contempt for
noncompliance with a consent decree addressing unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
The district court held that monetary sanctions for civil contempt were not appropriate in
light of the county's efforts to attain full compliance by investing over $200 million in new
facilities and improving existing ones. The court concluded that contempt sanctions would
be counterproductive and would impede the county's efforts to build a new jail. The court
held that it could not consider whether a classification plan satisfied the consent decree until
an independent analysis was conducted. The court noted that the Special Master reported
that staffing was inadequate, and as a result inmates and staff are exposed to danger and
other problems. The court adopted the Master's recommendation that an independent,
professional staffing analysis be conducted to address staff training, coverage and
operations. The Master also reported that there was an insufficient supply of personal
hygiene items, and the court ordered the defendants to comply with the consent order's
terms by issuing adequate amounts of personal hygiene items, including toilet paper, soap,
shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, mirror, individual razors and shaving cream or
powder. (Essex County Jail and Essex County Jail Annex, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN

Giron v. Corrections Corp. of America, 14 F.Supp.2d 1252 (D.N.M. 1998). A female
inmate who had been raped by a prison guard brought a § 1983 action alleging that
officials deliberately disregarded a substantial risk of harm to her and denied her necessary
psychological care. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials.
15.30

The court held that the officials' awareness of two prior incidents of sexual misconduct by other
security and correctional officers was not sufficient to establish that the officials must have drawn
the inference that a substantial risk of harm existed. The court found that the alleged
"voyeuristic" location and viewability of shower areas, the absence of food tray slots in a
segregation unit, and the staffing and monitoring of guards in the segregation unit, did not create
a substantial risk of harm. The court held that the inmate was not deprived of necessary medical
care following the incident. She received psychiatric care after she was sexually assault, her care
was assessed by an independent psychiatric medical evaluator who concluded that her treatment
had been "reasonable and appropriate," and she saw a psychiatrist 18 times and a psychologist at
least 100 times during a six month period. <New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility, operated
by the Corrections Corporation of America)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL AREAS

Morales Feliciano v. Rossello Gonzalez, 13 F.Supp.2d 151 (D.Puerto Rico 1998). In
an ongoing action against a corrections system seeking improvement of medical and
mental health care provided to inmates, an expert witness prepared a report documenting the
state of compliance with prior orders that had been entered. The district court held that the
correctional system continued to violate inmates' Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment
rights by failing to provide adequate medical care. The court found that the officials' actions or
lack thereof contributed to the deaths of inmates and to the infliction of pain and suffering. The
court ruled that there were systematic deficiencies in staffing, facilities, procedures and
administration, and that officials acted in a manner that was deliberately indifferent to the basic
human and health needs of inmates. The court found many violations of inmates' constitutional
rights. The court noted that budgetary limitations or inadequate resources can never be a valid
justification for constitutional violations. The court concluded that the system had failed to
provide adequate facilities and equipment necessary for the provision of adequate health care of
inmates pursuant to acceptable professional standards. But the court noted that despite the
findings of the expert, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care had accredited the
medical care programs in four prisons and awarded provisional accreditation to four more in 1992.
But an expert found noncompliance with at least one essential standard at every accredited
facility, and the Department of Health provided the court monitor's staff with credible evidence
that employees had falsified documents in support of accreditation. (Administration of Correction,
Puerto Rico)

U.S. Appeals Court
HANDICAPPED

Simmons v. Cook, 154 F.3d 805 (8th Cir. 1998). Paraplegic inmates brought a § 1983
suit challenging their placement in solitary confinement. The district court ruled in
favor of the inmates and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the inmates'
Eighth Amendment rights were violated and that damage awards of $2,000 for each inmate for
their 32-hour period of solitary confinement were not excessive . The court found that corrections
officials violated the inmates' rights because the inmates did not receive adequate food or medical
care while in solitary confmement. The inmates' wheelchairs did not fit through the solitary
confinement cell doors, so they were lifted onto their beds and their wheelchairs were folded and
then reopened inside their cells. Because their wheelchairs could not pass their cell bunks to
reach the barred door where food trays were set, the inmates missed four consecutive meals. The
inmates were unable to use a toilet during their 32-hours in solitary confmement because the
facilities were not accessible and no assistance was provided. <Arkansas Department of
Corrections, Diagnostic Unit)

U.S. District Court
ASBESTOS

Smith v. Montefiore Med. Center-Health Services, 22 F.Supp.2d 275 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
A pretrial detainee sued a city and city corrections officials to recover from alleged injuries he
suffered as the result of his alleged exposure to asbestos. The district court held that a three-day
delay in treating the detainee after his alleged exposure did not amount to deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs, noting that a mere delay in rendering medical treatment does not
rise to the level of a constitutional violation. The court also found that prison officials' failure to
warn the detainee of the dangers of exposure to asbestos in connection with asbestos abatement
work in the prison did not support a claim of deliberate indifference. Warning signs were
reportedly posted three days after the alleged incident, which the court found to be at most
negligent conduct. (George Motchan Detention Center, New York)
1999

U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING
COURT ORDER

Berwanger v. Cottey. 178 F.3d 834 (7th Cir. 1999). A county jail moved under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to terminate the maximum population features of a court
injunction. The district court entered an order terminating all prisoner release orders but the
appeals court remanded the case. The appeals court held that the district court erred by letting
more than a year pass without action on the motion to terminate prospective relief, and then
terminating the decree without making any findings. <Marion County Jail, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
HYGIENE
SANITATION
PLUMBING

Harris v. Brewington-Carr, 49 F.Supp.2d 378 (D.Del. 1999). A pretrial detainee challenged
his conditions of confinement and a district court judge refused to dismiss the case, finding
that the detainee had sufficiently alleged violation of his due process rights. The pretrial
detainee alleged that he was required to sleep on the floor for one week while being held in a
booking and receiving area, that he had to sleep on the floor for three weeks before receiving
15.31

a bed, that he was housed in a one man cell with two other men, that the open toilet in his cell
was unsanitary and deprived him of his right to privacy, that there was a lack of showers and
excessive noise, that he was housed with sentenced and unsentenced inmates, and that as a nonsmoker he had to breathe cigarette smoke from other inmates. (Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice
Facility, Delaware)
U.S. District Court
DAYROOM
RECREATION AREAS
WINDOWS

Richard v. Reed, 49 F.Supp.2d 485 (E.D.Va. 1999). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 complaint
alleging that county jail officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by depriving him of
direct sunlight for more than 100 days. The district court dismissed the case, finding that
the prisoner failed to state an Eighth Amendment claim because deprivation of sunlight for 100
days was not a sufficiently serious deprivation of a human need. The court held that the case was
frivolous. The prisoner was confined in a housing unit comprised of a dayroom which had no
windows and ten cells, each of which had a window. Prisoners were not allowed in their cells
between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and prisoners who wanted to take recreation could use an indoor
recreation area. The prisoner alleged that his health was placed in danger because he was
exposed to illness caused by a lack of exposure to direct sunlight. The court suggested that there
might be extreme circumstances under which deprivation of sunlight or light for an extended
period of time might amount to a serious deprivation, but found this was not such a case. The
court cited Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities in which a character was imprisoned in the
Bastille for almost eighteen years in a small cell "where the light of day has never shone." But
after reviewing nine cases that had considered a similar question with varied results, the court
concluded that "the threshold for constitutional significance occurs well short of the Dickens
example." The court found that the conditions cited by the prisoner did not violate contemporary
notions of decency, stating that "This conclusion finds support given that people who serve on
nuclear submarines or who live within the Arctic Circle or in Antarctica go without direct
exposure to sunlight for similarly long periods of time." The court also noted that the window in
the prisoner's cell would provide natural light in the summertime when he was allowed back into
the cell at 5:30 p.m. (Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED

Schmidt v. Odell, 64 F.Supp.2d 1014 (D.Kan. 1999). A former county jail inmate, a double amputee
without legs from a point below his knees, brought a civil rights action against jail officials asserting
claims under the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied summary judgment for the
defendants, finding that it was precluded on all claims. The court held that refusal to provide the
inmate with a wheelchair while confined in the county jail did not violate the Eighth Amendment
since jail exits, entrances and hallways were too narrow to accommodate wheelchairs and there
were legitimate safety concerns about placing a wheelchair among the jail's general population.
The court also found that deficiencies such as plumbing problems, overcrowding, inadequate
exercise areas, and other defects during the inmate's confinement in the county jail did not rise to
the level of cruel and unusual punishment; there were opportunities to exercise in dayrooms,
plumbing problems and other allegedly unsanitary conditions did not pose a serious threat to the
health, safety or well-being of the inmate, and overcrowding did not result in denial of the
minimal measures of life's necessities. But the court denied summary judgment for jail officials on
the issue of whether they were deliberately indifferent to the basic needs of the inmate while he
was confined at the jail. The court noted that the ability of the inmate to move himself about in
the jail, to use the toilet, to use the shower, to obtain his meals, and to obtain suitable recreation
and exercise, were a basic need that jail officials were obligated to help provide under the Eighth
Amendment. The court also noted that the fact that the inmate was able to use most of the jail
services did not preclude his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Rehabilitation Act claims
against jail officials. (Cowley County Jail, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

White v. Cooper, 55 F.Supp.2d 848 (N.D.Ill. 1999). An inmate at a state prison brought an
action against prison officials and a construction company to recover damages for injuries he
incurred in a fire. The district court dismissed the construction company from the suit finding that
the company was not a "state actor" for the purposes of§ 1983. The court found that the inmate stated
a claim against prison officials by alleging that they failed to assist him for an unreasonable time
during a prison fire. According to the court, the allegation that state correctional officials knew the
inmate faced severe and substantial risk from fire because of inoperative fire safety and prevention
equipment, and failed to ensure that the system was operational, stated an Eighth Amendment claim.
In addition to their disregard of non-operational fire safety and prevention systems, officials also
allegedly failed to free the inmate from his burning cell. (Joliet Correctional Center, Illinois)

2000
U.S. Appeals Court
FURNISHINGS
SAFETY

Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d 863 (6th Cir. 2000). An inmate sought permission to proceed in forma
pauperis in his§ 1983 action that alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment rights because his
sleeping bunk was installed upside down causing him to slide off and land on the concrete floor,
and that anchor bolts that fastened the bunk to the wall improperly protruded into the sleeping
area posing a potential for injury. The district court denied the inmate's motion finding the action
to be frivolous, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that
the inmate's claims could conceivably implicate an Eighth Amendment concern. (Hardeman
County Correctional Facility, Tennessee)
15.32

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Graham v. Perez. 121 F.Supp.2d 317 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). Protective custody inmates at a state prison
brought a § 1983 action challenging their conditions of confinement. The district court dismissed
the case, finding that the inmates failed to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to filing
suit. The court also found that certain complained-of conditions of confinement were insufficiently
serious to constitute Eighth Amendment violations as a matter of law. The complaints included:
only two and one-half hours out of cell time daily, deprivation of job opportunities and prison
wages, limited location and content of meals, inadequate lighting. lack of electrical outlets in cells.
limited recreational opportunities. limited access to newspapers, limited personal telephone calls,
and limited personal grooming opportunities. (Fishkill Correctional Facility. New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE

Jacobs v. West Feliciana Sheriff's Dept.• 228 F.3d 388 (5th Cir. 2000). Survivors of an arrestee
who had committed suicide brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff's department and against the
sheriff and deputies. The district court denied individual defendants' motions to dismiss on the
ground of qualified immunity and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in
part, and remanded the case. The appeals court held that the sheriff and senior deputy, who knew
of a prior suicide under similar circumstances, could have been found to have acted with
deliberate indifference to the arrestee's known suicidal tendencies, but that a newly-hired deputy
who only followed orders which were not facially outrageous, was entitled to qualified immunity.
The arrestee had been placed in a cell that had a significant blind spot and tie off points. and was
provided with a blanket and towel even though a prior detainee had hanged himself in the same
cell under similar circumstances. The female arrestee had been brought to the local jail by state
troopers who informed jail employees that she had tried to kill herself when she was
apprehended. She was placed in a "detox" cell which is used to house inmates who are intoxicated,
who need to be isolated for security reasons. or who are designated for placement on a suicide
watch. The arrestee was placed on a suicide watch. but the cell could be completely observed only
if an officer viewed it from an adjacent hallway. The following evening the arrestee was discovered
hanging from a light fixture in the cell, having not been observed by jail staff for as many as 45
minutes prior to being discovered. (West Feliciana Parish Prison. Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
HANDICAP

Kruger v. Jenne, 164 F.Supp.2d 1330 (S.D.Fla. 2000). A blind county jail inmate brought a§ 1983
and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) suit against a sheriff and a private medical care
company that contracted to provide medical care to inmates. alleging deprivation of necessary
accommodations and failure to treat his medical needs. The district court held that the inmate
stated a § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim against the company and an ADA claim against the
sheriff in his ofiicial capacity. and allowed the inmate to maintain simultaneous ADA and § 1983
claims against the sheriff. The private medical company allegedly failed to accommodate the
inmate's blindness with a cane or otherwise, despite advance notice of the need for one. and
allegedly deliberately delayed or withheld needed treatment for injuries sustained in several falls.
based on cost-savings policies. leading to unnecessary suffering. The sheriff allegedly failed to
have the inmate's cell fitted with hand rails or provide him with a cane, leading directly to the
inmate's injuries when he suffered several falls. The inmate alleged that the sheriff carried out a
policy of denying or delaying needed medical care for cost-savings reasons. (North Broward
Detention Center, Florida. and EMSA Correctional Care)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
SANITATION

Oladipupo v. Austin. 104 F.Supp.2d 626 (W.D.La. 2000). A detainee of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) who was awaiting removal from the United States brought a§ 1983
action against parish jail officials challenging the constitutionality of his conditions of
confmement. The district court held that the failure of jail officials to segregate pretrial detainees
who were HIV positive did not violate the due process rights of non-infected detainees. The court
denied summary judgment for the ofiicials on the issue of whether the jail's dormitory violated
state fire and sanitation codes. The detainee alleged that the dormitory was overcrowded and had
only eight sinks, commodes and showers for 72 pretrial detainees that were housed in the
dormitory. (Avoyelles Parish Jail. Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
VENTILATION
CROWDING

Oladipupo v. Austin, 104 F.Supp.2d 654 (W.D.La. 2000). A detainee of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) who was awaiting removal from the United States brought a § 1983
action against parish jail officials challenging the constitutionality of his conditions of
confinement. The district court held that the allegation that the detainee was deprived of a
mattress and bed presented a cognizable constitutional claim. According to the court. the
detainee's allegation that he was forced to sleep on a cold, wet floor for seven hours presented a
due process claim. Jail officers had removed mattresses from a cell in which the detainee and
others were housed after they had placed barriers in front of the ventilation system in an attempt
to control the temperature in the cell. The court held that an issue offact existed as to whether
jail officials were personally involved in creating and perpetuating the conditions. (Avoyelles
Parish Jail. Louisiana)
2001

U.S. Appeals Court
VISITATION AREAS

Benjamin v. Fraser, 264 F.3d 175 (2nd Cir. 2001). A city corrections department moved for
immediate termination of consent decrees requiring judicial supervision over restrictive housing,
inmate correspondence, and law libraries at city jails, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (pLRA). The district court vacated the decrees and pretrial detainees appealed. The appeals
15.33

court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. On remand the district court granted the
motion in part and denied it in part and the city appealed. The appeals affirmed. The appeals
court held that the detainees were not required to show actual injury when they challenged
regulations which allegedly adversely affected their Sixth Amendment right to counsel by
impeding attorney visitation. The appeals court concluded that there was a continuing need for
prospective relief with respect to the detainees' right to counsel, and the relief granted by the
district court satisfied the requirements of PLRA. The court found that detainees were
experiencing unjustified delays during attorney visitation. The district court required procedures
to be established to ensure that attorney visits commenced within a specified time period
following arrival at the jail, and the city was instructed to ensure the availability of an adequate
number of visiting rooms that provide the requisite degree of privacy. (New York City Department
of Correction)
U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Brown v. McElroy, 160 F.Supp.2d 699 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). A prisoner brought an action against the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Public Health Service (PHS) alleging
inadequate medical treatment and other complaints. The district court found that PHS officials
were absolutely immune from liability on the claim of inadequate health care. The court found no
constitutional violation from the alleged conditions of a cold room, no clean bed linens, toiletries,
or clean clothing. (Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, Batavia, New York)

U.S. District Court
BEDS
NOISE
TEMPERATURE
FURNISHINGS
SANITATION

Caldwell v. District of Columbia, 201 F.Supp.2d 27 (D.D.C. 2001). An inmate filed a§ 1983 action
against the District of Columbia and several employees of its corrections department, alleging
unconstitutional conditions of confinement and denial of medical care. A jury entered a verdict in
favor of the inmate, on all claims, and awarded $174,178. The appeals court granted judgment for
the defendants as a matter of law, in part, denied judgment for the defendants in part, and did not
reduce the damage award. The court found that statements by the inmate's attorney during his
closing argument, suggesting specific dollar amounts to be considered by the jury, did not warrant
a new trial. The appeals court held that findings that conditions were unconstitutional were
supported by evidence, as were findings that officials were deliberately indifferent to the inmate's
serious medical needs. The appeals court held that the prisoner sufficiently alleged a "physical
injury" for the purposes of PLRA, with allegations that excessive heat in his cell made him dizzy,
dehydrated, and disoriented, gave him a severe rash, and that smoke from rolled toilet paper
"wicks" and frequent use of mace gave him bronchial irritation and a runny nose. The inmate also
alleged that the small bunk aggravated his arthritis. According to the court, the inmate did not
have to allege that excessive noise in the cell block caused him hearing loss, where his contention
was that the noise levels contributed a deprivation of sleep. The appeals court held that the
inmate's exposure to feces in his cell, foul water, filth, excessive heat, smoke, and mace, and the
lack of outdoor exercise, resulted in a substantial risk of serious harm. (Maximum Security
Facility, Lorton Correctional Complex, District of Columbia)

U.S. District Court
TOILETS
BEDS

Carlyle v. Aubrey, 189 F.Supp.2d 660 (W.D.Ky. 2001). A former prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against a county jail alleging Eighth Amendment violations. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the prisoner was not subjected to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement, even though water service in his cell was broken, he
was forced to sleep on the floor, and he was fed only a bologna sandwich. The prisoner had
admitted that he was offered drinking water on at least two occasions and that officers brought in
water to flush the toilet. The court noted that although forcing a prisoner to sleep on the floor for
extended periods may amount to an Eighth Amendment violation, the temporary inconvenience of
one night spent on the floor does not. (Jefferson County Jail, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
CELL SIZE
CELL CAPA CITY
CROWDING

Chilcote v. Mitchell, 166 F.Supp.2d 1313 (D.Or. 2001). A former prisoner and detainees at a
federal detention center sued officials alleging they were subjected to unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials, finding no
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations from the size of the cell. The court noted that all
three occupants of the cell could not be off of their bunks at the same time because the cell was so
small, and the occupants were confined in the cell for 20 to 21 hours daily. The court found that
the crowding was necessitated by the volume of incoming detainees and the lockdown was needed
because of the danger posed by detainees had not yet been evaluated. The cells had been designed
to house two inmates and ranged in size from 80.7 to 96 square feet. In a triple-bunk cell, 40 to 45
square feet of floor space is covered by the bunks, sink and toilet. The remaining floor space, 35 to
40 square feet "effectively does not permit all three occupants to be off their bunks at the same
time." There are no lockers, chairs or tables in the cells. (Fed'l Detention Ctr., Sheridan, Oregon)

U.S. District Court
NEPA- National Envi·
ronmental Protection
Act
ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACT

Citizens Advy. Comm. on Priv. Pris. v. U.S. D.O.J., 197 F.Supp.2d 226 (W.D.Pa. 2001). A citizens'
committee sued the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, alleging that
the defendants failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when they
awarded a contract to build and operate a new prison to a private company. The district court held
that the committee had standing to bring the action and that the Bureau was required to prepare
a final environmental assessment. According to the court, the Bureau "basically admitting that it
had violated NEPA" ordered a halt to work on the facility and re·examined the environmental
impact. The court held that the Bureau violated the provisions of NEPA when it initially awarded
the contract. But the court found that the Bureau had cured its initial NEPA violations and was
15.34

not required to file an Environmental Impact Statement, and allowed the project to proceed.
(Cornell Corrections, Inc., Federal Bureau of Prisons, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Covillion v. Alsop, 145 F.Supp.2d 75 (D.Me. 2001). An arrestee brought a§ 1983 action alleging
excessive use of force while he was confined. The district court found that the arrestee failed to
show excessive use of force based on the allegedly freezing temperature of his holding cell. The
arrestee had alleged that he had been placed in the cell "where they turned the freezer on .. " and
implied that the jail administrator was responsible for cooling the cell. The court noted that the
thermostat that controls the cell temperature also controls the temperature of the jail control
room, booking room, and visitors' room. (Somerset County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
ASBESTOS

Crawford v. Artuz, 143 F.Supp.2d 249 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). Prison inmates sued officials alleging that
the officials did not make a sufficient response to problems ca used by the presence of friable
asbestos. The court entered judgment for the officials, finding that the inmates failed to show
present or future prospects of injury from exposure to asbestos. (Green Haven Corr'l Fae., N.Y.)

U.S. Appeals Court
PLUMBING
SANITATION

Gaston v. Coughlin, 249 F.3d 156 (2nd Cir. 2001). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 action alleging
that his conditions of confinement violated the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed
the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part and
remanded. The appeals court held that the prisoner's allegations regarding unsanitary conditions
in his cell and exposure to below-freezing temperatures during winter due to unrepaired broken
windows, were sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The prisoner alleged that mice
were constantly entering his cell and that the area directly in front of his cell was filled with
human feces, urine and sewage water for several days. (Auburn Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
ASBESTOS
SANITATION

Herman v. Holiday, 238 F.3d 660 (5th Cir. 2001). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against
prison officials alleging constitutional violations, including unhealthful conditions and exposure
to asbestos. The district court entered summary judgment for the officials and the appeals court
affirmed. The appeals court held that the inmate was precluded from recovering for emotional or
mental damages because he failed to allege a physical injury. The inmate alleged that he was
subject to cold showers, cold food, unsanitary dishes, insect problems, lack of adequate clothing,
and the presence of an open "cesspool" near his housing unit. (East Carroll Detention Center,
Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act

Navedo v. Maloney, 172 F.Supp.2d 276 (D.Mass. 2001). A state inmate brought§ 1983 and
Americans with Disabilities (ADA) actions against a state, a private medical care provider, and
medical employees, alleging that their refusal to allow him access to a wheelchair and to disabledaccessible facilities violated his civil rights and caused severe and irreparable damage to his leg.
The district court denied summary judgment for the defendants, in part, finding that fact issues
remained as to the extent of the inmate's injuries, and denied qualified immunity to the state
corrections commissioner. The commissioner had rejected the medical staffs recommendation
that the inmate be transferred to another facility with appropriate accommodations and allegedly
failed to maintain prisons in compliance with federal standards of accessibility. (Massachusetts
Correctional Institution at Norfolk and Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Shirley)

2002
U.S. District Court
CROWDING
GENERAL
CONDITIONS

Bobbitt v. Detroit Edison Co., 216 F.Supp.2d 669 (E.D.Mich. 2002). An arrestee filed a§ 1983
action in state court alleging that city police officers violated her constitutional rights in
connection with her arrest for disorderly conduct. The district court granted summary judgment
in favor of the defendants. The court held that the arrestee failed to establish liability with her
allegations that a city jail was not clean, did not provide sufficient seating, and did not provide
ready access to a telephone. According to the court, the arrestee's assertions that the city
maintained inadequate policies for training and hiring its police officers, and that an arresting
officer had been involved in one other incident of alleged misconduct, were insufficient to subject
the city to liability under§ 1983 for failing to provide adequate training. The arrestee alleged she
was forced to stand for approximately five hours in a police holding cell, that the cell contained
only a 4·inch concrete slab on which to sit, and that the slab was too low. (Eighth Precinct,
Detroit Police Department, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
SEPARATION

Burrell v. Hampshire County, 307 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2002). A pretrial detainee who was severely
beaten by a fellow detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county and county officials, alleging
deliberate indifference to his health and safety in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The
detainee also alleged an Eighth Amendment violation resulting from failure to segregate violent
and nonviolent detainees. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The detainee had told one jail official that he was
threatened by a fellow detainee who had a history of assaults, but the officials failed to separate
them. The court noted that the plaintiff told one official he had a black belt in martial arts and
was a decorated war hero and never requested protective custody. The court found that the

XIX

15.35

county's policy of not screening or segregating potentially violent inmates from non-violent ones
did not constitute deliberate indifference to the health and safety of detainees, because inmates
were housed in single cells and were able to lock their cells from the inside at any time.
(Hampshire County Jail/House of Corrections, Massachusetts)
U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS

Carney v. Craven, 40 Fed.Appx. 48 (6th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action
under§ 1983. The district court dismissed the action and the appeals court affirmed, as modified.
The appeals court held that the prisoner failed to show that prison officials were deliberately
indifferent to his request to fix a faulty light which was producing a strobe-like effect, and which
allegedly caused him headaches and eye pain. The court noted that the prisoner's request to have
the bulb repaired was not recklessly disregarded, but rather, a new light bulb was not
immediately available, and the prisoner was ultimately moved to a new cell eleven days after
reporting the problem. (Tennessee)

U.S. Appeals Court
VENTILATION

Clement v. Gomez, 298 F.3d 898 (9 th Cir. 2002). Inmates sued prison officials under§ 1983
alleging violation of their Eighth Amendment rights. The district court denied summary
judgment in favor of the defendants and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that correctional officers did not use excessive
force when they used two bursts of pepper spray to quell fighting in a cell. But the appeals court
found that summary judgment was precluded by fact questions on the issue of officials' potential
deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of inmates in nearby cells who were affected
by pepper spray that drifted into their cells. The court noted that excessive force directed at one
prisoner can also establish a cause of action for harm that befalls other prisoners. (Pelican Bay
State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Derby Industries, Inc. v. Chestnut Ridge Foam, 202 F.Supp.2d 818 (N.D.Ind. 2002). A
manufacturer of a mattress intended for use in prisons sued a competitor for false advertising.
The district court denied the plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction, finding that a video
tape was neither false nor misleading, and that the plaintiff manufacturer was not being
irreparably harmed. The court found that the video advertisement, which depicted a flammability
test for its and a competitor's products, was not literally false, noting that the test was a general
procedure which could be performed in several ways. The plaintiff identified only one customer
who was confused, and their confusion was not substantial enough for the manufacturer to lose
their business. (Derby Industries, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Flores v. O'Donnell, 36 Fed.Appx. 204 (7 th Cir. 2002). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against
corrections officials alleging cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the officials and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals held that while an
issue of fact existed as to whether the duration and severity of cold in the inmate's cell was
serious enough to implicate the Eighth Amendment, officials were not deliberately indifferent to
the inmate's complaints about the cold. The court noted that in order to assess whether cold cell
temperatures violated the Eighth Amendment, the court must consider factors that include the
severity of the cold, its duration, whether the prisoner had alternatives means to protect himself
from the cold, and the adequacy of such alternatives. According to the court, officials responded to
the inmate's complaints by offering him clothing, three hours after he first complained of the cold,
on the condition that he wear a mask to prevent him from spitting on officers. The inmate
refused, and later received medical attention several times. (Waupun Correctional Facility,
Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
CELL SIZE

Liles v. Camden County Dept. of Corrections, 225 F.Supp.2d 450 (D.N.J. 2002). Former inmates
brought an action against county officials alleging that conditions of confinement violated their
Eighth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that evidence did not support the claim
that shower conditions caused tlie inmates to break out in rashes. Although the inmates
presented an expert report of a "forensic sanitarian," the court noted that the report concluded
only that the poor condition of the shower and lack of sanitation "may result" in rashes. The court
held that a 22-day lock-down that caused inconvenience and discomfort to the inmates did not
violate the Eighth Amendment, although the inmates were allowed only 20 minutes daily outside
their cells to shower, use the bathroom, exercise and make phone calls. The court noted that the
lock-down went into effect because an inmate had tried to escape out of a prison roof and the roof
had to be prepared. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to
whether fighting that broke out as the result of prisoners urinating on each other constituted a
threat to the health and safety of the inmates. The inmates alleged that violence among inmates
broke out when urine splashed on inmates who slept on cell floors next to toilets, due to crowding.
(Camden County Correctional Facility, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Moore v. Gardner, 199 F.Supp.2d 17 (W.D.N.Y. 2002). An inmate brought a pro se action against
prison officials under § 1983 and § 1985, alleging mail tampering and unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. The district granted summary judgment, in part, to the defendants, finding that

XIX

15.36

the alleged mail tampering did not result in an actual injury to the inmate. The court denied
summary judgment for the defendants on the issue of whether the inmate was subjected to
unconstitutionally cold conditions. The inmate alleged he was forced to live in a cold, drafty cell
for three weeks during the winter, without his bed sheets and with only one blanket. (Southport
Corr'] Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
CROWDING
CELL CAPACITY
FURNISHINGS
CELL SIZE

Oliver v. Keller, 289 F.3d 623 (9 th Cir. 2002). A pretrial detainee brought a§ 1983 action against a
county sheriff and two jail employees, alleging confinement in unconstitutional conditions. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainee appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that
the detainee did not suffer more than a de minimis physical injury from his jail confinement and
therefore could not make the required showing for the purpose of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (PLRA). But the appeals court held that the detainee was entitled to seek nominal and
punitive damages under the Fourteenth Amendment. The detainee had admitted during a
deposition that the back and leg pain he allegedly suffered from sitting and sleeping on benches
and the floor of a temporary cell was not serious. The detainee had been temporarily confined on
three separate occasions. In one instance he was confined in a temporary holding cell equipped
with benches, toilets and sinks. Inmates eat three meals per day in the cell, and are not provided
with cots, blankets or pillows. At one time the detainee was housed for 51 hours with
approximately 50 other men in a cell measuring 404 square feet. He was transferred to another
cell where he spent another 74 hours confined with an average of 18 prisoners in a cell that
measured 174 square feet. The detainee described conditions in the cells as "a human carpet."
(Clark Co. Det. Ctr., Nevada)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCATION
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act

Regional Economic Community v. City ofMiddletown, 294 F.3d 35 (2 nd Cir. 2002). A community
action program brought a suit under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
and the Rehabilitation Act, after it was denied a special-use permit to establish two halfway
houses for recovering alcoholics. The district court ruled in favor of the defendants. The appeals
court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the recovering
alcoholics who would have been residents of the proposed halfway houses were disabled for the
purposes of ADA, FHA and the Rehabilitation Act. The appeals court found that summary
judgment was precluded by a prima facie case of retaliation and by genuine issues of material fact
as to the reasons for denial of the permit. (City of Middletown, New York)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Smith v. US., 207 F.Supp.2d 209 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). A federal prisoner filed an action under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) alleging that the Bureau of Prisons breached its duty to provide
him with suitable quarters. The district court entered judgment for the government, finding no
violation. The inmate alleged that the Bureau failed to adequately heat his cell and that it was so
cold that he could see his breath, that his knees swelled and his arthritis worsened, and that he
suffered severe stress, anxiety and panic attacks. The court found credible evidence that the cell
temperature was within the normal range, and that prison officials immediately responded to the
prisoner's complaints by raising the thermostat, checking the heating system, insulating the
window, providing extra blankets and a portable heater, and transferring the prisoner to another
cell. (Witness Security Unit, Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, New York)
2003

U.S. Appeals Court
DOUBLE-CELLING
SPECIAL CELL

Alexander v. Tippah County, Miss., 351 F.3d 626 (5th Cir. 2003). Two state prisoners brought a §
1983 action alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The district court dismissed the
case and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the prisoners could not recover
for mental or emotional damages as a result of their twenty-four hour placement in an unsanitary
isolation cell, where the only claimed injury was nausea suffered by one prisoner that was not
severe enough to warrant medical attention. The isolation cell, referred to as "the hole," was a
sparse eight-by-eight concrete room without running water or a toilet. The only sanitary was
facility was a grate-covered hole in the floor that could be flushed from the outside, and the only
bed was a concrete protrusion in the wall wide enough for one person. The prisoners were not
provided with a mattress, sheets, or blankets, but they conceded that the cell was clean and dry
when they were placed in it. They were initially stripped of their clothes but were eventually
given boxer shorts to wear. (Tippah County Detention Facility, Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN
SECURITY

Govan v. Campbell, 289 F.Supp.2d 289 (N.D.N.Y. 2003). An inmate filed a prose action alleging
that county officials violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the inmate's alleged
conditions, consisting of unclean shower stalls with rust bubbles, cockroaches that crawled into
his orifices while he slept, wild birds that were flying free through the facility, and an unsafe
condition that resulted from the on-duty officer's inability to see directly into his cell at all times,
did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. The inmate also alleged that a correctional
officer was sleeping while he was supposed to be supervising recreation in a gym. The court noted
that the inmate did not assert how he was actually harmed by the conditions. (Albany County

XIX

15.37

Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SIZE
DOUBLE CELLING

Hurst v. Snyder, 63 Fed.Appx. 240 (7th Cir. 2003) [unpublished]. A state prison inmate brought
an action against prison officials, alleging that he was deprived of adequate living space. The
district court dismissed the case as frivolous and the inmate appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The appeals could held that a former state statute that required prison facilities to
provide at least 50 square feet of cell space per person did not give the inmate a protected liberty
interest in having 50 square feet of cell space. The court found that the amendment of the statute,
to delete the express reference to a "per person" space requirement, did not violate the ex post
facto clause. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY

Simpson v. Penobscot County Sheriff's Dept., 285 F.Supp.2d 75 (D.Me. 2003). A former county jail
inmate brought a§ 1983 action alleging violation of his right to privacy, his right to medical
treatment, and his right to seek redress during his placement in administrative segregation. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the Due
Process Clause did not afford a remedy under § 1983 for the alleged invasion of privacy of a
county jail inmate who was placed in a cell that did not have a privacy partition next to the toilet.
The toilet's placement in the cell allowed female inmates, at separate intervals, to have a direct
view of him while he was performing bodily functions. The court noted that jail officials did not
know about the problem, and that once the inmate made them aware of it, they investigated and
mitigated the problem by placing a removable piece of magnetic paper over the lower door
window. The court found that the officials did not know about the problem until the inmate
submitted a grievance in September 2002, although the inmate would have previously had access
to the jail supervisors on their daily tours of the facility three times each day, providing him with
51 opportunities to raise the issue before he filed his grievance. (Penobscot County Jail, Maine)
2004

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING

Baker v. Haun, 333 F.Supp.2d 1162 (D.Utah 2004). Injunctive relief was granted prohibiting the
practice of double-celling in certain areas of a prison, in a state prison inmates' class action
challenging their conditions of confinement. The prison moved to terminate the injunction under
the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The district court held that the
continuation of the injunction was not warranted where there was no evidence of any present
unwillingness on the part of prison officials to comply with the injunction. The court found that
prison officials who resumed double-celling in one area without court permission did not engage
in contemptuous conduct because the officials had renovated the area in accordance with court
requirements. (Wasatch Unit, Utah State Prison)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
SANITATION
VENTILATION

Brown v. Mitchell, 327 F.Supp.2d 615 (E.D.Va. 2004). The administratrix of the estate of a jail
inmate who contracted and died from bacterial meningitis while in jail brought a civil rights
action. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part, and denied it in
part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the city
had a policy or custom of jail mismanagement, and whether any policy or custom caused the
inmate's death. The court also found that there were fact issues as to whether the sheriff violated
the Eighth Amendment regarding jail overcrowding. The court ordered further proceedings to
determine if the city council was aware of the long history of overcrowding, poor ventilation and
structural defects in the jail. The court found that the sheriff did not violate the Eighth
Amendment by failing to maintain sanitation in the jail, because sanitation deficiencies were
caused by overcrowding, not by her failure to perform. The sheriff was also not found liable for
failure to train her staff, where she had an illness-recognition and response program in place
which consisted of initial and follow-up training, combined with surprise inspections. The court
noted that the guards' failure to respond to the obvious illness of the inmate could be attributed to
their failure to apply their training, for which the sheriff was not responsible. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by material issues of fact as to whether the jail physician
showed deliberate indifference when he ordered the inmate returned to overcrowded and illventilated quarters, essentially without treatment. (Richmond City Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Chandler v. Crosby, 379 F.3d 1278 (11 th Cir. 2004). Death row inmates brought a class action
against state prison officials, alleging that high temperatures in their prison cells during the
summer months amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. The district court denied relief
following a bench trial and the inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the
inmates failed to satisfy the objective component of their Eighth Amendment claim. The court
found that the heat was not constitutionally excessive because the building mass generally
remained between 80 degrees at night, and 85 to 86 degrees during the day. During the relevant
period, the unit experienced temperatures over 90 degrees only nine percent of the time, recorded
temperatures over 95 degrees only seven times, and never recorded temperatures over 100
degrees. The court noted that the building, although not air conditioned, had an effective
ventilation system, and numerous conditions such as access to cold water, alleviated rather than
exacerbated the heat. (Union Correctional Institution, Florida)

XIX

15.38

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS

Gates v. Cook, 376 F.3d 323 (5 th Cir. 2004). A death row prisoner brought a suit on behalf of
himself and other prisoners confined to death row, alleging that certain conditions of confinement
on death row violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment. The district court found that a number of conditions violated the Eighth Amendment
and issued an injunction designed to alleviate the conditions. The defendants appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part and vacated in part. The court found that lighting in each death
row cell was less than twenty foot-candles, in violation of the constitutional rights of the class
members. Expert testimony was presented that lighting in the cells was grossly inadequate for
the purposes of sanitation, personal hygiene and reading, and that these conditions contributed to
further mental health deterioration. (Mississippi Department of Corrections, Unit 32-C, State
Penitentiary in Parchman)

U.S. Appeals Court
FIRE SAFETY

Hadix v. Johnson, 367 F.3d 513 (6 th Cir. 2004). State inmates filed a class action under§ 1983
alleging that their conditions of confinement violated their constitutional rights. Their claims
were settled by a consent decree. The district court denied prison officials' motion to terminate
the consent decree and issued an injunction ordering the departmentalization of facilities as a fire
safety remedy. The officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded. The appeals court held that the consent decree encompassed the cell blocks in question
but that the district court judge abused his discretion when he found that current conditions
violated the Eighth Amendment, because the court incorporated its principal findings from two
years earlier, despite the fact that a number of issues had since been resolved. The appeals court
also noted that the district court did not state the standard it was applying to find that conditions
relating to fire safety and fire prevention were inadequate, and failed to identify the point at
which certain fire safety deficiencies ceased being mere deficiencies and instead became
constitutional violations. (State Prison of Southern Michigan, Central Complex)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Jones-El v. Berge, 374 F.3d 541 (7th Cir. 2004). Prisoners of a "supermax" prison brought a suit
challenging their conditions of confinement. After the plaintiff class was certified and a
preliminary injunction was entered, a consent decree was approved by the court. The prisoners
subsequently moved to enforce the decree. The district court entered an order directing the
installation of air conditioning and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding
that the district court's order was not a grant of "prospective relief" that was subject to the
requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SIZE

Magluta v. Samples, 375 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. 2004). A former pretrial detainee brought an action
against federal officials asserting constitutional claims relating to the conditions of his
confinement. The district court dismissed several defendants for lack of jurisdiction and
dismissed the case against the remaining defendants for failure to state a claim. The detainee
appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. On remand, the district court dismissed the
detainee's first amended complaint and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the detainee stated a claim that
he suffered unconstitutional conditions of confinement and that the defendants were not entitled
to qualified immunity. The detainee alleged that he was confined under extremely harsh
conditions, that he was placed in solitary confinement and locked in an extremely small closet·
sized space, with minimal contact with other human beings for a prolonged time that exceeded
500 days. The detainee alleged that the harsh conditions were imposed solely for the sake of
punishment. The court noted that ample federal caselaw existed at the time of the challenged
conduct to give fair warning to officials that it was unconstitutional to hold a detainee in solitary
confinement 500 days, for punishment, with virtually no procedural protection in the form of
periodic reviews. (United States Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
HANDICAPPED
CELL SIZE

Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2004). A paraplegic state prisoner brought a§ 1983 action

XIX

alleging Eighth Amendment and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations. The district
court granted summary judgment for the defendants on most of the claims, and following a jury
trial entered judgment for a disciplinary hearing officer on the remaining claims. The prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The appeals court
held that fact issues, as to whether the prisoner was afforded basic levels of humane care and
hygiene, precluded summary judgment on the prisoner's§ 1983 claims for monetary damages and
injunctive relief under the Eighth Amendment. According to the court, the prisoner was
"disabled" within the meaning of ADA and had standing to seek injunctive relief against a prison
warden. The prisoner was due to remain in isolation for over eight years as the result of more
than 180 disciplinary reports. Able-bodied inmates in disciplinary isolation are housed in less
stringent units than the building in which the prisoner was housed. Because of the small cell size
in his unit, prison policy calls for beds to removed daily so that wheelchair-bound inmates have
some minimal area within with to move around in their cells. The prisoner alleged that there was
no room in his cell, making him immobile and restrained for long periods of time, and that prison
staff failed to remove the bed from his cell daily. The prisoner also alleged that the showers in the
housing unit are not wheelchair-accessible. (Georgia State Prison)

15.39

U.S. District Court
ASBESTOS

Pack v. Artuz, 348 F.Supp.2d 63 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). A state prisoner brought a prose§ 1983 action
alleging failure to protect him from exposure to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos. The
district court held that there was no evidence that the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights were
violated, absent evidence that the level of exposure posed an unreasonable risk of serious damage
to his immediate or future health. According to the court, there was no evidence of either the
intensity or duration of the alleged exposure in most of the cell block, and even in areas where
exposure was assumed, there was no evidence as to the concentration of airborne asbestos fibers
or that the inmate had an asbestos-related disease. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New
York)

2005
U.S. Appeals Court
VENTILATION

Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d 469 (7 th Cir. 2005). Arrestees who were detained in a county jail
following their arrest on murder charges brought a civil rights action against a county sheriff and
jail staff following their acquittal and release from jail. The district court denied summary
judgment for the defendants and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court
held that the sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity on the claim that he violated a
detainee's right to receive adequate attention for a serious medical condition, when he allegedly
deprived one detainee of toothpaste for over three weeks and another detainee for over 113 days.
One detainee suffered dental pain throughout his incarceration and had to have several teeth
extracted because of tooth decay. The court denied qualified immunity for jail staff who allegedly
deprived a detainee of his asthma inhaler on multiple occasions. The court also denied qualified
immunity on the claim that they failed to provide humane health conditions as the result of the
allegedly unhealthy condition of the jail's ventilation system. The detainees alleged that the flow
of black fiberglass from the ventilation system caused nosebleeds and respiratory problems, and
allegedly exacerbated the serious asthma condition of one detainee. (Edgar County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION

Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a§ 1983 action
alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights related to an attack in prison, and inhumane
conditions in a disciplinary segregation unit. The district court dismissed the action and the
inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the inmate's
allegations stated a claim that prison officials failed to protect him from attacks by other inmates.
The inmate had been beaten and stabbed in a prison chapel by inmates who belonged to another
Muslim group. The court held that the inmate's allegations stated a claim that conditions were
sufficiently serious to form the basis for an Eighth Amendment violation. The inmate alleged that
there was a lack of drinkable water in the prison yard, where temperatures exceeded one hundred
degrees. The inmate also alleged that conditions in disciplinary segregation created serious
health hazards, including toilets that did not work, sinks that were rusted, and stagnant pools of
water that were infested with insects. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING

Hubbard v. Taylor, 399 F.3d 150 (3 rd Cir. 2005). Pretrial detainees filed a suit under§ 1983,
challenging the conditions of their confinement on Fourteenth Amendment due process grounds.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainees
appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The court held that the district must employ
the "due process" analysis to determine whether the conditions of confinement amounted to
"punishment" that was improperly imposed prior to the adjudication of guilt, not the Eighth
Amendment standards regarding cruel and unusual punishment. The detainees challenged the
practice of triple-celling three detainees to a cell that had been designed to be occupied by a single
person, which required one of the occupants to sleep on the floor in proximity to a toilet. (MultiPurpose Criminal Justice Facility, Gander Hill, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

King v. Frank, 371 F.Supp.2d 977 (W.D.Wis. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against corrections officials, alleging undue restrictions on telephone usage and access to written
publications, improper cell illumination, and failure to provide adequate mental health care. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials. The court held that the inmate
was not deprived of a basic human need by the presence of a constantly illuminated nine·watt
fluorescent light in his cell, even though he alleged that the light caused him sleeplessness and
other problems. The court noted that a registered nurse and a psychologist both examined the
inmate and concluded that he suffered no ill effects. (Waupun Correctional Institution,
Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Moody v. Kearney, 380 F.Supp.2d 393 (D.Del. 2005). A state inmate filed a§ 1983 action alleging
that prison officials locked him in an unventilated room, causing him to suffer a severely
debilitating heat stroke. The district court dismissed the case and the inmate appealed. The
appeals court reversed and remanded. On remand, the district court granted summary judgment
for the defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that the inmate stated a claim for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and that fact issues remained as to whether a
private contractor that provided medical services for the prison had a policy of not protecting
vulnerable inmates from high temperatures. The inmate alleged that he was receiving

XIX

15.40

anticholinergic medication and was therefore particularly vulnerable to heat stroke, and that
prison officials knew about this vulnerability but acted with deliberate indifference by keeping
him in a room with no windows, no ventilation, or access to running water when the temperature
inside the facility was 120 degrees. (State Correctional Institution, Georgetown, Delaware)
U.S. District Court
LIGHTS
WINDOWS

Scarver v. Litscher, 371 F.Supp.2d 986 (W.D.Wis. 2005). A state prison inmate sued officials
seeking damages for their alleged indifference to his illness and challenging his conditions of
confinement. The district court entered judgment in favor of the officials. The court held that the
officials did not show deliberate indifference to the inmate's mental illness condition, because he
was examined and prescribed various antipsychotic medications. The inmate alleged that the only
deficiency in his treatment was that officials failed to provide art supplies when they were
requested. The court found that there were fact issues as to whether the inmate was subjected to
conditions that were severe enough to violate the Eighth Amendment, but that the officials had
qualified immunity from the inmate's damages suit. The court held that placing the mentally ill
inmate in a continuously-illuminated maximum security cell without windows was not clearly
established to be an Eighth Amendment violation at the time they placed the inmate in the most
extreme isolation section of the maximum security prison. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION

Surprenant v. Rivas, 424 F.3d 5 (1st Cir. 2005). A pretrial detainee brought a§ 1983 action
against a county jail and jail personnel, alleging that he was falsely accused of an infraction,
deprived of due process in disciplinary proceedings, and subjected to unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. A jury found the defendants liable on three counts and the district court denied
judgment as a matter of law for the defendants. The defendants appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held conditions of confinement were shown to be constitutionally deficient,
where the detainee was placed in around·the·clock segregation with the exception of a five·
minute shower break every third day, all hygiene items were withheld from him, he could only
access water-·including water to flush his toilet··at the discretion of individual officers, and was
subjected daily to multiple strip searches that required him to place his unwashed hands into his
mouth. (Hillsborough County Jail, New Hampshire)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Wills v. Terhune, 404 F.Supp.2d 1226 (E.D.Cal. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a§ 1983
action alleging that constant illumination in the prison's security housing unit constituted cruel
and unusual punishment. The inmate moved for a preliminary injunction. The court denied the
motion. The court held that the constant illumination did not constitute an unsafe condition of
confinement and that the defendants established a valid security purpose for the lighting. The
inmate alleged that the low wattage bulb prevented his sleep, but conceded that it was not bright
enough to read or write by. (California State Prison, Corcoran)
2006

U.S. District Court
CONSENT DECREE
EQUIPMENT

Duquin v. Dean, 423 F.Supp.2d 411 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). A deaf inmate filed an action alleging that
prison officials violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
Rehabilitation Act, and a consent decree by failing to provide qualified sign language
interpreters, effective visual fire alarms, use of closed-captioned television sets, and access to text
telephones (ITY). Officials moved for summary judgment, which the district court granted in
their favor. The court held that the officials at the high-security facility complied with the
provision of a consent decree requiring them to provide visual fire alarms for hearing-impaired
inmates, even if the facility was not always equipped with visual alarms, where corrections
officers were responsible for unlocking each cell door and ensuring that inmates evacuate in
emergency situations. The court held that the deputy supervisor for programs at the facility was
not subject to civil contempt for her failure to fully comply with the provision of consent decree
requiring the facility to provide access to text telephones (TTY) for hearing-impaired inmates in a
manner equivalent to hearing inmates' access to telephone service, even though certain areas
within the facility provided only limited access to ITY, and other areas lacked TTY altogether.
The court noted that the deputy warden made diligent efforts to comply with the decree, prison
staff responded to the inmate's complaints with temporary accommodations and permanent
improvements, and repairs to broken equipment were made promptly. The court found that the
denial of the inmate's request to purchase a thirteen-inch color television for his cell did not
subject the deputy supervisor for programs to civil contempt for failing to fully comply with the
provision of a consent decree requiring the facility to provide closed-captioned television for
hearing-impaired inmates, despite the inmate's contention that a closed-caption decoder would
not work on commissary televisions. The court noted that the facility policy barred color
televisions in cells and that suppliers confirmed that there was no technological barrier to
installing decoders in televisions that were available from the commissary. (Wende Corr'l
Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CONSENT DECREE
EQUIPMENT

Figueroa v. Dean, 425 F.Supp.2d 448 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). A state prisoner who was born deaf
brought an action against a superintendent of programs at a prison, alleging failure to provide
interpreters, visual fire alarms, access to text telephone, and a television with closed-captioned

XIX

15.41

device in contempt of a consent order in class action in which the court entered a decree awarding
declaratory relief to prohibit disability discrimination against hearing impaired prisoners by state
prison officials. The superintendent moved for summary judgment and the district court granted
the motion. The court held that the exhaustion requirement of Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA) did not apply to an action seeking exclusively to enforce a consent order. The court found
that the superintendent was not in contempt of the consent order, noting that sign language
interpreters were provided at educational and vocational programs and at medical and counseling
appointments for hearing-impaired inmates as required by consent decree, the prison was
equipped with visual fire alarms that met the requirements of the decree, and diligent efforts
were being made to comply with the consent decree regarding access to text telephones. (Wende
Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
PADDED CELLS

Hanks v. Prachar, 457 F.3d 774 (8th Cir. 2006). A former county jail detainee brought a§ 1983
action against county jail officials, alleging violation of his due process rights in connection with
the use of restraints and confinement, requesting damages and injunctive relief. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials and the former detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the claims for injunctive relief,
reversed the grant of summary judgment on the claims for damages, and remanded for further
proceedings. The court held that the detainee's claim for injunctive relief was rendered moot by
detainee's release from jail. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine
issues of material fact as to whether the detainee was restrained in shackles and chains or
confined in a padded unit for the purpose punishment, or for valid reasons related to legitimate
goals. The detainee alleged he was placed in four-point restraints, chained to a wall in a "rubber
room," forced to shower in waist chains and shackles, and denied hearings before being punished.
The detainee was 17 years old when he was admitted to the jail. (St. Louis County Jail,
Minnesota)

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
DOUBLE CELLING

Jones v. Goard, 435 F.Supp.2d 221 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). Inmates brought an action against New York
prison officials, challenging the double-celling policy at maximum-security prisons. Double-celling
is a practice in which two prisoners are housed in a cell originally designed for one person. The
complaint was filed in 1995, and was effectively stayed for some time pending litigation of a
companion case challenging the same practice in medium security prisons. After a full trial on
the merits, the district court in the medium security case denied the plaintiffs any relief. The
district court dismissed all of the inmates' class claims, but reserved decisions on individual
plaintiffs' claims for damages under the Eighth Amendment and the First Amendment. The court
held that the practice of double-celling, and the undesirable conditions allegedly created by
double-celling of inmates, including facts that inmates were forced to sleep near a toilet, were
exposed to cellmates' odors, and kept excess personal property in their cells, did not violate the
Eighth Amendment. The court found that Muslim inmates' claim that double-celling interfered
with their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion was not moot after they were no
longer being double-celled, where many of the inmates were double-celled on numerous occasions
for short periods of time, and the policy of double-celling inmates continued. The defendant's
voluntary cessation of a challenged practice does not deprive a federal court of its power to
determine the legality of the practice. The court noted that the Eighth Amendment does not
guarantee prisoners freedom from any and all sorts of unsavory environs, and that to the extent
that conditions are restrictive and even harsh, they are part of the penalty that criminal offenders
pay for their offenses against society.
According to the court, the practice of double-celling inmates did not result in a substantial
risk of serious harm to inmates due to violence, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where
incident reports indicated that six years after the implementation of the double-celling policy,
inmates generally faced a lower risk of assault than they did before the policy was implemented,
and there was no evidence that any under-reporting of assaults affected the reporting of incidents
in double cells more than the reporting of incidents generally.
The court also found that injury and disease allegedly caused by double-celling did not create
an unreasonable risk of serious damage to inmates' health, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment, noting that although nine inmates had been injured getting into or out of the top
bunk in their cells, and six inmates caught colds from their cellmates, there was no evidence that
the design or placement of the bunks was unsafe, or that any inmate actually contracted, or was
even exposed to, a serious disease from his cellmate in a double cell.
The court held that alleged mistakes made by New York prison officials in screening
dangerous inmates before placing them in double cells in maximum security prisons did not show
that New York's double-celling policy subjected inmates to a substantial risk of serious harm, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the rate of inmate assaults had declined in the six
years after the double-celling policy was implemented. (New York Department of Correctional
Services)

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED

Partelow v. Massachusetts, 442 F.Supp.2d 41 (D.Mass. 2006). A state prisoner whose leg had
been amputated brought an action against numerous defendants, including a county correctional
center and sheriff, alleging that failure to provide him with handicapped-accessible shower

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facilities during the renovation of his housing unit violated his federal and state civil rights. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the officials provided
alternative accessible facilities, precluding claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act. The court noted that officials provided the prisoner with a chair for use in the standard
shower, assigned him to a housing unit with handicapped-accessible showers, promptly transferred him
back to his original unit at his request, and ultimately made arrangements for him to shower in the medical
unit. The court held that the prisoner could not establish an Eighth Amendment claim, where officials
allowed the prisoner to shower in medical unit and made other such accommodations imposing only minor
impediments and delays. The court found that the transfer of the prisoner to a maximum security housing
unit in order to place him near a handicapped accessible shower was not in retaliation for the prisoner's
exercise of constitutional rights, as would violate § 1983. (Hampden Co. Corr’l Center, Massachusetts)
U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS
NOISE

Scarver v. Litscher, 434 F.3d 972 (7th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action against
officials at a “supermax” prison, alleging that his conditions of confinement had aggravated his mental
illness. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the officials did not unconstitutionally subject the prisoner to cruel and
unusual punishment, absent evidence that they knew that the conditions were making his mental illness
worse. According to the court, prison authorities must be given considerable latitude in the design of
measures for controlling homicidal maniacs without exacerbating their manias beyond what is necessary
for security. The prisoner alleged that the heat in the cells in the Summer interacted with the his
antipsychotic drugs and caused him extreme discomfort, and that the constant illumination of the cells also
disturbs psychotics. The prisoner alleged that the low level of noise, without audiotapes, a radio, or any
source of sound, prevented him from stilling the voices in his head. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Spencer v. Bouchard, 449 F.3d 721 (6th Cir. 2006). A former pretrial detainee brought a pro se § 1983 action
against a county sheriff and officials of the sheriff's office, alleging overcrowding and inadequate shelter at
the jail in violation of Due Process Clause. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants, and detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part,
and remanded. The court held that the detainee's evidence that county officials had failed to address
serious and obvious problems with conditions, namely a continuously cold and wet cell area, for a period
of months, especially given additional evidence including officials' alleged wearing of winter coats inside
jail, raised a fact issue as to whether officials had been deliberately indifferent to a serious deprivation,
precluding summary judgment for the officials. (Oakland County Jail, Michigan)
2007

U.S. District Court
FURNISHINGS
ODOR
BEDS
TEMPERATURE

Banks v. York, 515 F.Supp.2d 89 (D.D.C. 2007). A detainee in a jail operated by the District of Columbia
Department of Corrections (DOC), and in a correctional treatment facility operated by the District's private
contractor, brought a § 1983 action against District employees and contractor's employees alleging negligent
supervision under District of Columbia law, over-detention, deliberate indifference to serious medical needs,
harsh living conditions in jail, and extradition to Virginia without a hearing. The district court granted the
defendants’ motion to dismiss in part and denied in part. The court held that dismissal of the detainee’s § 1983
claims of cruel and unusual punishment at the District of Columbia jail based on lack of reading material, lack of
recreational equipment, failure of the commissary to stock items such as lotions, skin oils, hair oils, and peanut
butter, the detainee's exposure to the stench created by regular sewage backups, as well as the jail's use of bunk
beds without ladders was required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) because the detainee did not
allege that he suffered any physical injury. Instead, the detainee alleged mental and emotional injuries.
According to the court, the alleged conditions from overcrowding at a District of Columbia jail-- showers
infested with bacteria, standing water, various diseases and hundreds of unsanitary and defective mattresses,
some of which contained roaches and other insects, did not constitute the deprivation of basic human needs, as
required for jail overcrowding to constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court found that the detainee's
allegations that due to lack of heating and ventilation at the jail he suffered from temperatures ranging from 30 to
40 degrees during the winter, that he was not provided with sufficient blankets for cold jail cells, and that such
actions were taken with deliberate indifference to his needs and pursuant to policy of Department of Corrections
(DOC) were sufficient to state a claim under § 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need. The court noted that warmth is a basic human need, the deprivation of
which can amount to a violation of Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
(Central Detention Facility. D.C. and Correctional Treatment Facility operated by the Corrections Corporation of
America)

U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN

Bullock v. Sheahan, 519 F.Supp.2d 760 (N.D.Ill. 2007). Male former inmates of a county jail brought a class
action against a county and a sheriff, alleging that the defendants had a policy and/or practice of subjecting male
inmates to strip-searches prior to their release, and that such differing treatment of male inmates violated their
rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved to strike the plaintiffs' expert. The
district court denied the motion, finding that the expert’s testimony was admissible. According to the court, the
expert testimony of a registered architect who specialized in the design of prisons and jails, concerning whether
there was adequate space in the jail for the construction of additional bullpens to hold male detainees was
relevant and reliable. The court noted that while the expert did not review all of the written discovery in the case,
the expert reached his opinions after a tour of the jail and after reviewing other expert reports, jail floor plans, a
sheriff's status report and charts summarizing certain computer records on male detainees. (Cook County
Department of Corrections, Illinois)

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U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN
SUICIDE

Estate of Puza v. Carbon County, 586 F.Supp.2d 271 (M.D.Pa. 2007). The estate of a pretrial detainee who
committed suicide brought an action alleging civil rights violations against a county and its corrections officers,
and negligence claims against the architect of a county prison. The defendants moved for summary judgment
and the district court granted the motion. The court held that correctional and intake officers were not
deliberately indifferent to the pretrial detainee's vulnerability to suicide, as was required for the officers' liability
under the due process clause for the detainee's suicide. The court held that under the Pennsylvania negligence
law, architects who designed the jail had no duty to prevent the suicide of the detainee who strangled himself by
tying his shoelace to a ventilation grate above a toilet and applying pressure to his neck. According to the court,
there was no direct causal connection between any alleged negligence by the architects and the detainee's
suicide. According to the court, while Pennsylvania courts had not addressed this specific issue, other
jurisdictions have held that an architect cannot be held liable for a prison suicide: (1) in an Oregon case “We
refuse to extend suicide liability to architects, contractors, engineers, and a vast array of other parties involved
with the design and construction of buildings…Architects and contractors should not be exposed to endless
suicide liability when they have relinquished their authority and control over the facility to the owner;” (2) in an
Illinois case “The magnitude of the burden placed on architects to eliminate all fixtures, such as grilles, that
might be of aid in the commission of a suicide and, at the same time, to design an attractive and feasible cell at a
reasonable cost would seem to be great;” and in an Alabama case “We hold ... that an architect designing a
prison or jail owes no duty to design the prison or jail to be suicide-proof.” (Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates,
Carbon County Prison, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY

Graham v. Poole, 476 F.Supp.2d 257 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials. The officials moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the
prisoner's allegations that he slipped and fell as he was leaving the shower due to the failure of prison employees
to provide non-slip mats on the floor in and near the shower amounted to nothing more than negligence, and thus
was insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim against the employees. The court found that the prisoner
failed to allege that a prison superintendent was personally involved in any alleged Eighth Amendment violation,
as required to state a § 1983 claim against the superintendent. The prisoner alleged that following his accident,
the superintendent instituted a policy providing an additional towel to each cell to be utilized for a bath mat, but
did not allege that the superintendent was aware of any hazardous condition prior to prisoner's accident. (Five
Points Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Hadix v. Caruso, 492 F.Supp.2d 743 (W.D.Mich. 2007). Prisoners brought a suit to correct unconstitutional
prison conditions necessary for prisoner health and safety, and requested injunctive relief as to a heat-related
injury. The district court entered an injunction. The court held that prison officials may not, consistent with
Eighth Amendment values, cause the expected deaths of prisoners subject to heat-illness by exposing them to
high heat and humidity conditions. According to the court, the requirements for safe Eighth Amendment custody
are violated by housing high-risk inmates in facilities which are routinely at heat index levels above 90 during
summer months, when it is known that such heat conditions will reliably cause heat injury and death. The court
ruled that the prisoners were entitled to an injunction requiring that all prisoners classified at high-risk for heatrelated injury be housed in areas in which the heat index was reliably maintained below a heat index of 90. The
court noted that the injunction was necessary to prevent irreparable harm, including bodily injury and death, and
that the scope of the injunction was narrowly tailored and was the least intrusive means of correction of the
Eighth Amendment violation. (Southern Michigan Correctional Facility, Charles E. Egeler Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
CELL SIZE
DOUBLE CELLING

Jurado Sanchez v. Pereira, 525 F.Supp.2d 248 (D.Puerto Rico 2007). A prisoner's next of kin brought a civil
rights action under § 1983 against prison officials, seeking to recover damages for the prisoner's death while he
was incarcerated, and alleging constitutional rights violations, as well as state law claims of negligence. The
officials moved for summary judgment on the cause of action under § 1983. The district court denied the motion,
finding that summary judgment was precluded by the existence of genuine issues of material fact on the failure
to protect claim and as to whether the officials had qualified immunity. According to the court, genuine issues of
material fact existed as to whether there were enough guards at the prison when the prisoner was killed by
another inmate, and whether officials were mandated to perform weekly or monthly searches of cells, which
could have prevented the accumulation of weapons used in the incident in which the prisoner was killed.
Bayamon 308, an intake center, was considered minimum security with some limitations. The inmate capacity at
Bayamon 308 is 144. Although the capacity was not exceeded, some cells, despite being originally built for one
inmate, housed two inmates. According to the court, Bayamon 308 does not comply with the 55 square footage
minimum requirements for each cell in a continuing federal consent order. Therefore, the individual cell gates
are left continuously open, like an open dormitory. At the time of the incident officials did not take gang
affiliation into consideration when segregating prisoners. The prisoner did not identify himself as a gang
member, nor inform officials that he feared for his life. The facility was under court order to follow a staffing
plan that stated the minimum amount of staff, the optimum amount, the fixed positions and the movable
positions, pursuant to a lawsuit. Fixed positions, such as control units, cannot be changed under any
circumstances, but the movable positions may be modified depending on necessity due to the type of inmate at
the facility. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants did not comply with the staffing plan, while the defendants
insisted that they did comply. (Bayamon 308 Facility, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
EQUIPMENT
SUICIDE

Justus v. County of Buchanan, 517 F.Supp.2d 810 (W.D.Va. 2007). The administrator of a pretrial detainee's
estate filed a § 1983 action against a sheriff and county jail employees arising out of the detainee's jail suicide.
The detainee had a history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, paranoia, and delusions and had been
hospitalized for these conditions several times in the three years prior to his suicide. His treatment records show
that he was hospitalized because family members reported suicidal ideation and bizarre, violent, and sexually
inappropriate behavior. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion.

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The court held that the sheriff's deputies' failure to provide the pretrial detainee with prompt medical care after
they discovered him hanging in his cell did not amount to deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious bodily
injuries, in violation of the detainee's due process rights. The court noted that, even though the detainee was still
alive when they took him down approximately 13 minutes after discovering him, there was no showing of an
affirmative causal link between their inaction and the detainee's death from hypoxic brain injury. The court held
that a reasonable sheriff would not have understood from existing law that the absence of an operating video
surveillance system in the county jail would violate a suicidal pretrial detainee's constitutional rights, and thus
the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from liability under § 1983, even though the jail policy and
procedure manual required immediate repair of any defective security equipment, and the sheriff was aware that
the equipment had not been operating for some time. (Buchanan County, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Maddox v. Berge, 473 F.Supp.2d 888 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action under §
1983 against prison officials and employees, alleging that his administrative confinement for participating in a
riot violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court found that allegations that the prisoner was
confined to his cell 23 hours a day and that he was denied “outside recreation” while he was in administrative
confinement demonstrated injuries from an objectively serious deprivation, for the purposes of his conditions or
confinement claim. The court held that the allegation that the prisoner was subjected to 24-hour illumination
stated a claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, although the prisoner did not allege that he suffered
any adverse effects as a result of the lighting. The district court held that placement of the prisoner in
administrative confinement, which subjected him to highly restricted non-face-to-face visits, lack of
communication with other prisoners, nearly complete idleness in a cell that was constantly illuminated, lack of
recreation, extremely limited out of cell time, and lack of access to any meaningful programming, was not
clearly established as conduct that violated a prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights, and therefore the warden and
secretary of the corrections department had qualified immunity from the prisoner’s damages suit under § 1983.
(Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
COURT ORDER
CAPACITY

Roberts v. Mahoning County, 495 F.Supp.2d 719 (N.D.Ohio 2007). Pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners
being held in the custody of an Ohio sheriff at one of two correctional facilities that were allegedly understaffed
and overcrowded brought a § 1983 class action against the county, sheriff, and county commissioners alleging
that conditions of confinement at those facilities were unconstitutional. The district court held that there was
clear and convincing evidence that crowding was the primary cause of the violation of a federal right, and that no
other relief besides a prisoner release order would remedy that violation. The release order provided for
incarceration of all violent felons and for reopening of all jail facilities under the control of the county to
maximum occupancy, while at the same time protecting the constitutional rights of inmates in the county jail
facilities. (Mahoning County Justice Center, Ohio)
2008

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Bibbs v. Early, 541 F.3d 267 (5th Cir. 2008). A state inmate brought a claim under § 1983 against corrections
officers alleging that he was subjected to severe cold in retaliation for filing grievances. The district court
granted the officers' motion for summary judgment and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and
remanded. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether subjecting the inmate to four straight nights of 20-degree temperatures was sufficiently severe to deter
the inmate from filing future grievances. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
inmate's actions of writing grievances against corrections officers caused the officers to retaliate by turning on
“purge” fans, subjecting the inmate to cold temperatures. (Clements Unit, Amarillo, Texas)

U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
SANITATION

Cockcroft v. Kirkland, 548 F.Supp.2d 767 (N.D.Cal. 2008). A state inmate brought a pro se § 1983 action
against prison officials, alleging Eighth Amendment violations related to toilet and cleaning supply problems.
The district court dismissed the action in part. The court held that the defendants were not entitled to qualified
immunity from claims that they refused to give the inmate adequate supplies and tools to sanitize his toilet in
response to a widespread backflushing toilet problem caused by a design defect, in which sewage would rise up
in the toilet of a cell when the toilet in an adjoining cell was flushed. According to the court, the officials'
conduct, as alleged, violated the prisoner's clearly established rights under the Eighth Amendment to a minimum
level of cleanliness and sanitation. (Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
BEDS

Connolly v. County of Suffolk, 533 F.Supp.2d 236 (D.Mass. 2008). An inmate who fractured his arm after falling
from a bunk bed in his cell sued a county, alleging negligence under state law and Eighth Amendment violations
under § 1983. The district court entered summary judgment for the county. The court held that the failure of
prison officials to equip the inmate's bunk bed with a ladder was not cruel and unusual punishment and that
failure to provide ladders for prison bunk beds did not constitute deliberate indifference to the inmate's rights.
(Suffolk County House of Corrections, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Davis v. Peters, 566 F.Supp.2d 790 (N.D.Ill. 2008). A detainee who was civilly committed pursuant to the
Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act sued the current and former facility directors of the Illinois
Department of Human Services' (DHS) Treatment and Detention Facility (TDF), where the detainee was housed,
as well as two former DHS Secretaries, and the current DHS Secretary. The detainee claimed that the conditions
of his confinement violated his constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process. After a
bench trial, the district court held that requiring the detainee to sleep in a room illuminated by a night light did
not violate the detainee's substantive due process rights. (Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois)

XXII

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U.S. District Court
NOISE
TEMPERATURE

Osterback v. McDonough, 549 F.Supp.2d 1337 (M.D.Fla. 2008). Inmates sued corrections officials, alleging that
conditions of close management (CM) status amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Following the grant of
the inmates' motion to certify the class, and issuance of an order entering the officials' revised offer of judgment
(ROJ), the officials moved to terminate the ROJ pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The
district court granted the motion. The court found that housing provided to inmates on close management (CM)
status did not violate the Eighth Amendment, even though the inmates' expert concluded that CM cells were not
appropriate due to extreme heat in summer and cold temperatures in winter, inasmuch as the inmates were not
subjected to extreme deprivations. The court found that restrictions on the ability of inmates on close
management status to speak to each other, including a ban on shouting, did not violate the Eighth Amendment,
in that inmates had adequate opportunities to communicate with each other, allowing inmates to speak loudly
would jeopardize security, and there were no ready alternatives to prohibiting yelling or other disruptive
behavior. (Everglades Correctional Institution, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
SHOWERS
TOILETS
DAYROOM

Pierce v. County of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2008). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities brought a
§ 1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff, seeking relief for violations of their constitutional and
statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the district court
rejected the detainees' claims, and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part,
and remanded. The court held that injunctive orders relating to the county jail’s reading materials, mattresses and
beds, law books, population caps, sleep, blankets, telephone access, and communication with jailhouse lawyers
were not necessary to current the current and ongoing violations of pretrial detainees' constitutional rights. The
court found that the county failed to reasonably accommodate mobility-impaired and dexterity-impaired pretrial
detainees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The county did not offer any legitimate
rationale for maintaining inaccessible bathrooms, sinks, showers, and other fixtures in the housing areas and
common spaces assigned to mobility and dexterity impaired detainees, and the county offered no explanation or
justification for the significant differences between the vocational and recreational activities available to nondisabled and disabled detainees. Termination of injunctive orders requiring that inmates be provided with seating
while detained in holding cells, or elsewhere, awaiting transport to or from court and requiring that inmates be
given at least fifteen minutes within which to complete each meal did not constitute an abuse of discretion since
the treatment of detainees in the county's holding cells and the time allowed for meals did not violate the
detainees' constitutional rights. The court held that restrictions placed on use of the day room, limiting
administrative segregation detainees' use of the room to one or two inmates at a time, were reasonably related to
institutional security concerns. (Orange County Jail System, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Sain v. Wood, 512 F.3d 886 (7th Cir. 2008). A civilly-committed sex offender brought a § 1983 action alleging
that his conditions of confinement violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of some defendants and denied a motion for summary judgment based on
qualified immunity for the clinical director of a detention facility. The clinical director appealed. The appeals
court reversed and remanded. The court held that the district court did not commit plain error in assuming
implicitly that the clinical director was entitled to assert qualified immunity as a state actor. The court found that
the offender’s alleged conditions of confinement did not amount to inhumane treatment in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. The conditions purportedly included unpleasant odors, lack of air conditioning, peeling
paint and the presence of cockroaches which, according to the court, did not amount to inhumane treatment. The
court noted that although the alleged conditions were unpleasant, they were not so objectively serious that they
could establish a constitutional violation. (Joliet Treatment & Detention Facil., Illinois Dept. of Human Services)

U.S. District Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
PLUMBING
SAFETY

Shaw v. TDCJ-CID, 540 F.Supp.2d 834 (S.D.Tex. 2008). A legally blind state inmate brought an action alleging
that prison officials failed to remedy unsafe conditions in handicapped showers, in violation of his constitutional
rights, Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and the Texas Tort
Claims Act (TTCA). The inmate also alleged that prison medical officials were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials. The court held that prison
officials did not discriminate against the legally blind inmate as the result of their alleged failure to remedy
unsafe conditions in the prison's handicapped showers, and thus the officials were not liable under Title II of
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for injuries the inmate sustained in a slip and fall accident. The court
found that prison officials were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious medical needs, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment, as a result of their failure to remedy unsafe slippery conditions in the prison's
handicapped showers, absent a showing that the officials were aware of and deliberately ignored an excessive
risk. (Estelle Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Shine v. Hofman, 548 F.Supp.2d 112 (D.Vt. 2008). A federal pretrial detainee in the custody of the Vermont
Department of Corrections brought a pro se action, alleging violation of his constitutional rights. The district
court dismissed in part. The court found that allegations by the detainee that state officials failed to provide
adequate fire sprinklers or access to fire extinguishers stated a claim for violation of the detainee's due process
rights. The court held that the detainee’s allegations that he was subjected to segregation, and that the conditions
of segregation included a small cell with no windows and no opportunity to interact with other human beings,
did not state a claim for violation of the due process clause. The court noted that prisons may impose restrictions
on pretrial detainees so long as those restrictions are related to a non-punitive governmental purpose. (Vermont
Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS
SECURITY

Walker v. Woodford, 593 F.Supp.2d 1140 (S.D.Cal. 2008). A state prisoner filed a civil rights action against a
prison and its personnel alleging that prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by refusing to turn
off the lights in their cells. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motion. The court held that the prisoner had to present evidence showing that the prison's 24-hour illumination

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policy was the cause of his insomnia or related problems before the prison could be required to explain why
legitimate penological interests justified it. According to the court, the prisoner's testimony did not establish that
the illumination caused the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, or that prison personnel were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs in not modifying the illumination policy. The court found that prison
officials were not plainly incompetent in requiring low-level lighting in prison cells 24 hours per day for security
purposes. (Calipatria State Prison, California)
U.S. District Court
CELLS
EQUIPMENT
SANITATION

Wesolowski v. Kamas, 590 F.Supp.2d 431 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
correction officers and a superintendent, alleging that the defendants subjected him to cruel and unusual
punishment and denied him equal protection of the law, in violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
rights. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the
prisoner's rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments were not violated by a soiled mattress, the
plexiglass shield over the front of his cell, another inmate's overflowed toilet, the use of a single slot to pass
objects through a cell door, the denial of his preferred cleaning materials when other suitable materials were
made available to him, or a single two-week period during which the plaintiff's cell was not cleaned. The court
noted that the prisoner's complaints related principally to his personal preferences as to the cleanliness of his cell.
Prison officials did not display deliberate indifference to the prisoner's complaints, but instead responded quickly
and appropriately, in that the prisoner received a new mattress within two days of his request, and he was moved
to a new cell without a plexiglass cover within five days of his complaint. (Southport Corr’l Facility, New York)
2009

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
CAPACITY

Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, 922 F.Supp.2d 882 (E.D.Cal. 2009). State prisoners brought class actions against a
governor and other officials, alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement as to the provision of medical
and mental health care. After granting a correctional officer association's motion to intervene as a plaintiff, the
motion to convene a three-judge panel was granted, to consider plaintiffs' request for order to reduce prison
population. The court held that clear and convincing evidence established that overcrowding was the primary
cause of the provision of inadequate medical and mental health care; (2) deficiencies in the provision of medical
and mental health care could not be resolved in the absence of a prisoner release order; (3) reduction in the
California state prison population to a system-wide cap was warranted; (4) the court's order was the least
intrusive means necessary to correct the violations, as required by PLRA; and (5) reduction in the California
state prison population to a system-wide cap of 137.5% was warranted. (California Department of Rehabilitation
and Corrections)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Dace v. Smith-Vasquez, 658 F.Supp.2d 865 (S.D.Ill. 2009). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
prison employees, alleging that his exposure to excessively cold conditions during his incarceration resulted in a
deprivation of his Eighth Amendment rights, and that employees unconstitutionally retaliated against him by
exposing him to such conditions. The employees moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the
motion. The court held that the prisoner failed to administratively exhaust his § 1983 claims against prison
employees in accordance with Illinois Department of Corrections grievance procedures, as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). According to the court, even if the employees failed to directly respond to
some or all of the prisoner's grievances, the fact remained that the prisoner failed to take up those unresolved
grievances with a Grievance Officer as required by the grievance procedures. The court held that the prisoner
failed to establish that alleged excessively cold temperature in his cell for a period of approximately three weeks
was sufficiently serious to deprive him of the minimal civilized measures of life's necessities, as would support
his Eighth Amendment prison conditions claim. Although the prisoner and other inmates in his cell block had to
bundle up to try to stay warm, and the prisoner contracted a case of common cold, there was no concrete,
objectively verifiable evidence that demonstrated the degree of cold in the cell during the relevant time period.
The court found that prison employees were not deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's complaints regarding
cold temperature in his cell during a three-week period, as would support the prisoner's Eighth Amendment
prison conditions claim. The court noted that the prisoner testified that he had winter clothing and a blanket and
that he used them, employees made efforts to address the prisoner's complaints regarding the situation by
submitting work orders for a heating system, and there was no evidence that the employees had authority to do
anything else. The court found that the prisoner failed to establish that his prior lawsuit against prison officials
and/or his filing of grievances was the “motivating factor” for the alleged actions of prison employees, including
exposing the prisoner to extreme cold, not allowing him to go to the commissary, handcuffing him, damaging his
property, and not responding to his grievances, as would support his § 1983 retaliation claim against the
employees. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
CROWDING
DAYROOM
HYGIENE
LIGHTS
NOISE
SAFETY
TEMPERATURE

Graves v. Arpaio, 633 F.Supp.2d 834 (D.Ariz. 2009). Pretrial detainees in a county jail system brought a class
action against a county sheriff and a county board of supervisors, alleging violation of the detainees' civil rights.
The parties entered into a consent decree which was superseded by an amended judgment entered by stipulation
of the parties. The defendants moved to terminate the amended judgment. The district court entered a second
amended judgment which ordered prospective relief for the pretrial detainees. The amended judgment provided
relief regarding the following: population/housing limitations, dayroom access, natural light and windows,
artificial lighting, temperature, noise, access to reading materials, access to religious services, mail, telephone
privileges, clothes and towels, sanitation, safety, hygiene, toilet facilities, access to law library, medical care,
dental care, psychiatric care, intake areas, mechanical restraints, segregation, outdoor recreation, inmate
classification, visitation, food, visual observation by detention officers, training and screening of staff members,
facilities for the handicapped, disciplinary policy and procedures, inmate grievance policy and procedures,
reports and record keeping, security override, and dispute resolution. The detainees moved for attorney's fees and
nontaxable costs. The district court held that the class of detainees was the prevailing party entitled to attorney's
fees. The court noted that defending and enforcing the judgment for more than five years and obtaining

15.47

prospective relief required substantial time and labor, the issues presented were not novel but many were
difficult and complex, conducting discovery, marshaling evidence, and presenting that evidence during a 13-day
evidentiary hearing required considerable skill, commitment of attorneys' time and advancement of costs limited
attorneys' ability to take on new cases, and the attorneys would not receive any compensation for their work
representing the detainees except as awarded by the court. (Maricopa County Sheriff and Maricopa County
Board of Supervisors, Arizona)
U.S. District Court
FURNISHINGS
SANITATION
VENTILATION

Johnson v. Boyd, 676 F.Supp.2d 800 (E.D. Ark. 2009). A state prisoner filed a civil rights action against a
detention center and its personnel alleging several violations. The defendants moved for summary judgment and
the district court granted the motion in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether detention center personnel failed to protect the prisoner from an attack by
another prisoner. The court held that a substantial risk of harm to the prisoner's health or safety did not result
from the prisoner's detention, where, among other things, a professional exterminator routinely sprayed the
facility for rodents and bugs, exposed wires from ceiling light fixtures that had been pulled down by inmates
were not hazardous or were not located in cells where the prisoner had been confined, the ventilation system was
operational and only temporarily malfunctioned when inmates put paper and other materials in vents, fresh water
was located in coolers in pods and was brought to the prisoner's cell several times per day, and the prisoner had
been provided with a concrete sleeping slab and extra blankets. (Crittenden County Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
HANDICAPPED
HYGIENE

Phipps v. Sheriff of Cook County, 681 F.Supp.2d 899 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial
detainees currently and formerly housed at a county prison brought a class action against the county and county
sheriff, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The parties
cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motions for summary judgment. The court
held that the sheriff waived the affirmative defense that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative
remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), where the sheriff raised that defense for the
first time in his motion for summary judgment. The court held that the pretrial detainees adequately alleged
discrimination based on the prison's failure to provide wheelchair-accessible bathroom facilities. According to
the court, the detainees met the PLRA physical injury requirement. In addition to alleging mental and emotional
harm, the detainees complained of bed sores, infections, and injuries resulting from falling to the ground from
their wheelchairs and toilets, which were undeniably physical injuries. The court held that county prison
facilities to which the paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial detainees claimed to have been denied access-showers, toilets, and sinks--were “services” and “programs” within the meaning of Title II of ADA, which
forbade discrimination against persons with disabilities in the area of public services, programs, and activities.
The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the
paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial detainees were intentionally discriminated against, and as to whether
modifications to county prison facilities requested by the detainees were reasonable. (Cook County Department
of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL AREAS
MEDICAL EXAM

Plata v. Schwarzenegger, 560 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2009). In a class action brought on behalf of state prisoners,
alleging that state officials were providing inadequate health care in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the receiver appointed to oversee the provision of health care at state
prisons moved for an order of contempt based on the state's failure to fund the receiver's capital projects. The
district court ordered the state to fund the projects and to show cause why it should not be held in contempt. The
state appealed, and alternatively filed a petition for a writ of mandamus. The appeals court dismissed the appeal
and denied the writ of mandamus. According to the court, the state failed to prove that it would be damaged or
prejudiced in a way not correctable on appeal, weighing against granting the state's petition for a writ of
mandamus to prevent the district court from holding it in contempt based on its failure to fund the receiver's
capital projects. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
LIGHTS
SECURITY

Rodriguez-Borton v. Pereira-Castillo, 593 F.Supp.2d 399 (D.Puerto Rico 2009). Relatives of a deceased pretrial
detainee brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, requesting damages for constitutional violations
culminating in the detainee's death. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part and
denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to the lack of adequate
inmate supervision and malfunctioning cell locks and cell lights. The court also found an issue of material fact as
to whether the Administrator of the Puerto Rico Administration of Corrections (AOC) failed to act with regard to
security risks, including malfunctioning door locks, in the annex within which the pretrial detainee was found
hanged. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to the prison annex superintendent's failure to
remedy supervision problems in housing units where he knew inmates were able to and did move freely in and
out of their cells due to malfunctioning door locks. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a
genuine issue of material fact as to a correctional officer's failure to patrol the living area of the annex within
which the pretrial detainee was found hanged while he knew inmates were able to freely move around. The court
denied qualified immunity to the defendants because it was clearly established at the time of the alleged inaction,
and a reasonable prison official working in the system would have known that a lack of supervision, combined
with the knowledge that cell locks did not function, would create an obvious and undeniable security risk.
(Administration of Corrections of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Annex 246)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
EQUIPMENT
HANDICAPPED
HYGIENE
VISITATION AREAS

Shariff v. Coombe, 655 F.Supp.2d 274 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Disabled prisoners who depended on wheelchairs for
mobility filed an action against a state and its employees asserting claims pursuant to Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title V of Rehabilitation Act, New York State Correction Law, and First, Eighth,
and Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court noted that although the height of a counter was not lowered in
response to the grievance, the prison had attempted to remedy the situation by changing the way in which hot
food was served from the counter. According to the court, the inability of disabled prisoners who depended on
wheelchairs for mobility to access restrooms throughout a state prison rose to the level of an objective violation

15.48

of the Eighth Amendment, where the prisoners soiled themselves up to several times per week. The court noted
that the sheer frequency with which those incidents occurred, not to mention the physical injuries that at least
some prisoners had suffered in attempting to use an inaccessible restroom, indicated that the prisoners had been
denied a minimal civilized measure of life's necessities or there was an unreasonable risk of serious damage to
their future health. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether the prison and its employees were deliberately indifferent to the prisoners' restroom needs.
The court found that the height of a food service counter and the absence of accessible water fountains
throughout the state prison were not conditions that deprived disabled prisoners, who depended on wheelchairs
for mobility, of minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and they did not pose an unreasonable risk of
serious damage to their future health, as required for a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel
and unusual punishment. The court noted that although one prisoner suffered a burn on his hand caused by hot
food or liquid falling from a food service counter, falling or spilled food did not create an unreasonable risk of
serious damage to the prisoner's health. The court held that the existence of potholes and broken concrete in state
prison yards did not constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual
punishment as to disabled prisoners who depended on wheelchairs for mobility, even if those prisoners had
fallen and suffered injuries as a result. According to the court, the inaccessibility of telephones throughout a state
prison, inaccessibility of a family reunion site, inaccessibility of a law library, and malfunctioning of a school
elevator, that did not cause any physical harm or pain to disabled prisoners who depended on wheelchairs for
mobility, were not the kind of deprivations that denied a basic human need, and thus did not constitute a
violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. (New York State Department
of Correctional Services, Green Haven Correctional Facility)
U.S. Appeals Court
ASBESTOS

Smith v. U.S., 561 F.3d 1090 (10th Cir. 2009). An inmate brought an action against prison employees, the U.S.
Attorney General, and the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, alleging that he was exposed to asbestos
while assigned to work at a prison. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the Inmate
Accident Compensation Act was the exclusive remedy against the government for a prisoner with alleged workrelated injuries, and thus dismissal of the prisoner's claims under Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was warranted. The court held that the federal workers' compensation scheme for participants in a prison work program
lacked the requisite procedural safeguards of the inmate's constitutional rights to foreclose a Bivens action by the
inmate. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that prison employees had known that asbestos was
present in a closet in which the inmate was working when he was exposed to asbestos were sufficient to state an
Eighth Amendment Bivens claim against those employees. (United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas)
2010

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act

Armstrong v. Schwarzenegger, 622 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010). A class of disabled state prison inmates and parolees moved for an order requiring state prison officials to track and accommodate the needs of disabled parolees
housed in county jails, and to provide access to a workable grievance procedure pursuant to the officials' obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, and prior court orders. The district
court granted the motion and the state appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and vacated in part. The appeals court held that: (1) contractual arrangements between the state and a county for incarceration of state
prison inmates and parolees in county jails were subject to ADA; (2) the district court's order was not invalid for
violating federalism principles; (3) the state failed to show that the order was not the narrowest, least intrusive
relief possible, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA); but (4) there was insufficient evidence
to justify the system-wide injunctive relief in the district court's order. The court noted the state's recent proposal
to alter its sentencing practices to place in county jails approximately 14,000 persons who would otherwise be
incarcerated in state prisons. The court also noted that the state's contracts with counties were not simply for
incarceration, but to provide inmates and parolees in county jails with various positive opportunities, from educational and treatment programs, to opportunities to contest their incarceration, to the fundamentals of life, such
as sustenance, and elementary mobility and communication, and the restrictions imposed by incarceration meant
that the state was required to provide these opportunities to individuals incarcerated in county jails pursuant to
state contracts to the same extent that they were provided to all state inmates. The district court’s order did not
require the state to shift parolees to state facilities if county jails exhibited patterns of ADA non-compliance;
rather, the order required that, if the state became aware of a class member housed in a county jail who was not
being accommodated, the state either ensure that the jail accommodated the class member, or move the class
member to a state or county facility which could accommodate his needs. In finding that statewide injunctive
relief was not needed, the court held that evidence of ADA violations was composed largely of single incidents
that could be isolated, and the district court's order identified no past determinations that showed class members
in county jails were not being accommodated. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Blackmon v. Kukua, 758 F.Supp.2d 398 (S.D.Tex. 2010). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action against
prison officials, alleging his exposure to excessive heat violated his Eighth Amendment rights. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The district court
held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether conditions during
the state prisoner's incarceration in a prison unit, which included frequent temperatures into the 100's and insufficient ventilation, and which allegedly had a negative effect on the prisoner's personal health, constituted a
denial of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities. The court held that a prison maintenance supervisor
did not act with deliberate indifference to the state prisoner's health or safety in responding to the prisoner's
grievance about excessive heat, as required to support an Eighth Amendment claim, where he investigated the
prisoner's complaint and gave an appropriate response. According to the court, the state prisoner's right not to be
subjected to excessive heat was clearly established at the time he was continually exposed to temperatures into
the 90s and 100s, in determining whether prison officials who failed to respond to his complaints about the heat

15.49

were entitled to qualified immunity in his civil rights action. (Garza East Unit, Beeville, Texas Department of
Criminal Justice)
U.S. Appeals Court
EQUIPMENT
FIRE SAFETY

Davis v. Oregon County, Missouri, 607 F.3d 543 (8th Cir. 2010). A pretrial detainee brought an action under §
1983 and various state law authority against a county, county sheriff's department, and a sheriff, alleging the
defendants violated his rights in failing to ensure his safety after a fire broke out at the county jail. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the county jail's smoking policy did not demonstrate that the sheriff acted with deliberate
indifference in violation of the due process rights of the detainee caught in his cell during a jail fire, even if a
jailer supplied cigarettes to inmates, since the jail had an anti-smoking policy in effect at all relevant times. The
court noted that the jailer who allegedly supplied the cigarettes to the inmates had retired nine months before the
fire occurred, and jail officials made sweeps for contraband as recently as five days before the fire. According to
the court, the county jail's inoperable sprinklers and lack of extra fire safety equipment such as oxygen tanks did
not amount to deliberate indifference in violation of the due process rights of the detainee caught in his cell
during a fire, where jail officials took action to deal with fire hazards by prohibiting smoking and searching for
contraband, and fire extinguishers and smoke detectors were present at the time of the fire. The court held that
any failure of the sheriff to engage his officers in more exhaustive emergency training did not amount to
deliberate indifference in violation of the due process rights of the detainee caught in his cell during a fire, even
if the officers' lack of training presented a substantial safety risk. The court noted that the officers' actions in
removing inmates from their cells after they discovered the fire demonstrated that they did not disregard the risk.
(Oregon County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL AREAS
SANITATION

Duvall v. Dallas County, Tex., 631 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2010). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
county for personal injuries stemming from a staph infection that he contracted while incarcerated in the county's
jail. At the conclusion of a jury trial in the district court the detainee prevailed. The county appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The court held that: (1) sufficient evidence supported the finding that the county's actions in
allowing the infection were more than de minimis; (2) sufficient evidence existed to support the finding that the
county had an unconstitutional custom or policy in allowing the infection to be present; and (3) sufficient
evidence supported the finding that the detainee contracted the infection while in jail. The court noted that
physicians testified that there was a “bizarrely high incidence” of the infection and that they were not aware of a
jail with a higher percentage of the infection than the county's jail. According to the court, there was evidence
that jail officials had long known of the extensive infection problem yet continued to house inmates in the face
of the inadequately controlled staph contamination, and that the county was not willing to take the necessary
steps to spend the money to take appropriate actions. The court noted that there was evidence that the jail had
refused to install necessary hand washing and disinfecting stations and had failed to use alcohol-based sanitizers,
which were the recommended means of hand disinfection. (Dallas County, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Graves v. Arpaio, 623 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir, 2010). Pretrial detainees in a county jail system brought a class action
against a county sheriff and the county supervisors board, alleging violation of the detainees' civil rights. The
parties entered into a consent decree which was superseded by an amended judgment entered by stipulation of
the parties. The defendants moved to terminate the amended judgment. The district court entered a second
amended judgment which ordered prospective relief for the pretrial detainees. The district court awarded
attorney fees to the detainees. The sheriff appealed the second amended judgment. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by ordering prospective relief requiring the
sheriff to house all detainees taking psychotropic medications in temperatures not exceeding 85 degrees and
requiring the sheriff to provide food to pretrial detainees that met or exceeded the United States Department of
Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The district court had held that air temperatures above 85
degrees greatly increased the risk of heat-related illnesses for individuals taking psychotropic medications, and
thus that the Eighth Amendment prohibited housing such detainees in areas where the temperature exceeded 85
degrees. (Maricopa County Sheriff, Jail, Maricopa County Supervisors, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
GENERAL
CONDITIONS
PLUMBING
SANITATION
VENTILATION

Mitchell v. Dodrill, 696 F.Supp.2d 454 (M.D.Pa. 2010). A federal prisoner initiated a Bivens-type action against
the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees, making several complaints about various conditions of his former place
of confinement. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part, and denied in part. The
court held that, absent any evidence that the alleged conditions of the prisoner's cell caused harm to the prisoner,
and that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) defendants were deliberately indifferent to that harm, cell conditions did
not violate the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that his cell was in poor condition, with poor welding
and rust erosion present at the base of the walls, had inadequate plumbing, was infested with “cockroaches,
spiders, worms, mice and other unknown insects,” and lacked ventilation. The court found that the prisoner's
allegation, that as a special management unit inmate, he was not given the same commissary privileges as a
general population inmate, did not rise to the level of a sufficiently serious constitutional deprivation to give rise
to an Eighth Amendment claim. The court held that double celling of the prisoner did not violate the Eighth
Amendment where the prisoner did not allege that he was singled out for double-celling or that his health or life
was endangered by the condition. The court noted that double celling inmates is not per se unconstitutional, and
that considerations that are relevant in determining if double celling violates the Eighth Amendment include the
length of confinement, the amount of time prisoners spend in their cells each day, sanitation, lighting, bedding,
ventilation, noise, education and rehabilitation programs, opportunities for activities outside the cells, and the
repair and functioning of basic physical facilities such as plumbing, ventilation, and showers. (Special
Management Unit, United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY

Quarles v. Palakovich, 736 F.Supp.2d 941 (M.D.Pa. 2010). An inmate, whose head and back had allegedly been
injured when a portion of drywall ceiling in a prison shower collapsed onto him, filed a pro se § 1983 action
against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his safety, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. All

15.50

parties moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the defendants’ motion in part, and denied in
part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
prison's unit manager or correctional officers had subjective knowledge of the dangerous condition of the ceiling
in the inmates' shower facilities. (State Correctional Institution at Smithfield, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
EQUIPMENT

Sexton v. Kenton County Detention Center, 702 F.Supp.2d 784 (E.D.Ky. 2010). Two female detainees brought a
§ 1983 action against a county detention center and officials, alleging deliberate indifference with respect to
hiring and supervision of a deputy who sexually assaulted them while they awaited arraignment. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the detainees failed to
establish deliberate indifference with respect to the center's hiring of the deputy. The court noted that none of the
deputy's prior misdemeanor offenses, including his driving infractions and domestic assault, demonstrated a
propensity to commit rape. The court found that the detainees failed to demonstrate a causal link between the
center's alleged policy of not terminating employees with excessive absenteeism and the deputy's conduct. The
court noted that "...Absent evidence of prior complaints of sexual assault, the mere fact that a male guard
supervises a female inmate does not lead to the conclusion that the inmate is at a great risk of being sexually
assaulted by the guard." According to the court, the detainees failed to establish that the county detention center
was deliberately indifferent to their constitutional rights by not effectively monitoring surveillance equipment,
and thus they could not recover in their § 1983 action against the center, where there was no evidence that the
center had a policy or custom of ineffective surveillance. The detainees argued that only one person monitored
the 89 cameras that were used throughout the Detention Center and that they were mainly monitored only for
ingress and egress of secured doors. They asserted that the county should have had cameras in the video
arraignment room for the inmates' protection. The court noted that state jail regulations do not require constant
monitoring of video surveillance cameras or dictate where the cameras are to be placed inside a detention
facility. (Kenton County Detention Center, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Silverstein v. Federal Bureau Of Prisons, 704 F.Supp.2d 1077 (D.Colo. 2010). A federal inmate brought a civil
rights action against the Bureau of Prisons and correctional officers, challenging conditions of his confinement.
The district court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss in part. The court held that the allegation that the
inmate was indefinitely placed in solitary confinement, isolated from other inmates and correctional facility staff,
and subjected to continuous lighting and camera surveillance, was sufficient to allege a liberty interest in conditions of his confinement. The court found that the allegation that the inmate was subjected to solitary confinement for more than two decades was sufficient to state claim under the Eighth Amendment against the Bureau.
But, according to the court, the inmate did not have a liberty interest in avoiding transfer to administrative segregation facility. (United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum facility, Florence, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
KITCHEN
SANITATION

Smith-Bey v. CCA/CTF, 703 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2010). A District of Columbia inmate brought a § 1983 action
against a prison, the private corporation that ran the prison, and a food services company, alleging the prison's
kitchen was so poorly maintained and infested with vermin that being forced to eat food prepared there
amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved to
dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the two instances in
which the inmate discovered cockroaches in his food, "while certainly unpleasant," did establish an Eighth
Amendment violation. (Correctional Treatment Facility, Washington, D.C.)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS

Torres v. O'Quinn, 612 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2010). An inmate brought an action against state prison officials,
complaining that the officials failed to repair a malfunctioning night-light in his prison cell, resulting in a
disturbing strobe effect. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
could be granted. The inmate appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The inmate then brought a separate action
against prison officials, alleging a constitutional violation due to the prison's prohibition of his subscription to
commercially available pictures of nude women. The district court dismissed the action for failure to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted, the inmate appealed, and the appeals court dismissed the appeal. The
inmate then moved for a partial refund of filing fees that had been collected from his prison trust account,
challenging the prison's practice of withholding 40 percent of his account to satisfy the filing fee requirement for
his two appeals. The appeals court found that PLRA required that no more than 20 percent of an inmate's
monthly income be deducted to pay filing fees, irrespective of the total number of cases or appeals the inmate
had pending at any one time. The court held that granting the inmate a partial refund of fees was not warranted
since the amounts withheld from the inmate's account were actually owed and were properly, if excessively,
collected. (Red Onion State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS
SAFETY

Williams v. Jackson, 600 F.3d 1007 (8th Cir. 2010). A former inmate brought Eighth Amendment claims against
a prison maintenance supervisor and three correction officers alleging that they willfully and maliciously
exposed him to ultraviolet radiation resulting in physical injury. The district court denied the defendants' motion
for summary judgment, and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
The court held that correction officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from the inmate's claims alleging
that officers used excessive force and acted with deliberate indifference, in violation of the Eighth Amendment,
in removing the shield used to protect cell occupants from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from a germicidal
ultraviolet radiation lamp used for the treatment of tuberculosis. The court found that officers acted in retaliation
for a comment made by another inmate during a “shake down” of the cell, and that officers ignored demands to
replace the shield or deactivate the light, since reasonable officers were on sufficient notice that they may not
purposefully expose inmates to potentially harmful radiation in the complete absence of a penological purpose.
The court found that the inmate's allegation that the prison's maintenance supervisor received notice that
correction officers had removed the protective shield but failed to take timely action to replace the shield alleged
was nothing more than simple negligence, and thus was insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment violation.
(East Arkansas Regional Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections)

15.51

2011
U.S. District Court
CROWDING
CELL SIZE

Bailey v. Hughes, 815 F.Supp.2d 1246 (M.D.Ala. 2011). A state prisoner brought an action against a county
sheriff's department, a sheriff, corrections officers, and others, alleging unconstitutional deprivations of his rights
while in custody in a county jail. The defendants moved to dismiss and for an award of attorney fees. The district
court granted the motions. The district court held that: (1) neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Fourth
Amendment's excessive force prohibition applied to the sentenced offender; (2) the sheriff and supervisory
officials were entitled to qualified immunity; (3) allegations did not state an Eighth Amendment claim based on
jail overcrowding; (4) the officers' alleged conduct in tasering the prisoner did not violate the Eighth
Amendment; (5) allegations did not state a § 1983 claim for an unconstitutional strip search; (6) placement of the
prisoner alone in closet-sized cell for eight hours after the alleged incident did not amount to unconstitutional
confinement; and (7) the officers' alleged conduct in searching the prisoner's cell did not amount to retaliation for
prisoner's prior lawsuit. The court noted that the prisoner admitted that he repeatedly refused the officers' verbal
commands and fled his cell, he was repeatedly warned that he would be shocked if he did not comply with the
officers' commands, and he was shocked by a taser only once before he fled his cell and then two to three times
after he did so. (Houston County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING

Bradley v. Mason, 833 F.Supp.2d 763 (N.D.Ohio 2011). State inmates filed a § 1983 action asserting multiple
causes of action pertaining to their convictions and conditions of confinement. The district court dismissed the
case, finding that class certification was not warranted, where the inmates made no attempt to define the class,
many claims were specific to named plaintiffs, and the plaintiffs were proceeding pro se. The court found that
overcrowded conditions at the county jail, which required two inmates to share a cell designed for one and
required inmates to eat meals in their cells, did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the
pretrial detainee's due process rights and an inmate's Eighth Amendment rights, absent a showing that conditions
of confinement deprived them of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities, or subjected them to a health
risk. The inmates claimed that one inmate was required to sleep on a mattress on the floor cell, which allegedly
adds clutter to the floor and increases the risk of injury. The inmates alleged that the jail has more inmates than
the day rooms can accommodate at meal time, and inmates are therefore required to eat meals in their cells.
(Cuyahoga County Jail, Ohio)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
MAINTENANCE

Byron v. Dart, 825 F.Supp.2d 958 (N.D.Ill. 2011). A pretrial detainee who was stabbed in the head by an
unknown inmate who opened the detainee's cell door from outside without a key brought a § 1983 action against
the county sheriff, jail administrators, and a corrections officer, alleging that the defendants failed to protect him
in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The officials moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The
district court denied the motion. The court held that the detainee's allegations in his complaint stated a
“sufficiently serious injury” as required for a Fourteenth Amendment failure to protect claim against the prison
administrators. The court also found that the detainee's allegations in his complaint were sufficient to state a
“deliberate indifference” element of the detainee's Fourteenth Amendment failure to protect claim against prison
administrators. The detainee alleged that the problem of malfunctioning cell doors was “pervasive,” “welldocumented,” and “expressly noted by prison officials in the past,” that work orders to repair cell doors were
never executed, and that he complained about his door, but it was never repaired. According to the court, the
detainee became aware, from his own observations and in speaking with other detainees, that numerous cells
were “in a state of disrepair and/or had malfunctioned,” and that specifically, the doors of the cells could be
“popped” open by detainees from the outside without a key. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
EQUIPMENT
FURNISHING
SAFETY

Fields v. Abbott, 652 F.3d 886 (8th Cir. 2011). A female jailer brought a § 1983 action against a county, sheriff,
county commissioners, and several other defendants, alleging violations of her substantive due process rights.
The district court denied the sheriff's and commissioners' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified
immunity and the defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the defendants'
failure to act was not deliberate indifference as to the safety of the jailer. According to the court, the sheriff's and
county commissioners' awareness of potentially dangerous conditions in the jail, including that the jail was
understaffed and that the drunk tank had an interior-mounted door handle, and failure to take action regarding
those conditions, which resulted in the jailer being attacked and taken hostage by two inmates, was not deliberate
indifference as to the safety of the jailer, as would violate the jailer's Fourteenth Amendment substantive due
process rights on a state created danger theory. The court found that the defendants’ failure to act was at most
gross negligence, rather than deliberate indifference, and the jailer was aware of the conditions as she had been
injured previously due to the handle and staffing issue, such that she could take these issues into account in
interacting with inmates. (Miller County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
FACILITY DESIGN

Pierce v. County of Orange, 761 F.Supp.2d 915 (C.D.Cal. 2011). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities
brought a § 1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff, seeking relief for violations of their
constitutional and statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the
district court rejected the detainees' claims, and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. On remand, the court held that: (1) a sub-class was properly defined as mobilityimpaired and dexterity-impaired pretrial detainees; (2) the detainees were subject to physical barriers to
accessibility of jail facilities, in violation of ADA; (3) certain categories of programs, services, and activities
were not similarly available to the detainees, in violation of ADA; (4) the county failed to establish that
accommodations requested by the detainees would require fundamental alteration or produce an undue burden,
or that current conditions were reasonably related to the facilities' legitimate interests; and (5) the least intrusive
means to compel the county to remedy physical barriers and disparate provision of programs, services, and
activities to detainees was to allow the county to draft a proposed plan. The court held that the widespread
injunctive relief ordered by the district court, which addressed the county's failure to accommodate detainees

15.52

with respect to toilets and showers, as well as programs, activities, and services, was narrowly drawn, extended
no further than necessary to correct violations of the detainees' federal rights, and was the least intrusive means
necessary to correct violation of those federal rights, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).
(Orange County Jail System, California, including the Central Jail Complex, the Intake Release Center, the
Men's Central Jail, the Women's Central Jail and the James A. Facility Musick and the Theo Lacy Facility)
U.S. District Court
FURNISHINGS
SANITATION

Rodriguez-Sanchez v. Acevedo-Vila, 763 F.Supp.2d 294 (D.Puerto Rico 2011). An inmate brought a § 1983
action against a prison warden and a director of corrections for alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment right
to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court held that the prison warden was liable for an
Eighth Amendment violation but the inmate was not entitled to a judgment against the director of corrections.
The court found that the inmate was entitled to $1,000 per day for pain and suffering and to a punitive damages
award of $10,000 from the warden. According to the court, the warden was liable to the inmate for violating the
inmate’s Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment because the inhumane
conditions to which the inmate was subjected in his cell included the lack of an adequate place to sit, no working
toilet, shower runoff water channeled through the cell, and foul odors. The court held that these conditions were
the result of design and not of accident or happenstance, and were known to the prison officials in charge and in
control, including the warden. (Correctional Institution Annex 296, Guayama, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
SANITATION

Solomon v. Nassau County, 759 F.Supp.2d 251 (E.D.N.Y. 2011). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a
county, jail, sheriff, and undersheriff, alleging that his civil rights were violated when he was bitten by a rodent
in his jail cell. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The court held that because the sheriff and undersheriff were not “personally involved” in any
alleged failure to maintain a safe prison environment, they were not subject to § 1983 liability for the injury to
the pretrial detainee who was bitten by a rodent in his jail cell. The court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the pretrial detainee was exposed to a substantial risk
of contracting rabies or another dangerous disease from a rodent bite, and whether the county was aware of the
substantial risk of serious harm. According to the court, although protection of inmates from harmful chemicals
and the need to prevent inmates from using poisons, glue traps, or door sweeps as weapons were legitimate
penological interests that supported the reasonableness of the jail's pest control plan, a genuine issue of fact
existed as to whether the county was adequately complying with the plan, and whether the lack of compliance
could have resulted in the alleged substantial risk of harm. (Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
CONSENT DECREE
CROWDING
MEDICAL EXAM
SANITATION
USE OF FORCE

U.S. v. Cook County, Illinois, 761 F.Supp.2d 794 (N.D.Ill. 2011). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) brought
an action against a county, alleging conditions in a county jail violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment.
Following entry of a consent decree, the county moved for entry of a prisoner release order. The district court
denied the motion. The court held that while overcrowding was a primary cause of the unconstitutional
conditions at the jail and a prisoner release order was the least intrusive form of relief for overcrowding in the
jail, the proposed prisoner release order was not narrowly drawn or sufficiently specific, and thus the grant of the
order was not warranted. The court noted that conditions of overcrowding caused guards to resort to excessive
force, incidents involving guards' use of excessive force were more frequent on days the jail was overcrowded,
overcrowding caused grossly unsanitary and unhealthy conditions, and chronic overcrowding of the jail's
medical facilities resulted in inadequate medical and mental-health care. According to the court, the proposed
order did not explain or justify the number of inmates who would be affected by the order or the number of
inmates that would be released annually, did not specify which class or classes of prisoners would be eligible for
release or what grounds were to be used in deciding whether an inmate should be released on their own
recognizance or released on electronic monitoring, or provide assurance that adequate funding would be
available for electronic monitoring equipment or that prisoners released to electronic monitoring would be
effectively monitored. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
2012

U.S. District Court
KITCHEN
SAFETY

Allen v. Ford, 880 F.Supp.2d 407 (W.D.N.Y. 2012). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against correction
officers, alleging negligence in failing to provide adequate safety equipment while he was working in a cafeteria
and in failing to provide treatment when he burned himself, as well as asserting deliberate indifference in instruction and supervision. The officers moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The
court held that: (1) the negligence claims were precluded by sovereign immunity; (2) one officer did not know of
and disregard the severity of the prisoner's injuries; and (3) the officer advising the prisoner to sign up for sick
call for the following morning, rather than providing emergency sick call at that time, was not deliberately indifferent. The court noted that the prisoner reported the incident to the officer, who asked if he was badly burned,
the prisoner responded that he did not know, the prisoner's skin did not blister until after he returned to his cell at
the end of his shift, and the prisoner visited the medical department the next morning and was transferred to a
county medical center. (New York State Department of Corrections, Wende Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
COURT ORDER

Armstrong v. Brown, 857 F.Supp.2d 919 (N.D.Cal. 2012). Disabled state prisoners and parolees brought a class
action against state prison officials, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act. Seventeen years later, plaintiffs moved for an order requiring officials to track and
accommodate the needs of class members housed in county jails and to provide a workable grievance procedure.
Following remand to allow the development of additional evidence, the prisoners and parolees filed a renewed
motion. The district court granted the motion and entered an enforce order. The court held that: (1) officials'
efforts to comply with ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and prior orders were inadequate and ineffective on a
system-wide level; (2) system-wide injunctive relief was appropriate; (3) district court would not abstain from
exercising its jurisdiction over matters pertaining to county jails; (4) a stay of the prior order was not warranted;

15.53

and (5) the district court would exercise its retained jurisdiction to enforce the injunction. The court held that
state officials were obliged to ensure ADA-compliant conditions for prisoners and parolees that they housed
under their own authority in county jails. (California Youth and Adult Corrections Authority, Board of Prison
Terms, California Department of Corrections)
U.S. Appeals Court
DINING
HANDICAPPED
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act

Jaros v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections, 684 F.3d 667 (7th Cir. 2012). A former inmate sued the Illinois Department
of Corrections, its Director, and several employees claiming violations of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure
to state a claim, and the former inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and
remanded. The appeals court held that the inmate’s allegations that his use of the toilets and showers at the
prison was made more difficult by the absence of grab bars did not state an Eighth Amendment claim, where the
inmate was able to shower four times a month. He also missed meals on occasion because he could not walk fast
enough to the cafeteria. The court found that the prisoner pleaded a plausible claim for failure to make
reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act where he alleged that the Department of Corrections
refused to accommodate his disability, and consequently kept him from accessing meals and showers on the
same basis as other inmates. (Vandalia Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS AREAS
SANITATION

Knows His Gun v. Montana, 866 F.Supp.2d 1235 (D.Mont. 2012). Native American state prisoners brought an
action against a state, the state department of corrections (DOC), a private prison facility, and wardens, alleging
violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Defendants filed motion to
dismiss. The district court held that: (1) the allegations were sufficient to plead the searches were a substantial
burden on their religious exercise; (2) the allegations were sufficient plead the confiscations and prohibitions
were a substantial burden on their religious exercise; (3) the allegations about relieving a prisoner from the pipe
carrier position were sufficient to plead it was a substantial burden on his religious exercise; (4) transferred
prisoners did not have standing for claims for injunctive and declaratory relief; (5) the private facility was a state
actor; and (6) the private facility was an instrumentality of the state. The Native American prisoners' alleged that
the prison subjected them to en masse strip searches before and after sweat lodge ceremonies, that the searches
sometimes occurred in a hallway where other inmates could see them and at least one occurred in a gym with
video cameras monitored by a female guard, and that some inmates declined to participate in the ceremony due
to the degrading nature of the searches. According to the court, the prisoners' allegations that sacred items were
confiscated or prohibited by the prison for their sweat lodge ceremonies, including smudge tobacco and antlers,
and that the items were essential for the ceremony to be meaningful and proper were sufficient to plead
confiscations and prohibitions were a substantial burden on their religious exercise, as required for their claims
under RLUIPA. The prisoner also alleged that they were subject to pat down searches before and after entering
the ceremonial sweat lodge grounds, that they were provided insufficient water and toilet facilities, that the size
of the sweat lodge and the frequency of the ceremonies was inadequate, and that they were not provided a Native
American spiritual advisor. (Montana Department of Corrections; Corrections Corporation of America;
Crossroads Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
BEDS
FURNISHINGS
SUICIDE

Miller v. Harbaugh, 698 F.3d 956 (7th Cir. 2012). The mother of a minor who hanged himself while incarcerated
at a state youth detention facility, on her own behalf and as the minor's representative, brought a § 1983 action
against state officials, alleging deliberate indifference to the minor's serious mental illness. The 16-year-old
youth had a history of mental illness and was known to have attempted suicide at least three times. The district
court granted summary judgment for the officials. The mother appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that, even assuming that state supervisory officials' decision to use metal bunk beds in rooms of a
youth detention facility that were occupied by residents who were mentally disturbed but did not appear to be
imminently suicidal, amounted to deliberate indifference to the residents' serious medical needs, the law was not
then so clearly established as to defeat the officials' defense of qualified immunity to the due process claim. The
court found that a psychologist at the state youth detention facility, who had authorized the minor's transfer after
learning of minor's unsuccessful participation in the facility's drug abuse program, was not deliberately
indifferent to the minor's serious medical needs, in violation of due process. According to the court, even if he
knew that the minor, who had mental health issues, presented a suicide risk and that the transferee facility was
using metal bunk beds like that which the minor thereafter used to hang himself. The court found that the
psychologist's involvement with the minor was minimal, the decision to make the transfer was made after the
psychologist met with the facility's entire treatment staff, and the psychologist did not know which room at the
transferee facility the minor would be given or that the facility's other suicide prevention measures would prove
to be inadequate. (Illinois Youth Center, IYC Kewanee, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
EQUIPMENT
LIGHTS
SAFETY

Solivan v. Dart, 897 F.Supp.2d 694 (N.D.Ill. 2012). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county,
corrections officers, and a sheriff, alleging deliberate indifference to undue punishment. The defendants moved
to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee's §
1983 complaint stated a claim against a correctional officer for deliberate indifference to a serious need in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, where the complaint alleged facts that indicated that the officer left
inmates visually and audibly unsupervised for hours, knowing that a substantial risk of harm was present. The
complaint further alleged that there were no light bulbs in the detainee's cell, no intercoms or emergency call
buttons in cells, and no overhead cameras on his tier of the jail. According to the court, the complaint stated that
the harm the detainee suffered at the hands of other inmates was significant, including severe injuries to his right
eye and bleeding from his ear, and the complaint alleged that the detainee was the only person of Hispanic origin
housed in the maximum security tier, while a significant majority of other inmates were African American, and
that these circumstances put the detainee in an identifiable group of prisoners who were singled out for attack.
(Division One, Cook County Department of Corrections, Illinois)

15.54

U.S. District Court
SAFETY
SECURITY

Wilkins v. District of Columbia, 879 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.D.C. 2012). A pretrial detainee in a District of Columbia
jail who was stabbed by another inmate brought an action against the District. The district court entered
judgment as a matter of law in favor of the District and the detainee moved for reconsideration. The district court
granted the motion and ordered a new trial. The court held that the issue of whether the failure of District of
Columbia jail personnel to follow national standards of care for inmate access to storage closets and monitoring
of inmate movements was the proximate cause of the detainee's stabbing by a fellow inmate was for the jury, in
the detainee's negligence action, under District of Columbia law. Another inmate who was being held at the D.C.
Jail on charges of first-degree murder attacked the detainee. The inmate had received a pass to go to the jail's law
library, unaccompanied. Apparently he did not arrive at the library but no one from the library called the
inmate’s housing unit to report that he had not arrived. An expert retained by the detainee asserted that failure to
monitor inmate movements violated national standards for the operation of jails. En route to the jail mental
health unit, the detainee saw the inmate enter a mop closet. The inmate, along with another inmate, approached
the detainee and stabbed him nine times with a knife. During court proceedings there was testimony that the
inmates had hidden contraband in the mop closets. The closets are supposed to be locked at all times, other than
when the jail is being cleaned each afternoon. But there was evidence from which the jury could infer that all
inmates except those who did not have jobs cleaning in the jail had access to them. According to the detainee’s
expert witness, keeping mop closets locked at times when the general inmate population is permitted to be in the
vicinity of the closets is in accordance with national standards of care for the operation of detention facilities.
According to the district court, “In sum, the circumstantial evidence of Mr. Foreman's [inmate who attacked the
detainee] freedom of movement is enough to have allowed a jury to conclude that the District's negligence was a
proximate cause of Mr. Wilkins's injury…”. (District of Columbia Central Detention Facility)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
BEDS
EQUAL
PROTECTION

Wilkins-Jones v. County of Alameda, 859 F.Supp.2d 1039 (N.D.Cal. 2012). A detainee at a county jail who had
limited mobility and deformed hands as a result of systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis brought an action
against the contractor that provided medical care assessment services for detainees, and its employees, alleging
violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the California Disabled Persons Act (CDPA),
and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the private contractor was not liable as a public entity
or instrumentality under the ADA; (2) the contractor qualified as a “business establishment,” under the
California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (3) the complaint properly asserted a deprivation of full and equal
accommodations, as required to state a claim under the California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (4) the allegations
were insufficient to assert intentional discrimination, as required to state a claim against the contractor for
violation of the California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (5) the CDPA applied to county jails and the accommodations
and services provided therein; and (6) the allegations stated a claim against contractor under the CDPA. The jail
inmate who had limited mobility and deformed hands alleged that she was unable to use the toilet in the jail as
needed, causing her injuries, and that she was deprived of access to jail's facilities, beds, showers, walkways, and
benches. According to the court, this properly asserted a deprivation of full and equal accommodations, as
required to state a claim against the private contractor that contracted with county to provide medical care
assessment services for the county jail. (County of Alameda, California)
2013

U.S. District Court
BEDS
SAFETY

Alvarado-David v. U.S., 972 F.Supp.2d 210 (D.Puerto Rico 2013). A prisoner brought an action against the
United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging he fell out of his bunk and hit a toilet bowl,
breaking his frontal teeth and upper lip because the United States' failed to provide prisoners with ladders to
climb to their bunks. The United States moved to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under the
FTCA's discretionary function exception. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the decision
by Bureau of Prisons (BOP) personnel not to provide ladders or other equipment for the prisoners to climb to
their bunks fit within the discretionary function exception to the FTCA. The court noted that no rules or
regulations governed the use of ladders or bunk beds in correctional facilities, and the decision not to provide
ladders in correctional facilities for safety reasons, as ladders could be broken off and used as weapons or escape
devices, was grounded in considerations of public policy. (Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo, Puerto
Rico)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS
MAINTENANCE
SANITATION
VENTILATION

Ames v. Randle, 933 F.Supp.2d 1028 (N.D.Ill. 2013). An inmate brought § 1983 Eighth Amendment claims
against various employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) who allegedly were responsible for
the conditions of the inmate's confinement. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The court denied the
motion, finding that the inmate adequately pled that Illinois prison officials were deliberately indifferent, as
required to state a § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim. According to the court, the inmate alleged that he
repeatedly advised the official about the prison's detrimental living conditions and that the official did not make
an effort to remedy the conditions, that he informed another official about the intolerable living conditions and
that this official did not make an effort to remedy the conditions, and that he discussed the intolerable living
conditions with other officials, each of whom also failed to make any efforts to remedy the living conditions.
The inmate claimed that he was subjected to unsanitary conditions, a lack of ventilation, and continuous lighting
that interfered with his sleep. He also alleged that his housing area had dried bodily fluids on the wall of his cell
and a strong odor of ammonia from his uncleaned toilet, that there was pest infestation accompanied by filth and
feces, and that there was a complete lack of basic cleaning supplies or even garbage bags. He also cited filthy
soiled bedding, missing or dilapidated, and sometimes dangerously damaged cell furniture and fixtures, and
badly peeling toxic paint. The inmate suffered from endocarditis, an infection of the lining of the heart, which he
claimed was due to the conditions of his confinement, and from which his “numerous, almost constant, fungal
infections” stemmed. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois Department of Corrections)

15.55

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
EQUAL
PROTECTION

Armstrong v. Brown, 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2013). Disabled state prisoners and parolees brought a class action
against state prison officials, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act. Seventeen years later, the plaintiffs moved for an order requiring officials to track and
accommodate the needs of the class members housed in county jails and to provide a workable grievance
procedure. The prisoners and parolees filed a renewed motion, which the district court granted. The defendants
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and dismissed in part. The court held that: (1) Amendments to the
California Penal Code relating to the legal custody of parolees did not relieve officials of responsibility for the
discrimination suffered by disabled parolees housed in county jails, past and present, or of their obligation to
assist in preventing further Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations; and (2) orders requiring officials
to track and accommodate the needs of disabled prisoners and parolees housed in county jails and to provide a
workable grievance procedure were consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act and did not infringe on California's prerogative to structure its internal affairs. (California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
COURT ORDER
HANDICAPPED

Armstrong v. Brown, 939 F.Supp.2d 1012 (N.D.Cal. 2013). Prisoners brought a class action against the
Governor of California, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and a number of related directors
and executive officers, seeking to enforce prior orders requiring the defendants to provide sign language
interpreters (SLI), and to hold the defendants in contempt for violations. The district court granted the motion to
enforce the prior orders. The court held that setting a policy which failed to provide SLIs for hearing-impaired
inmates during rounds by psychiatric technicians warranted enforcement of the order against the defendants, and
the defendants' failure to provide SLIs for hearing-impaired inmates at classes attended by deaf inmates also
warranted an enforcement order. But the court decided that civil contempt sanctions were not appropriate
because officials were making substantial efforts to reach compliance with the orders by voluntarily increasing
both contract and civil services positions for qualified SLIs. (Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, California
Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRIVACY

Arnzen v. Palmer, 713 F.3d 369 (8th Cir 2013). Patients at a state Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders
(CCUSO) brought a § 1983 complaint against CCUSO administrators, challenging placement of video cameras
in CCUSO restrooms, and moved for a preliminary injunction to stop their use. The district court denied the
motion as to cameras in “dormitory style restrooms” but granted an injunction ordering that cameras in
“traditional style bathrooms” be pointed at a ceiling or covered with lens cap. The appeals court affirmed. The
appeals court held that CCUSO conducted a “search” by capturing images of patients while occupying singleuser bathrooms, and that CCUSO did not conduct a reasonable search by capturing patients' images, thereby
constituting a Fourth Amendment violation. The appeals court found that the district court did not abuse its
discretion in issuing preliminary injunctive relief. The court noted that the patients had a reasonable expectation
of privacy in a single-person bathroom when there was no immediate indication it was being used for purposes
other than those ordinarily associated with bathroom facilities, and that involuntarily civilly committed persons
retain the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches that is analogous to the right retained
by pretrial detainees. According to the court, the facility did not conduct a reasonable search of its involuntarily
committed patients by capturing images of patients while they occupied single-user bathrooms in a secure
facility, thereby constituting a violation of Fourth Amendment, where the cameras did not provide administrators
with immediate alerts concerning patient safety or prevent assaults or dangerous acts, and less intrusive methods
were available for administrators to use to prevent illicit activities by patients. (Iowa Civil Commitment Unit for
Sex Offenders)

U.S. Appeals Court
EQUIPMENT
SECURITY

Baker v. RR Brink Locking Systems, Inc., 721 F.3d 716 (5th Cir. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought an action
against the manufacturer of allegedly faulty locks on cell doors that permitted another inmate to enter the
detainee's cell and assault and rape him. The manufacturer moved for summary judgment. The district court
denied the motion and then denied reconsideration. The manufacturer moved for permission to file an appeal
before the case had been adjudicated. The motion was granted in part. The appeals court affirmed, allowing the
case to continue. (RR Brink, Harrison County Detention Center, Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
GENERAL
CONDITIONS
VENTILATION

Ball v. LeBlanc, 988 F.Supp.2d 639 (M.D.La. 2013). State death row inmates brought a § 1983 action against a
state department of corrections and state officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations
of violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act.
The district court granted declaratory and injunctive relief in part and denied in part. The court held that the
temperature and humidity of cells presented a substantial risk of harm to death row inmates, as required for their
claims against the prison and officials, alleging the conditions of confinement violated the Eighth Amendment.
The court noted that: (1) the inmates were regularly subjected to temperatures above 90.5 degrees and heat
indices above 100 degrees; (2) the heat index inside death row tiers was often higher than that outside the
facility; (3) inmates were subjected to consecutive days with heat indices above 100 degrees; (4) inmates were at
risk of heat-related illnesses including heat stroke and worsening of their underlying conditions, which included
diabetes, hypertension, and uncontrolled blood pressure; and (5) two inmates were over age 55, increasing the
risk for them.
The court found that prison officials had knowledge that the heat and humidity in death row tiers placed
inmates at a substantial risk of harm, as required to find the officials were deliberately indifferent to the serious
medical needs for the purpose of the inmates' Eighth Amendment claims. The inmates had submitted multiple
administrative complaints regarding the heat, and officials responded that they knew it was “extremely hot.”
According to the court, prison officials disregarded the substantial risk of serious harm to death row inmates
regarding heat and humidity in cells, as required to find that the officials were deliberately indifferent to the
serious medical needs for the purpose of the inmates' Eighth Amendment claims, where the officials did not take
any actions to reduce the heat conditions despite knowledge of the conditions.

15.56

The court found that there was no evidence that death row inmates were limited in any major life activities
due to their medical conditions, including hypertension, obesity, and depression, as required for their claims
against the prison and officials, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act. (Louisiana State Penitentiary)
U.S. Appeals Court
ANTIQUATED
FACILITY
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING
HYGIENE
PLUMBING
VENTILATION
WINDOWS

Budd v. Motley, 711 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2013). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that, as a pretrial
detainee, he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement at a county jail and that the sheriff was
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. The district court dismissed the complaint, and the inmate appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the detainee's
allegations were sufficient to state a plausible claim under the Due Process Clause for subjecting him to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The prisoner alleged that: (1) on one occasion he was confined with
eight inmates in a portion of the county jail intended for three; (2) he had to sleep on the floor alongside broken
windows and cracked toilets; (3) on another occasion he and other inmates had to sleep on the floor even though
shower water leaked there; (4) cells had broken windows, exposed wiring, extensive rust, sinks without running
water, toilets covered in mold and spider webs, and a broken heating and cooling system; (5) inmates were
denied any recreation; and (6) the jail furnished inmates with no supplies to clean for themselves.
The appeals court found that county jail officials were not deliberately indifferent to the pretrial detainee's
serious medical needs, in violation of the Due Process Clause even if he was dissatisfied with the treatment he
received from a jail nurse. The court noted that the detainee was taken to see a nurse as soon as he informed the
officer on duty about his leg wound, he was taken to a hospital promptly after writing a letter to the sheriff
asking to see a doctor, and the detainee received medical attention, medication, testing, and ongoing observation
at the hospital. (Edgar County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
CAPACITY

Coleman v. Brown, 922 F.Supp.2d 1004 (E.D.Cal. 2013). State prison inmates brought Eighth Amendment
challenges to the adequacy of mental health care and medical health care provided to mentally ill inmates and the
general prison population, respectively. The inmates moved to convene a three-judge panel of the district court
to enter a population reduction order that was necessary to provide effective relief. The motions were granted
and the cases were assigned to same panel, which ordered the state to reduce the prison population to 137.5% of
its design capacity. The state moved to vacate or modify the population reduction order. The district court denied
the motion. The three-judge panel of the district court held that: (1) the state's contention that prison crowding
was reduced and no longer a barrier to providing inmates with care required by the Eighth Amendment did not
provide the basis for a motion to vacate the order on the ground that changed circumstances made it inequitable
to continue applying the order; (2) the state failed to establish that prison crowding was no longer a barrier to
providing inmates with care required by the Eighth Amendment; and (3) the state failed to establish it had
achieved a durable remedy to prison crowding. (California Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
MEDICAL AREAS

Coleman v. Brown, 938 F.Supp.2d 955 (E.D.Cal. 2013). California state prisoners with serious mental disorders
brought a class action against various prison and state officials, alleging failure to provide mental care in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. After a three-judge court found that overcrowding was the primary cause of
ongoing constitutional violations, and was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, officials moved to
terminate all prospective relief and vacate the judgment. The district court denied the motion, holding that: (1)
there remained an ongoing violation of the Eighth Amendment in inadequate assessment, treatment, or
intervention regarding prisoner suicides; (2) prisoners placed in administrative segregation units continued to
face a substantial risk of harm; (3) prisoners continued to face delays in access to care; (4) prisons continued to
have shortages in treatment space and access to beds; and (5) officials were deliberately indifferent in
implementing policies to remedy the Eighth Amendment violations. (California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
CROWDING

Coleman v. Brown, 960 F.Supp.2d 1057 (E.D.Cal. 2013). California prisoners with serious mental disorders
brought a class action against a Governor, alleging that due to prison overcrowding, they received inadequate
mental health care, in violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
Separately, California prisoners with serious medical conditions brought a class action asserting constitutional
claims similar to those in the other action. In the case concerning mental health care, the district court found
Eighth Amendment violations and appointed a special master to oversee the development and implementation of
a remedial plan. In the case concerning medical care, the State stipulated to a remedial injunction, and, after the
State failed to comply with that injunction, the district court appointed a receiver to oversee remedial efforts. A
three judge district court panel consolidated the two cases and the panel entered a remedial order requiring the
State to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two years. The Governor
appealed. The United States Supreme Court affirmed the population reduction order. The district court
subsequently denied the defendants' motion to vacate or modify the population reduction order, and directed the
defendants to comply with the population reduction order. The defendants' moved to stay the order directing
compliance pending appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The district court denied the motion, finding
that: (1) the State was not likely to succeed on the merits of the prisoners' lawsuit challenging prison conditions;
(2) the State would not be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) issuance of a stay would substantially injure the
prisoners; and (4) the public interest favored denying the stay. (California)

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED
MEDICAL AREAS
RELIGIOUS AREAS

Cooke v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 926 F.Supp.2d 720 (E.D.N.C. 2013). Detainees who used wheelchairs and who
were civilly committed at a federal corrections facility as sexually dangerous persons filed suit, seeking injunctive relief against the United States Bureau of Prisons for its alleged failure to accommodate their disabilities in
violation of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), the Rehabilitation Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
(RFRA), and the First and Fifth Amendments. The government moved to dismiss and for summary judgment,
and the detainees moved for discovery and to deny the government's motions. The district court granted the mo-

15.57

tions in part and denied in part. The court found that although the detainees failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit under the ABA, the detainees were not “prisoners” as defined by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA) and thus did not have to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. The court found
that the detainees, by alleging that, unlike detainees without disabilities, they could not access the prison's religious library or an outdoor pagan worship area, stated claims under the Free Exercise Clause of the First
Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in their action seeking injunctive relief against
the Bureau of Prisons for failing to accommodate their disabilities. The court held that the detainees failed to
state a claim for a violation of the constitutional right to privacy. According to the court, even assuming that the
detainees had a limited constitutional right to privacy in medical treatment, the inmates alleged that the prison
medical facility had no private, wheelchair-accessible examination room, but did not allege harm from the use or
disclosure of their medical information. (Butner Federal Correctional Complex, North Carolina)
U.S. District Court
BEDS
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING
HYGIENE
SAFETY
SANITATION

Duran v. Merline, 923 F.Supp.2d 702 (D.N.J. 2013). A former pretrial detainee at a county detention facility
brought a pro se § 1983 action against various facility officials and employees, the company which provided
food and sanitation services to the facility, and the medical services provider, alleging various constitutional torts
related to his pretrial detention. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motions in part and denied in part. The district court held that fact issues precluded summary judgment on: (1)
the conditions of confinement claim against a former warden in his official capacity; (2) an interference with
legal mail claim against a correctional officer that alleged that the facility deliberately withheld the detainee's
legal mail during a two-week period; (3) a First Amendment retaliation claim based on interference with legal
mail; and (4) a claim for inadequate medical care as to whether the detainee's Hepatitis C condition was a serious
medical condition that required treatment and whether the provider denied such treatment because it was too
costly. The detainee asserted that overcrowding at the county detention facility, which allegedly led to the
detainee being forced to sleep and eat his meals next to open toilet, and led to inmate-on-inmate violence,
contributed to his assault by another inmate. According to the court, the long-standing conditions of confinement
whereby the county detention facility was overcrowded for at least 24 years and facility officials “triple-celled”
inmates, allegedly leading to unsanitary conditions, amounted to a “custom” for the purposes of the former
detainee's § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against a former warden in his
official capacity. The court held that the food service provider's serving the detainee cold meals for a 45-day
period while the kitchen in the county detention facility was being renovated, was not “punishment,” as would
support the inmate's § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against the provider, absent
evidence that the food served to the detainee was spoiled or contaminated, that a significant portion of the
detainee's diet consisted of such food, or that the food service caused more than a temporary discomfort. The
court also held that the alleged actions of the food service provider in serving the detainee one food item when
another ran out, failing to serve bread with the inmate's meal, serving the inmate leftovers from days before,
serving juice in a dirty container on one occasion, serving milk after its expiration date, and serving meals on
cracked trays that caused the detainee to contract food poisoning, did not amount to a substantial deprivation of
food sufficient to amount to unconstitutional conditions of confinement, as would violate the inmate's due
process rights. (Atlantic County Justice Facility, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
HYGIENE
SANITATION

Florio v. Canty, 954 F.Supp.2d 227 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). A prisoner, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action
against a warden and a corrections officer, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved
to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the prisoner's exposure to human waste on
two occasions, for a total of less than a few hours, did not give rise to a serious risk of substantial harm. The
prisoner alleged that prison officials waited 10 to 30 minutes after two separate incidents of a toilet overflowing
to release the prisoner from his cell and having the prisoner clean the cell with inadequate cleaning gear and
without training, allegedly resulting in the prisoner developing a foot fungus. The court held that this was not
deliberate indifference to a substantial risk to his health and safety, as would violate the Eighth Amendment. The
court noted that officials acted to alleviate the unsanitary conditions, the overflow also occurred in
approximately 20 other cells, and the prisoner was not prevented from bathing or washing his clothes after the
incidents. (Anna M. Kross Center, Rikers Island, New York City Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
INTERCOM
AUDIO
COMMUNICATION

Goodman v. Kimbrough, 718 F.3d 1325 (11th Cir. 2013). The wife of a pretrial detainee who suffered from
dementia and who was severely beaten by his cellmate filed a § 1983 action against jail officials in their
individual capacities for alleged violation of the Due Process Clause by deliberate indifference to a substantial
risk of harm to the detainee. The wife also asserted a supervisory liability claim against the sheriff in his official
capacity and a state law claim for loss of support and consortium. The district court granted summary judgment
for the defendants. The wife appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that there was no evidence
that jail officials were subjectively aware of a risk of serious harm to which the pretrial detainee was exposed
from his severe beating by a cellmate, and that the officials deliberately disregarded that risk, as required to
support the detainee's § 1983 claim of deliberate indifference in violation of the Due Process Clause. According
to the court, the officers' failure to conduct cell checks and head counts and their deactivation of emergency call
buttons constituted negligence but did not justify constitutional liability under § 1983. According to the court,
jail officials' policy violations by failing to enter every cell in conducting head counts and in deactivating
emergency call buttons did not constitute a custom so settled and permanent as to have the force of law. (Clayton
County Jail, Georgia)

U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
MAINTENANCE

Grohs v. Yatauro, 984 F.Supp.2d 273 (D.N.J. 2013). A civilly-committed resident at a special treatment unit
(STU) operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) brought action an against NJDOC
officials, alleging violations of his substantive due process rights under § 1983. The district court held that the
resident's claims against the officials in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity. The court
held that the resident's allegations adequately pled the officials’ personal involvement in his complaint that: (1)

15.58

there were visibly leaking steam pipes in a special treatment unit (STU) for which trash cans were used to collect
water; (2) NJDOC officials personally toured STU; (3) STU received numerous written complaints from
residents about inadequate hot water; and (4) an STU assistant administrator told the resident that defective
piping valves were too expensive to repair. The court found that the officials were subject to liability under §
1983 in their individual capacities. The court held that NJDOC officials were not entitled to qualified immunity
from the civilly committed resident's § 1983 conditions of civil commitment claim under the Due Process
Clause, arising from inadequate hot water at a special treatment unit (STU) in which he was housed. (Special
Treatment Unit, Avenel, Middlesex County, New Jersey)
U.S. District Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
MEDICAL AREA

Morris v. Dallas County, 960 F.Supp.2d 665 (N.D.Tex. 2013) The parents of a detainee who died while in
custody at a county jail brought a § 1983 action in state court against the county, the county jail medical staff,
and officials, alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and constitutional violations. The
action was removed to federal court. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted
the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment for the defendants was precluded
by fact issues with regard to: (1) the nurses who were defendants; (2) the claim that the county failed to monitor
the detainee’s health; and (3) failure to train officers on how to observe and assess the jail detainees' medical
needs and respond to those needs. The court noted that the way the jail infirmary was structured, including the
lack of direct access between the detainees and the nursing staff, and the absence of procedures for
communication between the nurses and the correctional officers concerning emergent medical symptoms, were a
county custom. According to the court, whether that custom was adopted or continued, even though it was
obvious that its likely consequence would be a deprivation of medical care for the detainees, precluded summary
judgment in favor of the county in the § 1983 deliberate indifference claim brought against the county. (Dallas
County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
SANITATION

Nelson v. District of Columbia, 928 F.Supp.2d 210 (D.D.C. 2013). A detainee brought a § 1983 claim against the
District of Columbia arising from his stay in jail. The defendant moved to dismiss and the district court granted
the motion. The court held that denial of one telephone call and access to stationery during the detainee's fiveday stay in a “Safe Cell,” which was located in the jail's infirmary, did not implicate his First Amendment right
of free speech or right of access to courts. The court found that the detainee's alleged exposure to “dried urine on
the toilet seat and floor” and garbage during his five-day stay, along with the denial of a shower, did not rise to
the level of a Fifth Amendment due process violation. According to the court, placement of detainee in a Safe
Cell was not motivated by a desire to punish the detainee, but rather by a nurse's desire to attend to the detainee's
ailments after his “legs and back gave out” twice. The court noted that denial of the detainee’s request to have
the cell cleaned was for the non-punitive reason that the detainee would not be in the cell that long. (D.C. Jail,
District of Columbia)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
HYGIENE
SAFETY
HANDICAPPED

Newell v. Kankakee County Sheriff's Department, 968 F.Supp.2d 973 (C.D.Ill. 2013). A disabled federal
detainee who was housed at a county jail for two months brought an action against the county sheriff's
department and county officials under § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The defendants
moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the detainee's allegations that the
county officials developed, supervised, and enforced policies and practices of the jail, ensured that grievances
were received in the proper manner and were properly responded to, and were aware of his serious medical
needs and his grievances, yet turned a blind eye to the situation, were sufficient to state a claim against the
officials in their individual capacities in his civil rights action alleging he was denied medical care and kept in
unsafe and unhealthy conditions while he was housed at the county jail. The detainee allegedly had multiple
disabilities that he sustained in an auto accident, including weakness and numbness in his left side and he
partially dragged his left leg. He also had incontinence with urine and bowel movements and required the use of
adult diapers. He was unable to stand still without assistance, which made showering and using the toilet
difficult. The detainee alleged that despite his obvious disabilities and medical issues, he was assigned to a
regular dorm on the top floor of the jail, and a to a top bunk. He had to hop on one leg to go up or down the stairs
and needed assistance from other inmates to get into and out of his bunk. He was allegedly not given adult
diapers until his third day at the jail, and even then, he was not given an adequate supply of diapers and would
sometimes sit in a soiled diaper for days, and in clothes with urine and feces on them. He alleged that he was not
given enough biohazard bags, and the soiled diapers and bags piled up in his cell. One day, when there was no
one to assist the detainee, he fell while attempting to get out of his bunk and he sat for two hours until someone
came to help him. As a result, his left leg worsened and his right leg was numb, he could not walk at all and was
forced to crawl down stairs on his buttocks, and scoot along the floor and walk on his hands.
The court found that the detainee's allegations that he was denied medical care and kept in unsafe and
unhealthy conditions while he was housed at the county jail, and that the jail was not an exceptionally large
facility, were sufficient to state claim against the corrections officer working at the jail in his individual capacity.
According to the court, the situation described by the inmate, if true, would have been obvious to any
correctional officer working in the area in which the inmate was housed.
The court held that the detainee's allegations that correctional staff at the county jail acted pursuant to an
official policy or custom not to perform a medical intake, investigate inmates' medical issues or complaints about
problems with walking if they were ambulatory, nor provide sufficient medically-necessary hygiene items such
as adult diapers to inmates, among other things, were sufficient to allege that an official policy or custom was a
“moving force” in the alleged violation of his rights, as required to state official capacity claims under Monell.
The court held that the detainee's allegation that he was barred from basic facilities on the basis of his disabilities
while he was housed at the county jail was sufficient to allege discriminatory intent, as required to state an ADA
claim against the county sheriff's department. (Jerome Combs Detention Center, Kankakee, Illinois)

15.59

U.S. District Court
ANTIQUATED
FACILITY
ASBESTOS
MAINTENANCE

Pratt v. City of New York, 929 F.Supp.2d 314(S.D.N.Y. 2013). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a city,
its Commissioner of Corrections, and other prison officials, alleging cruel and unusual punishment in violation
of Eighth Amendment based on th e prison's failure to address and mitigate asbestos exposure in prison
dormitories. The district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court
held that the prisoner stated a § 1983 claim that the prison's failure to address and mitigate friable asbestos
exposure constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, by alleging that the prison
dormitory was contaminated with asbestos and that prison maintenance deliberately avoided testing potentially
contaminated pipes and older floor tiles for asbestos exposure. According to the court, exposure to friable
asbestos poses a sufficiently serious risk to a prisoner's health as to constitute a serious deprivation, as an
element of a claim of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that
most of the facility pipes and the ceiling heating system were deteriorating due to roof leaks, and that leaking
water captured small asbestos particles (“friable asbestos”) from the deteriorated pipes and heating system and
brought the friable asbestos into the dormitory. According to the prisoner, the friable asbestos is also blown
throughout the dormitory by the ceiling heating system. The prisoner was a licensed asbestos remover. (Anna M.
Koss Center, Rikers Island, New York City, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SIZE
CROWDING
HYGIENE
MEDICAL AREAS
RECREATION
AREAS

Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645 (7th Cir. 2013). An Illinois prisoner serving a life sentence brought a § 1983
action against prison officials, alleging that the prisoner and other inmates classified as low-aggression offenders
in the prisoner's cellhouse were subject to lockdowns for more than 50 percent of the days in a 33-month period.
The district court dismissed the complaint at the screening stage for prisoner civil actions and the prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that the prisoner had
exhausted his administrative remedies. The court found that frequent unit-wide prison lockdowns for substantial
periods of time deprived him of exercise and caused him various health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome,
severe stress, headaches, and tinnitus, stated a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation. According to the court,
the prisoner sufficiently alleged prison officials' deliberate indifference to physical and psychological injuries, as
required to state a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation, based on excessive prison lockdowns. The court
noted that the prisoner alleged that he had filed multiple grievances about prison conditions, including a
grievance specifically challenging small cells, and that the prison was the subject of numerous past lawsuits,
including one specifically ordering a remedial plan for overcrowding, small cells, and lack of adequate medical
care and hygiene. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
NOISE
CELL CAPACITY
HYGIENE
SAFETY
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Walker v. Schult, 717 F.3d 119 (2nd Cir. 2013). An inmate, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brought a §
1983 action against a warden and various other prison officials and employees, alleging violations of the Eighth
Amendment. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that the prisoner's allegations were
sufficient to plead that he was deprived of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and was subjected
to unreasonable health and safety risks, as required to state a § 1983 claims against prison officials for violations
of the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that: (1) for approximately 28 months he was confined in a cell
with five other men with inadequate space and ventilation; (2) the heat was stifling in the summer and it was
freezing in the winter; (3) urine and feces splattered the floor; (4) there were insufficient cleaning supplies; (5)
the mattress was too narrow for him to lie on flat; and (6) noisy and crowded conditions made sleep difficult and
created a constant risk of violence. The court also found that the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to plead
that prison officials knew of and disregarded excessive risks to his health and safety, as required to find that the
officials were deliberately indifferent. The prisoner alleged that officials knew of overcrowding in his cell, that
he spoke with some officials about the conditions, that officials were aware noise was loud and constant, that
they were aware of temperature issues, that the prisoner informed officials that his bed was too narrow, that one
official failed to issue cleaning supplies, and that conditions did not change despite his complaints. (Federal
Correctional Institution, Ray Brook, New York)
2014

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
SHOWER
TOILET
HANDICAPPED

Blossom v. Dart, 64 F.Supp.3d 1158 (N.D.Ill. 2014). A disabled detainee in a county jail brought an action
against a county and a county sheriff, asserting a § 1983 claim for deprivation of his Fourteenth Amendment
rights and alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The
sheriff filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court denied the motion. The court held
that the disabled detainee, who suffered injuries due to the lack of accommodation for his disability, sufficiently
alleged that the sheriff had personal knowledge of, or involvement in, the alleged deprivation of his Fourteenth
Amendment rights, so as to state a § 1983 claim against the sheriff in his individual capacity. The detainee
alleged that the sheriff acquired personal knowledge of the fact that disabled prisoners assigned to a certain jail
division had sustained injuries because shower and toilet facilities were not equipped with appropriate grab bars,
toilet seats, and shower seats, and the detainee alleged that despite revising the jail’s housing assignment policy
for detainees who used wheelchairs, the sheriff refused to revise the policy for other disabled detainees. The
court also found that the detainee sufficiently alleged that there was an official policy allowing disabled
detainees to be housed in non-accessible housing units that continued to exist despite the knowledge that the
policy had caused serious injuries to disabled detainees. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FACILITY DESIGN
EQUIPMENT

Dilworth v. Goldberg, 3 F.Supp.3d 198 (S.D.N.Y. 2014). In a county jail detainees' action against a county, the
detainees moved for spoliation sanctions based on the county's alleged failure to preserve capital project plans
that allegedly showed surveillance camera locations, and videos from a surveillance camera in the housing area
where one detainee was allegedly beaten. “Spoliation” is the destruction or significant alteration of evidence, or
the failure to preserve property for another's use as evidence in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation. The
district court denied the motion, finding that the detainees failed to show that the capital project plans existed,

15.60

and failed to show that a surveillance camera in the housing area existed. The court noted that ambiguous
statements made by a jail official that he was not sure if such plans existed but that they might indicate camera
locations, and a speculative expert opinion stating that it was customary for a system installer to provide an “as
built” floor plan detailing camera placement, were insufficient to show that such plans in fact existed for the jail.
(Westchester County Department of Corrections, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SIZE
FURNISHINGS
PRIVACY

Ford v. Bender, 768 F.3d 15 (1st Cir. 2014). A pretrial detainee commenced an action alleging that prison
officials violated his due process rights by holding him in disciplinary segregated confinement throughout the
period of pretrial detention and into the subsequent criminal sentence as punishment for conduct that had
occurred while he was imprisoned during a prior criminal sentence. The district court held that the detainee's
punitive disciplinary confinement violated due process, and largely denied the officials' claims of qualified
immunity. The court awarded the detainee partial money damages and equitable relief after a three-day bench
trial, and awarded attorneys' fees and costs on the detainee's motion. The officials appealed. The appeals court
reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court noted that conditions in the disciplinary unit are
considerably more onerous than conditions of confinement for the general population--an inmate is kept for
twenty-three hours a day in a cell measuring seven by twelve feet, each cell has a solid steel door with a small
inset window, a narrow window to the outdoors, a cement bed, desk, and stool, and a toilet visible through the
inset window. An inmate typically leaves his cell for only one hour a day to exercise (five days a week) and to
shower (three days a week). He is subject to strip searches whenever he enters or leaves his cell. When an inmate
is out of his cell for any reason, he is manacled and placed in leg chains. Inmates are socially isolated. Each
inmate receives his meals through a slot in the steel door and is given only twenty minutes to eat. The prison
library is off-limits, although an inmate may receive law books from a “book cart,” which requires a formal
request and typically results in a wait of eight days. Communication with other inmates, guards, and the outside
world is severely restricted. (Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
EQUIPMENT
MAINTENANCE
SECURITY

Freeland v. Ballard, 6 F.Supp.3d 683 (S.D.W.Va. 2014). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials,
alleging the officials were deliberately indifferent to serious security breaches and failed to protect him from
another inmate who escaped a segregation cell and attacked him with a piece of metal. The officials moved to
dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner's
allegation that there was at least one prior incident when an inmate repeatedly beat on his door until it became
unsecured and permitted the inmate to escape from the cell and assault another prisoner, did not give rise to a
plausible claim that prison officials had actual knowledge of a substantial risk of harm to the prisoner and
disregarded that risk in violation of the Eighth Amendment. But the court found that the prisoner's allegations,
that an inmate escaped a segregation cell and attacked prisoner with a piece of metal but prison officials did
nothing to intervene to stop the attack when they had the opportunity to do so, and that the officials were aware
of prior incidents of inmates beating their doors open and attacking other inmates, were sufficient to state an
Eighth Amendment claim. (Mount Olive Correctional Complex, West Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTS

Grenning v. Miller-Stout, 739 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 2014). A state prisoner brought an action against prison
officials, claiming that exposing him to constant lighting for 13 days violated the Eighth Amendment's bar
against cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the
prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court found that summary judgment was
precluded by factual issues as to: (1) the brightness of the continuous lighting in the prisoner's special
management unit cell; (2) the effect on the prisoner of the continuous lighting; and (3) whether prison officials
were deliberately indifferent. The inmate was housed in the Special Management Unit (SMU), an administrative
segregation unit with single-cells that are continuously illuminated for twenty-four hours a day. Each cell in the
SMU has three, four-foot-long fluorescent lighting tubes in a mounted light fixture. A cell occupant can use a
switch inside the cell to turn off two of the tubes, but the center tube is always on. The tube is covered by a blue
light-diffusing sleeve. Institution policy requires welfare checks in the SMU to be conducted every thirty
minutes, which is more frequent than checks for the general prison population. Officials asserted that continuous
illumination allows officers to “assess the baseline behavior of offenders to ensure they are not at risk of harming
themselves or making an attempt to harm staff, cause property damage or incite problem behavior from other
offenders.” The officials stated that turning the cell lights on and off every thirty minutes would be disruptive to
the cell occupants. The prisoner alleged that the light was so bright he could not sleep, even with “four layers of
towel wrapped around his eyes.” He alleged that the lighting gave him “recurring migraine headaches” and that
he could not distinguish between night and day in the cell. (Airway Heights Corrections Center, Washington)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Hinojosa v. Livingston, 994 F.Supp.2d 840 (S.D.Tex. 2014). The mother of a former inmate who died of
hyperthermia while incarcerated brought an action against the prison's health care provider, asserting claims
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, alleging the provider's failure to
make accommodations for the inmate's disabilities resulted in the inmate's death. The provider moved to dismiss.
The district court denied the motion. The court held that the mother alleged sufficient facts to state that the
inmate was discriminated against by the prison's health care provider, in support of her claims under the ADA
and the Rehabilitation Act, by alleging that the provider knew of the risks and dangers associated with certain
medical conditions and medications, that the provider knew the inmate suffered from those conditions and used
those medications, and that despite that knowledge, the provider failed to make reasonable accommodations,
resulting in the inmate suffering more pain and punishment than non-disabled prisoners, namely, his death. The
court noted that the mother alleged that the provider knew both that the inmate suffered from hypertension,
diabetes, schizophrenia, and/or depression, and was prescribed medications to treat his disabilities, and that
extreme temperatures could be deadly, but still failed to protect the inmate from the extreme temperatures that
ultimately resulted in the inmate's death. The court found that the mother alleged sufficient facts concerning the
accommodations that should have been provided by the prison's health care provider without a request, but were

15.61

denied or refused, as well as which facilities, programs, or services should have been modified by the provider,
to state claims under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. The mother complained that the provider's intake
process was flawed in that it could take up to 10 days for prisoners to receive an intake physical, and that the
delay created a loophole that left inmates with heat sensitive conditions and disabilities especially vulnerable to
death because they did not receive accommodations for their heat sensitive disabilities, and that the provider's
failure to employ 24–hour medical staff at the prison resulted in a fatal delay and denial of vital medical care to
the inmate. (University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Garza West Unit)
U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
MAINTENANCE

Morris v. Corrections Corporation of America, 75 F.Supp.3d 457 (D.D.C.. 2014) A former District of Columbia
inmate brought a state-court negligence action against a private prison operator, seeking damages for a scrotal
burn injury he allegedly sustained when the water temperature in a prison shower spiked unexpectedly. The
operator moved the action to federal court, and moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motion. The court held that there was no evidence that the operator had notice of allegedly dangerously high
water temperatures in the prison showers, and the operator’s alleged breach of its duty to properly maintain the
shower facilities was not the proximate cause of the scrotal burn. (Correctional Treatment Facility, operated by
Corrections Corporation of America, Washington, D.C.)

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED
MEDICAL AREAS

Stoudemire v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 22 F.Supp.3d 715 (E.D.Mich. 2014). A female former prisoner,
who was a double amputee, brought an action against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and
various MDOC-associated officers and healthcare professionals, asserting violations of § 1983, the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state law. The prisoner alleged failure to provide adequate health care and
accommodations for disabled individuals. The district court denied summary judgment to the warden and a
corrections officer on their qualified immunity defenses to the § 1983 claims. The defendants appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. On remand the district court held that: (1) a fact
question as to whether the warden was aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial
risk of serious harm existed precluded summary judgment, and (2) it was clearly established that deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constituted the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain
proscribed by Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that she acquired MRSA following the amputation of
her left leg. As a result of her condition, her housing assignment at the facility was changed from the infirmary to
the segregation unit. The prisoner alleged that there was an absence of handicap facilities within this unit, that
she was unable to safely transfer from her wheelchair to the bed or toilet, and that she was allowed only one
shower during the two weeks while housed in segregation. (Huron Valley Women's Corr. Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Woodson v. City of Richmond, Va., 2 F.Supp.3d 804 (E.D.Va. 2014). A detainee in a city jail filed a § 1983
action against the city, the sheriff, and deputies, claiming constitutional and state law violations arising from the
detainee's heat stroke allegedly caused by deliberate indifference to his need for medical care. The detainee was
housed on the top floor of the jail during a time when outside temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, and when
interior temperatures were even higher. The inmate suffered a heat stroke and was found unresponsive in his
cell, and he had a body temperature of 106.1 degrees. The sheriff cross-claimed against the city for
indemnification or contribution. The city moved to dismiss the cross-claim. The court dismissed the cross-claim,
finding that the sheriff lacked the right to contribution and the right to indemnification for § 1983 claims or state
law claims. (Richmond City Jail, Virginia)
2015

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Ball v. LeBlanc, 792 F.3d 584 (5th Cir. 2015). Death row inmates brought a § 1983 action against a state
department of corrections and state officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations that
heat in the prison violated the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the
Rehabilitation Act (RA). Following a bench trial, the district court sustained the Eighth Amendment claims,
rejected the disability claims, and issued a permanent injunction requiring the state to install air conditioning
throughout death row. The department and officials appealed and the inmates cross-appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, vacated and remanded in part. The court held that: (1) the district court did not abuse its
discretion by admitting evidence of, or relying on heat index measurements of death-row facilities; (2) the
district court did not clearly err in finding that heat in death-row cells posed a substantial risk of serious harm
to inmates and that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the risk posed to death-row inmates by the
heat in prison cells; (3) housing of death-row inmates in very hot prison cells without sufficient access to heatrelief measures violated the Eighth Amendment; (4) inmates were not disabled under ADA or RA; and (5)
permanent injunctive relief requiring the state to install air conditioning throughout death-row housing violated
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), where acceptable remedies short of facility-wide air conditioning
were available. (Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Louisiana State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
VENTILATION
SANITATION

Barnes v. County of Monroe, 85 F.Supp.3d 696 (W.D.N.Y. 2015). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action
against a county, county officials, and correctional officers, alleging that the officers used excessive force against
him and that he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement during his pretrial detention. The
defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part.
The court held that the former pretrial detainee’s allegation that a county correctional officer used excessive
force when he responded to a fight between the detainee and fellow inmates, and jumped on the detainee’s back,
striking him in face and knocking out a tooth, and that the officer was not merely using force to maintain or
restore discipline but that the entire incident was “premeditated,” stated a § 1983 excessive force claim against
officer under the Due Process Clause. According to the court, the former detainee’s allegations that county
correctional officers used excessive force when they pushed him face-first into a glass window, pushed him to
the floor, kicked, stomped on and punched him, and used handcuffs to inflict pain, that as a result of the

15.62

altercation, the inmate urinated and defecated on himself and experienced dizziness and a concussion, and that
the force used on him was in response to his reaching for legal papers and attempting to steady himself, stated a
§ 1983 excessive force claim against the officers under the Due Process Clause. The court found that the former
detainee’s allegations that, after he was released from a special housing unit (SHU), county correctional officers
placed him in a poorly ventilated cell where he was exposed to human excrement and bodily fluids over the
course of multiple days, and that he was subjected to extreme conditions in the SHU by way of 24-hour lighting
by the officers, stated a § 1983 conditions-of-confinement claim against the officers under the Due Process
Clause. (Upstate Correctional Facility and Monroe County Jail, New York)
U.S. District Court
CROWDING
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
PLUMBING
SANITATION

Bell v. Lindsay, 116 F.Supp.3d 511 (D. Md. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action alleging that
officers used excessive force when arresting him, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that prison
employees subjected him to overcrowded conditions of confinement and manifested deliberate indifference to
his medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state
claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee: (1) failed
to state a conditions of confinement claim based on overcrowding; and (2) failed to state a claim under Title II of
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), absent allegations that the detainee was disabled, that he was denied
any benefit of prison’s services, programs, or activities, and that any such exclusion or denial was by reason of
his disability. According to the court, the detainee’s allegations that he was placed into a holding room at the
prison with 25 to 30 inmates without a toilet or sink and forced to sleep on the floor failed to state a § 1983
Fourteenth Amendment conditions of confinement claim, absent allegations that the detainee was in the holding
room for any substantial period of time, or that employees were personally involved in the violation of detainee’s
constitutional rights. (George W. Hill Correctional Facility, Maryland)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
TEMPERATURE

Cano v. City of New York, 119 F.Supp.3d 65 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). Pretrial detainees temporarily housed in a
booking facility brought an action against a city and city officials under § 1983 alleging deliberate indifference
to detainee health in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The defendants moved
for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that: (1) temporarily subjecting
detainees to overcrowded jail cells was not deliberate indifference; (2) failure to provide sleeping equipment,
such as beds, cots, pillows, blankets, or bedding was not deliberate indifference; (3) availability of only one
toilet for 24 hours in each overcrowded holding cell was not deliberate indifference; (4) alleged failure to
provide food and water was not deliberate indifference; (5) police officers were not subjectively aware of a risk
to the detainees; (6) police officers did not act with punitive intent; (7) placement of pretrial detainees in jail
cells with alleged rodent and insect infestations was not deliberate indifference; (8) placement of pretrial
detainees in jail cells with alleged violent offenders that had limited police supervision, allegedly leading to
fights, thefts, and bullying, was not deliberate indifference to detainee health; and (9) alleged exposure of
pretrial detainees to extreme hot or cold temperature conditions in unventilated jail cells was not deliberate
indifference to detainee health that would violate the right to provision of adequate medical treatment under the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court noted that the detainees were not kept in the cells
for more than 24 hours, and were not harmed by the alleged overcrowding. (Brooklyn Central Booking, City of
New York Police Department, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACILITY DESIGN
SPECIAL CELL

Castro v. County of Los Angeles, 797 F.3d 654 (9th Cir. 2015). An arrestee brought an action against a county, its
sheriff’s department, and two officers under § 1983 for violation of his Fourth Amendment right to be protected
from harm by other inmates, arising out of an attack against the arrestee by another arrestee with whom he was
jailed. A jury returned a verdict for the arrestee, and the district court denied the defendants’ motion for
judgment as a matter of law. The defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
The court held that: (1) the right of inmates to be protected from attacks by other inmates was established with
sufficient clarity to guide a reasonable officer; (2) substantial evidence supported the jury’s determination that
the officer was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to the arrestee; (3) sufficient evidence
supported the jury’s determination that the officer’s deliberate indifference was the actual and proximate cause
of harm to the arrestee; (4) sufficient evidence supported the jury’s determination that the supervising officer
was aware of, but disregarded, the risk to the arrestee posed by the other inmate; (5) the design of a jail by a
municipality is the result of a series of deliberate choices that render the design a formal municipal policy for the
purposes of municipal liability under § 1983; (6) arrestee failed to establish that the county had actual knowledge
of a risk of harm from the design of the jail, as required to establish liability under § 1983; and (7) the award of
future damages to the arrestee was supported by the record. The jury returned a verdict for the arrestee on all
counts and awarded him $2,605,632 in damages. The parties later stipulated to $840,000 in attorney fees,
$18,000 in punitive damages.
The arrestee had been placed in a “sobering cell” after his arrest for public drunkenness and was seriously
injured by another drunken inmate in the sobering cell. When the other inmate was admitted, staff determined
that he posed a threat to officers, requiring supervision by two officers at all times. The other arrestee was placed
in the same cell as the plaintiff, even though the jail policy was to place combative inmates in a separate cell, and
separate cells were available but left unused on the night of the incident.
The jail was purportedly in violation of a state regulation requiring monitoring equipment in sobering cells, as
required to establish that the county was deliberately indifferent to the Fourth Amendment right of pretrial
detainees to be protected from harm by other inmates and was liable under § 1983 for injuries sustained by the
arrestee. According to the court ”One would assume that for any given construction project, including jails, the
municipality’s governing body—or a committee that it appoints to act in its stead—reviews bids, considers
designs, and ultimately approves a plan for the facility and allocates funds for its construction. These choices are
sufficient, in our opinion, to meet the definition of a formal municipal policy…” (Los Angeles Sheriff’s West
Hollywood Station, California)

15.63

U.S. District Court
HYGIENE
SANITATION

Fant v. City of Ferguson, 107 F.Supp.3d 1016 (E.D. Mo. 2015). City residents brought a class action lawsuit
against a city, asserting claims under § 1983 for violations of Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments based
on allegations that they were repeatedly jailed by the city for being unable to pay fines owed from traffic tickets
and other minor offenses. The residents alleged that pre-appearance detentions lasting days, weeks, and in one
case, nearly two months, in allegedly poor conditions, based on alleged violations of a municipal code that did
not warrant incarceration in the first instance, and which were alleged to have continued until an arbitrarily
determined payment was made, violated their Due Process rights. The residents alleged that they were forced to
sleep on the floor in dirty cells with blood, mucus, and feces, were denied basic hygiene and feminine hygiene
products, were denied access to a shower, laundry, and clean undergarments for several days at a time, were
denied medications, and were provided little or inadequate food and water. The plaintiffs sought a declaration
that the city’s policies and practices violated their constitutional rights, and sought a permanent injunction
preventing the city from enforcing the policies and practices. The city moved to dismiss. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) allegations that residents were jailed for
failure to pay fines without inquiry into their ability to pay and without any consideration of alternative measures
of punishment were sufficient to state a claim that the city violated the residents’ Due Process and Equal
Protection rights; (2) the residents plausibly stated a claim that the city’s failure to appoint counsel violated their
Due Process rights; (3) allegations of pre-appearance detentions plausibly stated a pattern and practice of Due
Process violations; (4) allegations of conditions of confinement were sufficient to state a plausible claim for Due
Process violations; and (5) the residents could not state an Equal Protection claim for being treated differently,
with respect to fines, than civil judgment debtors. The court noted that the residents alleged they were not
afforded counsel at initial hearings on traffic and other offenses, nor were they afforded counsel prior to their
incarceration for failing to pay court-ordered fines for those offenses. (City of Ferguson, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTS

Grenning v. Stout, 144 F.Supp.3d 1241 (E.D. Wash. 2015). A state prisoner commenced s § 1983 action against
prison officials, claiming that exposing him to constant lighting for 13 days in segregation management unit
(SMU) violated the Eighth Amendment's bar against cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted
summary judgment to the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The
district denied summary judgment, in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine
issues of material fact as to: (1) whether the state prisoner suffered harm resulting from his exposure to
continuous light for 13 days; (2) whether state prison officials acted with deliberate indifference in exposing the
prisoner to continuous light for 13 days; (3) whether the prisoner had suffered an immediate injury from being
exposed to continuous light in the prison's segregation management unit; (4) whether legal damages would be
inadequate to compensate the prisoner for his alleged suffering or to restore his health, as to the costs of
changing the lighting; and (5) whether penological purposes would be undermined if the lighting was changed.
The court noted that the prisoner had offered evidence of the harm he already had suffered due to the lighting
conditions, including testimony of a board certified sleep medicine expert. (Airway Heights Corrections Center,
Washington)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

Hinojosa v. Livingston, 807 F.3d 657 (5th Cir. 2015). The mother of an inmate who died of complications from
heatstroke while incarcerated brought an action against prison officials and employees, the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice (TDCJ), the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), and an official of UTMB, alleging
that they were responsible for her son’s death. Prison officials moved to dismiss on the basis of qualified
immunity. The district court deferred ruling and the officials appealed. The appeals court dismissed the action,
finding that it did not have jurisdiction over the appeal. The court held that the inmate’s factual allegations, if
true, would be sufficient to establish prison officials’ liability for an Eighth Amendment violation and to
overcome a qualified immunity defense, and that further clarification of the facts was necessary for the district
court to rule on the prison officials’ qualified immunity defense. The mother of the inmate alleged that officials
subjected the inmate to dangerous heat conditions in conscious disregard of the serious risk that the heat posed
for prisoners who, like the inmate, suffered from certain medical conditions, took certain medications, and had
recently been transferred from air-conditioned jails to non-climate-controlled facilities. The mother alleged that
the officials had promulgated and had power to change policies that allegedly caused the inmate’s death, and the
Eighth Amendment right not to be subjected to extremely dangerous temperatures without adequate ameliorative
measures had been clearly established at the time of inmate’s death. (Garza West Unit, Texas Department of
Criminal Justice)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
CELLS

Incumaa v. Stirling, 791 F.3d 517 (4th Cir. 2015). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against the acting director
of a state department of corrections, alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act (RLUIPA) and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process in his placement in solitary confinement for
20 year following his participation in a riot. The inmate was a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths
(“NOGE”), also known as the “Five Percenters.” Prison policy required the inmate to renounce his affiliation
with NOGE as a condition of being released from segregation. The inmate asserted that NOGE was a religion
and that he was being asked to renounce his religion in order to be released from solitary confinement, in
violation of RLUIPA. The district court granted the director’s motion for summary judgment and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the
prison policy did not force the inmate to choose between continued adherence to his religion or release from
solitary confinement. But the court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material
fact as to whether the prison’s review process for inmates in solitary confinement was adequate. The court noted
that the inmate was subject to near-daily cavity and strip searches, he was confined to a small cell for all sleeping
and waking hours, aside from 10 hours of activity outside the cell per month, he was denied educational,
vocational, and therapy programs, the inmate was socially isolated, and confinement was indefinite. (South
Carolina Department of Corrections)

15.64

U.S. Appeals Court
PADDED CELL

Letterman v. Does, 789 F.3d 856 (8th Cir. 2015). Parents of a deceased prisoner, who died from injuries suffered
while in jail, brought a § 1983 action against a prison sergeant, lieutenant, and case manager, alleging that the
employees were indifferent to the prisoner’s medical needs. The prisoner had been arrested for possession of
marijuana and was given a 120 “shock sentence” in confinement. He became suicidal and was transferred to a
padded cell at the request of mental health personnel. He was to have been personally observed every 15 minutes
by staff and procedure required the prisoner to give a verbal response each time. After a shift chance, the
oncoming officer decided to monitor the prisoner via closed circuit television rather than making the required inperson rounds. During the shift, the prisoner injured himself in the cell and eventually died from his injuries. The
district court denied the employees’ motion for summary judgment, based on assertions of qualified immunity.
The employees appealed. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether a prison sergeant, who was in charge of the unit where prisoner was kept, and a
lieutenant, were deliberately indifferent to the risk of harm to the prisoner who died from injuries allegedly
sustained in a padded cell. (Missouri Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correction Center)

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING/
BUNKING

Perry v. Dickhaut, 125 F.Supp.3d 285 (D. Mass. 2015). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials and a prison nurse, asserting Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force in attempting to doublebunk the prisoner. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that prison
officials did not act with deliberate indifference to the risk of serious harm from prisoner violence, as would
violate the Eighth Amendment, by repeatedly double-bunking the prisoner in a cell with another prisoner.
According to the court, there was no evidence that the officials knew or should have known that the prisoner and
his cellmates were enemies, and making an exception to the double-bunk system for one inmate simply because
he was purposefully disruptive would pose substantial risks for the overall management of prison. (SouzaBaranowski Correctional Center, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
SPECIAL CELL
SEPARATION

Turner v. Palmer, 84 F.Supp.3d 880 (S.D.Iowa 2015). A 16-year-old who had been adjudicated delinquent and
who had prior psychiatric hospitalizations, brought an action against the operators of a state-run juvenile home
under § 1983 for violations of her due process rights under the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, based
on the alleged systematic and excessive use of cement-walled isolation cells. The defendants moved to dismiss.
The district court denied the motion, finding that the juvenile stated a claim for due process violations and
alleged a continuing violation. The facility had several small cement isolation cells, labeled Quiet Rooms, Safety
Rooms, Comfort Rooms, and the Special Unit. The prisoner alleged that she spent numerous consecutive weeks
locked in isolation cells, spending 289 out of the 528 days she was at the facility in isolation. She claimed she
was only given one thin mat to sleep on, was only permitted to exit the cell to use the restroom; and during many
of these stays, she was not allowed any homework, classroom instruction, reading material, or outside
communication. (Iowa Juvenile Home, Toledo, Iowa)

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XIX

XIX

XIX

claims of misidentification were never investigated. The court noted that his date of birth, physical appearance and Social
Security number differed from that of the wanted suspect, and the officials had ready access to both parties' fingerprints, such
that it would have been easy to confirm that he was not the man named in a warrant. (Stateville Corr’l Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION

Bircoll v. Miami-Dade County, 410 F.Supp.2d 1280 (S.D.Fla. 2006). A deaf motorist brought an action against a county,
alleging that his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) and subsequent detention violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA). The motorist alleged that throughout the arrest process, the county
failed to establish effective communication because it did not provide him with any auxiliary aids as required by the ADA
and RA. The county moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the
motorist's arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) and his subsequent stationhouse detention was not covered by the
ADA or the Rehabilitation Act (RA). According to the court, the motorist's arrest was due to his erratic and suspicious
driving, not his disability, and following his arrest the police merely communicated the breath test consent form to the
motorist, who foreclosed further questioning by requesting an attorney through his driver's rights card. The court held that the
detention of the motorist following his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) did not violate the Rehabilitation Act
(RA), where the motorist was not detained because of his disability, but instead was detained because Florida law required a
DUI arrestee to be detained for at least eight hours. The court found that a county police officer did not intentionally
discriminate, act in bad faith, or act with deliberate indifference during the initial stop and arrest of the motorist, as required
to support the award of compensatory damages under the Rehabilitation Act (RA). As the officer became aware of the
motorist's disability, the officer allowed the motorist to get out of his car so they could speak face to face, and attempted to
communicate through sign language. The officer believed in good faith that effective communication was established because
the motorist responded to him, and the motorist read the implied consent form. The court found that the detention of the deaf
motorist in solitary confinement following his arrest did not rise to the level of intentional discrimination or deliberate
indifference to the motorist's disability, as required to support the award of compensatory damages under the Rehabilitation
Act (RA). Corrections facility officers believed that their communication with the motorist was effective and they detained
the motorist in solitary confinement as a good faith protective measure, not as a discriminatory act. (Miami-Dade County,
Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Figg v. Russell, 433 F.3d 593 (8th Cir. 2006). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials and parole board
members, alleging that she was illegally incarcerated in violation of § 1983, and asserting state law claims for false
imprisonment and invasion of privacy. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that the parole board members, parole agent,
warden and correctional officers were entitled to absolute immunity. The court noted that parole board members had the
authority under state law to make such decisions based on the prisoner’s signed parole agreement, and the warden’s and
correctional officers’ incarceration of the prisoner was based on a facially valid court order. (S.Dakota State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
IDENTIFICATION

Hernandez v. Sheahan, 455 F.3d 772 (7th Cir. 2006). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a city and county sheriff’s
department, alleging that police and sheriff’s deputies violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by refusing to
entertain his claim that he was being held in custody due to mistaken identity. The district court granted summary judgment
in favor of city, and entered judgment upon a jury verdict against the sheriff’s department. The arrestee and sheriff’s
department appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that the sheriff’s department was
not entitled to quasi-judicial immunity in the arrestee’s § 1983 action, where units of government were not entitled to
immunity in § 1983 actions, and the judge who arraigned the arrestee did not forbid the sheriff’s department from conducting
further inquires into the arrestee’s identity. The court found that the sheriff’s department policy of ignoring an arrestee’s
claims of mistaken identity after an arrestee has appeared in court and a judge had ordered him held in custody did not violate
the arrestee’s right to due process, as required for the department to be liable under § 1983 to the arrestee. The detainee was
held by the department for 13 days after his arraignment on a warrant that had been issued for someone else. The court noted
that the judge did not abdicate responsibility to determine the arrestee’s identity or delegate that responsibility to the
department, and there was no doubt that the arrestee was the person that the judge ordered held at arraignment. (Cook
County, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
INVESTIGATIVE
DETENTION

Lopez v. City of Chicago, 464 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2006). An arrestee brought an action against a city and city police officers,
alleging the duration and conditions of his detention violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and asserting a
claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district court entered judgment as matter of law in favor of the
defendants. The arrestee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court found that the arrestee’s conditions
of confinement civil rights claim for the five-day period between his arrest and his preliminary probable cause hearing was
required to be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment, using the “objectively unreasonable” standard, rather than under the
Eighth Amendment's “deliberate indifference” standard. The court held that the question was for the jury. The arrestee
presented evidence that he was shackled to the wall of an interrogation room for four days, that he was deprived of food,
drink, and sleep, and that he was forced to yell for a long period of time before being let out to use the bathroom, and that the
defendant officers denied such treatment. The court found that the police officers violated the arrestee's Fourth Amendment
right to a prompt judicial probable cause determination by holding him for a period of five days after his arrest without a
probable cause hearing, for the purpose of arrestee's § 1983 Fourth Amendment claim, absent any justification for the delay.
The arrestee had been arrested for a murder he did not commit. Following his arrest, the defendants-- all police detectives-kept him shackled to the wall of a windowless, nine-by-seven-foot interrogation room for four days and nights while they
investigated the case. The arrestee had nowhere to sleep but a four-foot-by-ten-inch metal bench or the dirty brick floor. The
interrogation room had no toilet or sink; he had to “scream” for the detectives to let him out to use a bathroom. He was given
only one bologna sandwich and one serving of juice as food and drink during the entire four days and nights that he was kept
in the interrogation room. The detectives questioned him from time to time and made him stand in two lineups. After twoand-a-half days in these conditions, the arrestee started to become disoriented and began hearing voices telling him to
confess. He ultimately gave a statement containing a false confession that did not match the details of the crime. On the fifth
day of his detention, the arrestee was moved to a city lockup, charged, and finally taken to court. The following day, the

XXII

16.19

police investigation led detectives to another individual who confessed to the murder. The arrestee was released the next day.
(Chicago Police Department's Area 5, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

North River Ins. Co. v. Broward County Sheriff's Office, 428 F.Supp.2d 1284 (S.D.Fla. 2006). An insurer sued a county
sheriff's office and a number of its officers, seeking a determination of its coverage obligations regarding lawsuits involving
former inmates who had been incarcerated over 20 years earlier, but who were recently exonerated. The insurer moved for
summary judgment. The district court held that “bodily injury” and “personal injury” covered by the policy did not cover
allegations of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment that occurred 20 years earlier. One of the complaints was filed
by the estate of an inmate who died in prison in 2000 and was posthumously exonerated later that year. The second complaint
was filed by a person who was arrested in 1979 and convicted in 1980 and spent 22 years in prison before he was exonerated
and released from prison in June 2001. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
IDENTIFICATION

Tibbs v. City of Chicago, 469 F.3d 661 (7th Cir. 2006). An arrestee brought § 1983 action against an arresting officer and
city, alleging Fourth Amendment violations. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and the
arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that a police officer acted reasonably, and thus, did not violate
the arrestee's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure, when he made an arrest on an outstanding traffic
warrant. According to the court, although the arrestee had a different middle initial and different birth date than the person
listed on the warrant, the arrestee had the same first and last name, and when the officer questioned the arrestee about the
warrant, he replied, apparently confusing it with a traffic violation that he had actually committed, that he thought it had been
taken care of already. The court found that there was no indication that officer knew that the arrestee was not the person for
whom the warrant had been issued. The court noted that when the police have probable cause to arrest one party, and when
they reasonably mistake a second party for the first party, the arrest of the second party is a valid arrest. The court also noted
that when a person is lawfully arrested pursuant to a valid warrant, police officers and jailers have no constitutional duty to
investigate whether the arrestee is actually the person named in the warrant. (City of Chicago, Ill.)

U.S. Appeals Court
INVESTIGATIVE
DETENTION

Walker v. City of Orem, 451 F.3d 1139 (10th Cir. 2006). Two separate actions were brought against a county and individual
officers arising out of a police shooting and the subsequent detention of witnesses to the shooting. The district court granted
the officers’ motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. The appeals court held that the 90-minute detention
of witnesses to a police shooting was not reasonable for investigative purposes under the Fourth Amendment, but that the
constitutional rights of the witnesses to a police shooting to not be detained for 90 minutes following the shooting was not
clearly established at the time. According to the court, the witnesses to the shooting failed to establish the county’s policy or
custom to train its officers concerning the constitutional limitations on detention of witnesses in connection with the police
shooting investigations. (Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Utah)
2007

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Allen v. City of New York, 480 F.Supp.2d 689 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). A prison inmate sued a city and corrections officers, claiming
violation of the Eighth Amendment, false arrest, and malicious prosecution arising from a beating administered by the
officers while being escorted to his cell. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part, and denied
in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues regarding whether officers accompanying inmate
could and should have intervened to keep one officer from banging the inmate's head against a wall, whether the officer who
allegedly banged the inmate's head against a wall used excessive force, whether an officer who filed a criminal assault
complaint against the inmate committed malicious prosecution, and whether that officer was entitled to qualified immunity.
(Rikers Island, New York City Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Gary v. Floyd, 582 F.Supp.2d 741 (D.S.C. 2007). An arrestee brought a civil rights action against an arresting officer and a
police department, alleging he was arrested pursuant to improperly obtained warrants. The arrestee sought compensatory and
punitive damages for allegedly being held for approximately one month after the charges against him were dropped. The
district court held that the arresting officer had probable cause to make the arrest and that the department could not be held
liable under the theory of respondeat superior. But the court found that the arrestee was entitled to amend his complaint to
include as defendants a sergeant and directors of the detention center. According to the court, an amendment to the arrestee's
complaint, alleging that he was not released from confinement within a reasonable time after charges of forgery were
dismissed, would not be futile, even though the sergeant's affidavit indicated that the arrestee was released within 48 hours
after the detention center received notification that he was to be released. The arrestee alleged that the detention center was
immediately notified when the charges were dismissed, but that he was not released for nearly one month. (Greenville City
Police Department, Greenville County Detention Center, South Carolina)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Limone v. U.S., 497 F.Supp.2d 143 (D.Mass. 2007). Two former prisoners whose convictions arising out of a murder were
overturned, and representatives of two co-defendants who died in prison, sued the United States and individual federal and
state law enforcement officers under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), Bivens, § 1983, and state law, alleging their
complicity in framing the prisoners. Following a bench trial, the district court entered judgment for the plaintiffs. The court
held that:(1) FBI agents engaged in malicious prosecution; (2) agents engaged in a coercive conspiracy; (3) agents
intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the prisoners; (4) agents were negligent in their treatment of prisoners; (5) FBI
was liable for negligent supervision of the agents activities; (6) damages for wrongful imprisonment would be set at the rate
of $1 million per year, adjusted for unrelated concurrent sentences; (7) loss of consortium damages would be awarded to
wives and children of prisoners; and (8) damages would be awarded for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
(Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Peterson v. Tomaselli, 469 F.Supp.2d 146 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). A former state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against an
assistant district attorney (ADA), a city, the commissioner of a city corrections department, and unnamed defendants,
alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when he was held in a state prison longer than legally prescribed. The
district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the ADA did not violate the

XXII

16.20

prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights and that the ADA did not violate the prisoner’s due process rights. The court held that
the prisoner’s claim that he was being kept in a state prison for eight months beyond his properly-calculated conditional
release date, if proven, did not violate the prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights, where the prosecutor had no knowledge that
the unwarranted punishment would be inflicted, the prosecutor reasonably believed that the prisoner would receive credit for
his federal sentence when serving the state sentence, and there was no causal connection between the prosecutor’s alleged
actions and the prisoner’s extended incarceration. (Federal Corr’l Institution, Ray Brook, New Jersey)
2008
U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
IDENTIFICATION

Castro v. City of Hanford, 546 F.Supp.2d 822 (E.D.Cal. 2008). An arrestee brought an action against a county, city, and
various law enforcement officers, alleging violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, and asserting various state law claims,
including false arrest, and false imprisonment. The district court granted summary judgment for the county. The court held
that the county was not liable under § 1983 for the county jail officer's alleged unconstitutional conduct in failing to perform
live scan fingerprinting on the arrestee while he was in custody, absent a showing that the county had a policy or practice not
to perform such fingerprinting. The court found that county jailers had a reasonable belief that the detainee was the person
named in an arrest warrant, and did not have reason to know that the detainee was not the subject of the warrant, and thus, the
detainee could not prevail in false imprisonment and negligence claims. The court noted that the jailers relied upon the
information provided to them by the arresting officers, and there was no court order or other independent evidence that would
have called the lawfulness of the detention into question. (Hanford Police Department, Kings County Jail, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION
INVESTIGATIVE
DETENTION
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION

Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Sheriff Dept., 533 F.3d 780 (9th Cir. 2008). Detainees, who were
anti-abortion activists who had displayed photographs of aborted fetuses on the streets outside a middle school's campus,
brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff's department, individual deputies in their individual and official capacities,
and a middle school official in his individual and official capacity, alleging free speech and Fourth Amendment violations
arising from their detention and the search of their vehicle. The district court dismissed or granted summary judgment for the
defendants on all claims. The detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part.
The court held that the Fourth Amendment was violated by the officers' 75-minute detention of the anti-abortion activists,
which followed a valid Terry stop to investigate possible vehicular violations after the activists drove a “security vehicle” and
truck featuring graphic photographs of aborted fetuses on public streets around the middle school. According to the court, the
detention should have lasted only long enough to allow the officers to examine the security vehicle and determine whether
there were outstanding warrants involving the vehicle or its occupants. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,
California)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Farag v. U.S., 587 F.Supp.2d 436 (E.D.N.Y. 2008). Airline passengers detained after a flight landed brought a Bivens action
against Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, a city police detective, and counterterrorism agents, alleging that their
seizure, detention, and interrogation after the flight landed violated their Fourth Amendment rights, and false arrest and false
imprisonment claims against United States under Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the agents did not have
probable cause to detain the airline passengers and that, as an issue of first impression, the agents could not rely on Arab
ethnicity alone as probable cause to arrest airline passengers. The court held that the detention of the airline passengers at the
terminal after their plane landed was a de facto arrest, rather than a Terry stop, for the purposes of the passengers' Fourth
Amendment claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The court noted that upon entering the terminal the
passengers were met by police dogs and at least ten uniformed police officers in SWAT gear carrying shotguns. They were
taken to separate locations about thirty-five to forty-feet apart, each accompanied by two police officers, ordered to raise their
hands, and frisked. They were held in separate cells at a police station. The passengers were removed from the airline
concourse and taken to a jail cell between five and fifteen minutes away by car. The court found that the four hour detention
of passengers in a city jail was not a justified Terry stop for the purposes of the passengers' Fourth Amendment claims and
common-law false imprisonment and false arrest claims. (Port Authority Police Station, Kennedy Airport, New York)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
PROBABLE CAUSE

Holguin v. Lopez, 584 F.Supp.2d 921 (W.D.Tex. 2008). An arrestee brought § 1983 and state law claims against an officer.
The officer moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court granted the motion in part and dismissed in part. The court
held that the arrestee stated a cause of action in his complaint for false arrest and false imprisonment under Texas law, in that
he sufficiently alleged that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest him for driving while intoxicated (DWI)
and the charge of phone harassment. (Socorro Police Jail, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION
DUE PROCESS

Jenkins v. Currier, 514 F.3d 1030 (10th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against state officials
alleging that the officials violated his constitutional rights and state law when they took him into custody without a warrant or
a probable cause hearing, and transferred him to a correctional facility in order for him to serve his previously imposed
sentence. The district court dismissed the prisoner's claims with prejudice. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court noted that under Oklahoma law, a convicted defendant who is at liberty without having served his sentence may be
arrested as on escape and ordered into custody on the unexecuted judgment. According to the court, state officials did not
violate the Fourth Amendment when they seized the state prisoner without a warrant, after having been released from federal
custody erroneously, so that he could serve the remainder of his unfinished state sentence. The court noted that the officials
had reason to believe that the prisoner had not completed serving his state sentences and there were no special circumstances
that would have made his otherwise permissible arrest unreasonable. The court also found that the prisoner had no due
process right to a hearing when he was taken back into custody. (Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Odd v. Malone, 538 F.3d 202 (3rd Cir. 2008). Detainees held as material witnesses whose testimony was vital to murder
prosecutions brought an action against a district attorney's office and prosecutors who had secured bench warrants for their
arrests. The detainees alleged that the prosecutors failed to notify relevant authorities that the underlying action for which the
first detainee was held had been continued for nearly four months and that the underlying action for which the second
detainee was held had been dismissed. One detainee had been held for 54 days and the other was held for 58 days. The

XXII

16.21

district court dismissed the first detainee's claims under § 1983 and state law, and denied the motion to dismiss the second
detainee's § 1983 claims. The parties appealed. The appeals court held that the prosecutor's act of failing to notify the judge
that issued the bench warrant for the first detainee's arrest that the prosecution had been continued was not an advocative act,
warranting absolute prosecutorial immunity. The court also found that the prosecutor's act of failing to notify relevant
authorities that the second detainee remained incarcerated despite dismissal of the prosecution was not an advocative act for
which the prosecutor would be entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity. The court noted that a prosecutor disobeyed a
judge's explicit instructions that he be advised of any delay, as well as a rule requiring the prosecutor to keep the court
informed of the status of detained material witnesses. The court concluded that policy considerations underlying absolute
prosecutorial immunity counseled against granting absolute immunity to the prosecutors in these cases, where there was no
common law tradition of extending absolute immunity to a prosecutor for failing to notify the court of the status of a detained
witness. The court concluded that denying absolute immunity in these cases would not likely interfere with prosecutors'
independent decisionmaking by exposing them to vexatious litigation. The court also noted that by virtue of their status as
third-party witnesses, the detainees were not entitled to the protections available to criminal defendants, including the
appellate process. (Office of District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Petaway v. City of New Haven Police Dept., 541 F.Supp.2d 504 (D.Conn. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against
a city, its police department, and individual officers, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when he was not
arraigned within the time prescribed under state law. The court held that the municipal police department was not subject to
suit pursuant to § 1983 and that the arrestee was not falsely imprisoned during the 29-day period between his arrest and
arraignment. According to the court, the Connecticut arraignment statute did not give rise to a due process liberty interest.
The court noted that the arrestee was lawfully in the custody of the Department of Corrections pursuant to a remand to
custody order for a separate parole violation during the 29 days prior to his arraignment. (New Haven Police Department,
New Haven Correctional Center, Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
PROBABLE CAUSE

Portentoso v. Kern, 532 F.Supp.2d 920 (N.D.Ohio 2008). A parolee brought a § 1983 action against a state parole authority
and officers, stemming from an alleged illegal search of his residential property and his arrest. The defendants moved for
dismissal and for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the
state parole officers had probable cause to search the parolee's barn, for the purposes of the parolee's Fourth Amendment
claim alleging warrantless and illegal search, since the parolee's ex-wife had reported to officers that her daughter told her
there were weapons in the barn. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact,
regarding whether the parolee consented to the state parole officers' search of his house after searching the barn for weapons.
The court found that the state parole officers had probable cause to arrest the parolee after finding ammunition in his house,
since possession of ammunition contravened the parolee's conditions of supervision. (Ohio)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Sheppard v. U.S., 537 F.Supp.2d 785 (D.Md. 2008). A detainee brought an action against the federal Bureau of Prisons
(BOP) claiming negligence pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for his illegal detention for over nine months.
The district court denied the government’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction or, in the alternative, for summary
judgment. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to the role and duties of
BOP personnel who were allegedly responsible for the continued confinement of the detainee during his false imprisonment.
The BOP asserted that the employees were “investigative or law enforcement officers” for the purposes of the government's
waiver of sovereign immunity. The detainee had been sentenced to 121 months of incarceration in a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. The district court granted the request of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to reduce his
sentence to time served and ordered his release. The detainee was not released for approximately ten months after the court’s
order. (District of Columbia, and U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, KS)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Smith v. City of Oakland, 538 F.Supp.2d 1217 (N.D.Cal. 2008). After a jury rendered a verdict in favor of a parolee and his
girlfriend based on a finding that officers planted a semi-automatic rifle in his residence in order to frame him, the officers
filed post-trial motions seeking to overturn the jury's verdict on both liability and damages. The district court held that
substantial evidence supported the jury's verdict in favor of the parolee but that the $5 million dollar emotional distress award
to the parolee was grossly excessive. According to the court, the emotional distress award to the parolee for malicious
prosecution that resulted in 4 1/2 months imprisonment, the indignity of having to defend himself against trumped-up
criminal charges and parole revocation proceedings, the uncertainty and apprehension about his fate and future caused by the
false arrest, and loss of his house and relationship with his girlfriend was grossly excessive. The court granted a new trial on
damages unless the parolee accepted a reduction from $5 million to $3 million. The court found that the parolee was not
precluded from recovering damages that accrued after the indictment on his malicious prosecution claim against the police
officers. The court noted that the parolee's testimony was corroborated by another witness, the lack of any fingerprints on the
gun, expert's testimony about standard police procedures, the testimony of a parole agent that an inspection of the parolee's
home was scheduled for that same day, the lack of any other guns or ammunition found in the search of the house, and
inconsistencies in the officers' testimony. The court also found that the award of $750,000 to the parolee's girlfriend for
emotional distress suffered when officers' conducted a suspicionless search of the parolee’s residence while she was present
was grossly excessive, and was subject to reduction to $300,000. (City of Oakland, California)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Stanley v. Muzio, 578 F.Supp.2d 443 (D.Conn. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against two state judicial marshals,
the Connecticut State Police and individual troopers and officers of the Connecticut State Police, alleging false imprisonment
and use of excessive force. Following dismissal of claims against the State Police, troopers and officers, the marshals moved
to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the marshals did not enjoy
state statutory immunity from federal claims and from the state law false imprisonment claim. The court found that the
arrestee stated a § 1983 claim for false imprisonment. According to the court, the marshals were not entitled to quasi-judicial
immunity or qualified immunity. The court noted that the arrestee’s claim for false imprisonment under Connecticut law,
alleging that two state judicial marshals kicked him in the head and back after he was forcibly restrained, were sufficient to
allege reckless, wanton, or malicious conduct that was outside the scope of the defendants' employment as state judicial
marshals. The court found that the arrestee's allegation that two state judicial marshals told him that he had to remain in the

XXII

16.22

courtroom for five minutes following a hearing on a restraining order obtained by his wife and forcibly stopped him when he
tried to leave after three minutes stated a § 1983 claim for false imprisonment. (Connecticut State Judicial Marshals,
Connecticut State Police)
U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST

Vondrak v. City of Las Cruces, 535 F.3d 1198 (10th Cir. 2008). An arrestee filed a § 1983 action against a city and its police
officers alleging illegal arrest, excessive force, inadequate medical attention, and failure to train. The district court granted in
part and denied in part the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The parties filed cross-appeals. The appeals court
affirmed in part, reversed in part, dismissed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the police officers ignored the arrestee's complaints that his
handcuffs were too tight, and whether the arrestee suffered permanent nerve injury because of the handcuffing. (Las Cruces
Police Department, New Mexico)
2009

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Blandford v. District of Columbia Jail, 593 F.Supp.2d 255 (D.D.C. 2009). An arrestee brought a civil rights action against a
District of Columbia jail, alleging that he was detained for seven days without a lawful basis. The district court granted the
defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The court held that the arrestee failed to demonstrate that he was detained beyond
his purported release date, as required to state a § 1983 claim against the jail for unlawful detention. The court noted that the
arrestee appended to his complaint a document that showed he was freed two days after his purported release date and
voluntarily appeared in court on that date, and jail records showed that the arrestee was released on the same day that bond
was posted on his behalf, and was not in jail at any time after the purported release date. (Dist. of Columbia Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
PROBABLE CAUSE

Cloaninger ex rel. Estate of Cloaninger v. McDevitt, 555 F.3d 324 (4th Cir. 2009). A former detainee, who had been seized
by deputies for a psychological evaluation, brought a § 1983 action against deputy sheriffs and others alleging violations of
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court awarded summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the
detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court found that the deputies had probable cause to seize and detain the
detainee for a psychological evaluation, after a dispatcher received a 911 call from a hospital to report that the detainee, who
had called the hospital to report an adverse reaction to his prescription medication, had threatened suicide. The deputies knew
that the detainee had made prior suicide threats, that police had responded to those threats, and that firearms had been found
in the home. The court held that exigent circumstances existed to support the warrantless seizure of the detainee for
psychological evaluation in his home. (Burke County, North Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
PROBABLE CAUSE
UNLAWFUL DETENTION

Drogosch v. Metcalf, 557 F.3d 372 (6th Cir. 2009). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a parole agent and others,
alleging false arrest and unlawful detention in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the defendants on all claims but the one against the parole agent for unlawful detention. The district
court denied the agent’s motion for reconsideration and the agent appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that
the arrestee's 13-day confinement in jail without a probable cause hearing violated the Fourth Amendment. The court found
that the parole agent was the person responsible for ensuring that the arrestee received a prompt probable cause hearing after
his warrantless arrest for allegedly violating probation. The court held that the parole agent was not entitled to qualified
immunity because he logged the arrestee into jail incorrectly as a parole violator, which ensured that the arrestee would not
receive a prompt probable cause hearing. (Mich. Department of Corrections and Wayne County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Limone v. U.S., 579 F.3d 79 (1st Cir. 2009). Former prisoners whose murder convictions were overturned, and representatives
of codefendants who died in prison, brought an action against the United States Government, asserting claims under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) arising from the Government's involvement in framing the prisoners. Following a bench
trial, the district court entered judgment for the plaintiffs, and the Government appealed. The appeals court held that evidence
supported the district court's conclusion that the FBI's conduct in cultivating witness's testimony inculpating wrongly accused
defendants in a state murder prosecution, while possessing information undercutting the testimony's veracity, was extreme
and outrageous, as required to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under Massachusetts law and the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). According to the court, the FBI agents knowingly participated in events leading to
wrongful indictment, prosecution, conviction and continued incarceration of the defendants, they aided a witness in framing
the plaintiffs and they bolstered the credibility of the witness's testimony. The appeals court held that the FBI's conduct did
not fall within the Federal Tort Claims Act's (FTCA) discretionary function exception, and thus the Government was not
immune from the defendants' claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under Massachusetts law and FTCA.
According to the court, the FBI's conduct violated due process. The appeals court ruled that non-economic damages awards
of $1 million per year of wrongful incarceration in the plaintiffs' action were not excessive and the damages awards were not
grossly disproportionate to the injuries sustained and did not shock the conscience. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Suffolk
County, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION
IDENTIFICATION
PROBABLE CAUSE

Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio, 598 F.Supp.2d 1025 (D.Ariz. 2009). Detainees of Hispanic descent brought an action against a
county sheriff for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that deputies from the sheriff's office profiled, targeted, and
ultimately stopped and detained persons based on their race in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The
district court ruled against the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The court held that: (1) allegations were sufficient to state
Fourth Amendment claims; (2) allegations were sufficient to state equal protection claims; (3) the county was subject to
municipal liability; and (4) the court would not dismiss the county sheriff's office as a non-jural entity. The plaintiff was
detained for four hours in a police holding cell without being apprised of any charges against him, and was then handed over
to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The court held that an allegation that deputies placed the Hispanic
passenger of a speeding vehicle in full custodial arrest for violating United States immigration laws, even after the passenger
provided them with sufficient immigration documents, including a United States Visa containing a fingerprint and picture, a
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permit, and a Mexican Federal Voter Registration Card with a picture and
fingerprint, was sufficient to state a claim for a Fourth Amendment violation for being placed into full custodial arrest
without probable cause. The court noted that an allegation that the deputies' request for an Hispanic driver's Social Security

16.23

card was not “standard procedure” for all routine traffic stops conducted by the county. According to the court, allegations
that the county sheriff made a public statement that physical appearance alone was sufficient to question an individual about
their immigration status, that the county's crime suppression sweeps had been allegedly targeted at areas having a high
concentration of Hispanics, and that the county had used volunteers with known animosity towards Hispanics and immigrants
to assist in crime sweeps, were sufficient to allege a discriminatory purpose, as required to state a § 1983 equal protection
claim. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Cave Creek Holding Cell, Arizona)
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION

Padilla v. Yoo, 633 F.Supp.2d 1005 (N.D.Cal.2009). Reversed 678 F3d 748. A detainee, a United States citizen who was
designated an “enemy combatant” and detained in a military brig in South Carolina, brought an action against a senior
government official, alleging denial of access to counsel, denial of access to court, unconstitutional conditions of
confinement, unconstitutional interrogations, denial of freedom of religion, denial of right of information, denial of right to
association, unconstitutional military detention, denial of right to be free from unreasonable seizures, and denial of due
process. The defendant moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that
the detainee, who was a United States citizen, had no other means of redress for alleged injuries he sustained as a result of his
detention, as required for Bivens claim against the senior government official, alleging the official's actions violated
constitutional rights. The court noted that the Military Commissions Act was only applicable to alien, or non-citizen,
unlawful enemy combatants, and the Detainee Treatment Act did not “affect the rights under the United States Constitution
of any person in the custody of the United States.” The court found that national security was not a special factor counseling
hesitation and precluding judicial review in the Bivens action brought by the detainee. Documents drafted by the official were
public record, and litigation may be necessary to ensure compliance with the law. The court held that the detainee sufficiently
alleged that the official's acts caused a constitutional deprivation, as required for the detainee's constitutional claims against
the official. The detainee alleged that the senior government official intended or was deliberately indifferent to the fact that
the detainee would be subjected to illegal policies that the official set in motion, and to a substantial risk that the detainee
would suffer harm as a result, that the official personally recommended the detainee's unlawful military detention and then
wrote opinions to justify the use of unlawful interrogation methods against persons suspected of being enemy combatants.
According to the court, it was foreseeable that illegal interrogation policies would be applied to the detainee, who was under
the effective control of a military authority and was one of only two suspected enemy combatants held in South Carolina. The
court found that the detainee's allegations that he was detained incommunicado for nearly two years with no access to counsel
and thereafter with very restricted and closely-monitored access, and that he was hindered from bringing his claims as a result
of the conditions of his detention, were sufficient to state a claim for violation of his right to access to courts against a senior
government official. The court held that federal officials were cognizant of basic fundamental civil rights afforded to
detainees under the United States Constitution, and thus a senior government official was not entitled to qualified immunity
from claims brought by the detainee. The court also held that the official was not qualifiedly immune from claims brought by
the detainee under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). On appeal, 678 F3d 748, the appeals court reversed the
district court decision, finding that the official was entitled to qualified immunity because there had not been a violation of
well established law. (Military Brig, South Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
PROBABLE CAUSE

Thomas v. City of Peoria, 580 F.3d 633 (7th Cir. 2009). An arrestee who was stopped by a city police officer for a traffic
violation and arrested after the officer mistakenly identified him as an individual who had nine unpaid parking tickets and a
warrant out for his arrest, brought a § 1983 action against the city and a prosecutor seeking relief on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals who had been arrested by the city for parking violations. The arrestee alleged that the city had
an unconstitutional policy of arresting people for not paying their parking tickets. The district court granted the defendants’
motions for summary judgment. The arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the fact that an
otherwise reasonable arrest was not for an “arrestable” offense would not make it unconstitutional, that an arrest for a
“nonjailable” offense would not violate the Fourth Amendment, and the prosecutor was entitled to absolute immunity from
damages for her action in filing motion for an arrest warrant. (City of Peoria, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 664 F.Supp.2d 218 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). A state prisoner brought an action under § 1983 against a prison
superintendent, corrections sergeant, corrections officers, and others. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim on which relief could be granted. The district court denied the motion, finding that the prisoner's allegations
were sufficient to allege a corrections sergeant's personal involvement in a civil rights violation, as well as the
superintendent's and corrections officers. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that a prison corrections sergeant
supervised corrections officers, that the sergeant “allowed” officers to harass the prisoner by filing multiple false misbehavior
reports, that the sergeant “abdicated his duty” to prevent such harassment, and that the sergeant “participated in” the
harassment, were sufficient to allege the sergeant's personal involvement in a civil rights violation. According to the court,
the prisoner's allegations that he wrote to the prison superintendent challenging his false imprisonment in a special housing
unit (SHU) because he had done nothing wrong, and that the superintendent responded but did not remedy the situation, were
sufficient to allege the superintendent's personal involvement in constitutional violations, as required to state a claim against
the superintendent under § 1983. The court also found that allegations that prison corrections officers issued false
misbehavior reports against the prisoner, and that he was not allowed to question witnesses at a hearing and was ejected from
the hearing, were sufficient to state claims under § 1983 against the officers for filing false misbehavior reports and violations
of due process. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)
2010

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Avalos v. Baca, 596 F.3d 583 (9th Cir. 2010). A detainee brought an action against officers of a county sheriff's department in
their official and individual capacities for alleged violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights based on his
over-detention and the officers' alleged efforts to procure an involuntary waiver of his civil rights claim. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the officers. The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that
the officers were not liable under § 1983 in their official capacities on the over-detention claim, absent evidence that they had
a policy, practice, or custom of over-detaining inmates. According to the court, the detainee had no freestanding
constitutional right to be free of a coercive waiver, and even if the detainee had a right to be free from a coercive waiver, the

16.24

officers were entitled to qualified immunity on the involuntary waiver claim. The detainee had been arrested on a warrant
from another county for domestic abuse and was transported to the arresting county jail. The arresting county had the
responsibility to notify the other county, under state law, but failed to do so. Over two months later the arresting county
realized that the detainee had been over-detained and released him. On the day of his release, a deputy in street clothing asked
the detainee, who did not speak English, to sign papers that were an offer to settle his claim for over-detention for $500. The
detainee asserted that he did not know what was in the papers. (Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, California)
U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Harrington v. City of Nashua, 610 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 2010). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a city and others
alleging false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The district court granted the city's motion for summary judgment
and the arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the limitations period for a Fourth Amendment
claim of false imprisonment begins to run when the false imprisonment ends, when the plaintiff is either released or detained
pursuant to a legal process. The arrestee was released on personal recognizance after charges were brought against him. The
court noted that the commencement of a criminal case by the institution of a legal process marks the dividing line between
claims of false imprisonment and claims of malicious prosecution. The court found that pretrial release conditions imposed
on the arrestee did not constitute a Fourth Amendment seizure, as required to support a § 1983 malicious prosecution claim
against the city, where the conditions required the arrestee to notify the court of any change in address, to refrain from
committing crimes, and to forebear from consuming either controlled substances or excessive quantities of alcohol. (City of
Nashua, New Hampshire)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
PROBABLE CAUSE

Waker v. Brown, 754 F.Supp.2d 62 (D.D.C. 2010). An arrestee, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action against various
defendants, including the District of Columbia mayor and police chief. The defendants filed motions to dismiss and the
arrestee filed a motion to compel the identities of police and Department of Corrections (DOC) officers. The district court
granted the defendants’ motions in part and denied in part, and denied the plaintiff's motion. The court held that police
officers did not violate the arrestee's due process rights in arresting him and detaining him for several days, where the arrest
was based upon a fugitive warrant from another county that was not invalidated or based upon mistaken identity, and the
arrestee appeared before a court and was released on his own recognizance. The arrestee had been held for six days in jail
prior to his release. (District of Columbia Jail)
2011

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Brown v. Montoya, 662 F.3d 1152 (10th Cir. 2011). A probationer, who had been convicted of false imprisonment under New
Mexico law, brought § 1983 claims against a probation officer and the New Mexico Secretary of Corrections, alleging that he
was wrongly directed to register as a sex offender and was wrongly placed in a sex offender probation unit, in violation of his
rights to substantive due process, procedural due process, and equal protection. The district court denied the defendants'
motion to dismiss and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court
held that the complaint was insufficient to overcome the Secretary's qualified immunity defense, but the probation officer's
alleged actions, if proven, denied the probationer of a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. According to the
court, the probation officer's alleged actions of placing the probationer in a sex offender probation unit and directing him to
register as a sex offender, after the probationer had been convicted of false imprisonment under New Mexico law, if proven,
denied the probationer of a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. The court noted that false imprisonment was
not a sex offense in New Mexico unless the victim was a minor. (New Mexico Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Drumgold v. Callahan, 806 F.Supp.2d 405 (D.Mass. 2011). A former prisoner brought an action against former homicide
detectives, a police commissioner, and a city for damages arising from his wrongful conviction and unlawful imprisonment
for the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. Following a verdict against the detective in a second trial, the detective filed motions
for judgment as a matter of law, for a new trial, and to reduce the jury award. The district court denied the motions. The court
held that the detective was not entitled to qualified immunity for failing to turn over impeachment evidence to a prosecutor.
The court held that an award of approximately $1 million per year of the plaintiff's wrongful fourteen-year incarceration was
not excessive in the suit against the detective who withheld impeachment evidence, and therefore a reduction in the award
was not warranted. The court noted that the jury determined the value of non-economic damages. (City of Boston,
Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Drumgold v. Callahan, 806 F.Supp.2d 428 (D.Mass. 2011). A plaintiff brought a § 1983 action against a state prosecutor,
alleging withholding of evidence resulted in his wrongful conviction and incarceration for 14 years. After a jury verdict in his
favor, the plaintiff moved for attorney fees and costs. The district court held that counsel was entitled to $1,613,847 in
reasonable attorneys' fees and $51,632 in costs. The court noted that the proposed rates for the plaintiff's attorneys were
reasonable based on their experience, the requested number of hours was adjusted downward to reflect unsuccessful claims,
and there was nothing to indicate that the time records submitted were not contemporaneous. (City of Boston, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Harbeck v. Smith, 814 F.Supp.2d 608 (E.D.Va. 2011). A former pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a public
defender, clerk of court, and deputy clerk of court, alleging that she was unlawfully imprisoned for 87 days after criminal
charges against her were dismissed, in violation of her rights under Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and false
imprisonment under Virginia law. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state claim. The district court granted the
motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee failed to state § 1983 and false imprisonment claims
against public defender and that the public defender was entitled to governmental immunity against a legal malpractice claim.
The court found that the detainee's allegations were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim against the clerk and that the clerk was
not entitled to quasi–judicial immunity against the § 1983 claim and was not entitled to sovereign immunity against the
negligence claim. The court also found that the detainee alleged necessary conduct by the clerk and deputy clerk to state a
claim for punitive damages. According to the court, the allegations that the clerk of court received at least two letters
notifying her that the pretrial detainee should be released, and that she still failed to take action to effectuate that release after
criminal charges against the detainee were dismissed, were sufficient to allege the clerk's personal involvement in the
detainee's continued detention. The court noted that the clerk's alleged inaction in procuring the detainee's release after

16.25

criminal charges were dismissed was not a choice within the clerk's discretion and was not taken pursuant to the state court's
direction. The court also held that the clerk of court failed in her execution of a ministerial duty, precluding her entitlement to
sovereign immunity against the pretrial detainee's negligence claim, where the clerk received orders for detainee to be
released, which the clerk's office was then required to notify the jail of the detainee's change in status so as to effectuate her
release. (Hampton Roads Regional Jail, and Circuit Court of the City of Hampton, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
PROBABLE CAUSE

Morse v. Regents of University of California, Berkeley, 821 F.Supp.2d 1112 (N.D.Cal. 2011). A journalist arrested while
covering a demonstration at a university sued the university's board of regents, its police department and various officers on
the department, asserting § 1983 claims for violation of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Excessive Bail
Clause of the Eighth Amendment, as well as a claim for violation of the Privacy Protection Act. The defendants filed a partial
motion to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the journalist stated a §
1983 claim for violation of the Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment on the theory that the defendants added
unsupported charges for the sole purpose of increasing his bail. The court found that the theory was viable under the
Excessive Bail Clause, despite the indirect means the defendants allegedly used to obtain the higher bail, and the intervening
actions of the judicial officer who actually set bail. The court found that the journalist stated a § 1983 claim against the
police chief in his individual capacity where the journalist asserted that the chief failed to train or supervise those individuals
who directly deprived the journalist of his constitutional rights and that, by his policy decisions, he set in motion the acts that
deprived the journalist of his constitutional rights. The court held that the journalist’s claims that he was wrongfully arrested
by university police and that his property was subject to searches and seizures without proper cause and without the proper
warrants, stated a claim under the Privacy Protection Act (PPA) against the university police chief for failure to screen, train,
and supervise. The court noted that the journalist's claim related specifically to the statutory provisions of the PPA, that he
alleged sufficient facts to support his claim of a causal connection between the police chief's conduct and the statutory
violation, and liability was not limited to those personally involved in the statutory violation. (University of California,
Berkeley)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Reed v. Baca, 800 F.Supp.2d 1102 (C.D.Cal. 2011). A detainee brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff, county, and the
sheriff's department, alleging wrongful arrest and detention. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that the county and the sheriff's department did not infringe on the pretrial detainee's
Fourteenth Amendment rights by detaining him pursuant to a valid warrant but in the face of repeated protests of innocence,
despite the detainee's argument that the county and the department knew or should have known that he was entitled to release
prior to dismissal of the case against him. According to the court, even assuming a violation, the detainee failed to present
evidence to show that his continued detention, beyond the point at which the county and the department allegedly knew or
should have known he was entitled to release, was pursuant to a policy or custom evincing deliberate indifference to his
constitutional rights, as would support liability. The court found that the county sheriff was not liable in his individual
capacity under § 1983 for the pretrial detainee's over-detention, absent evidence that the sheriff had any direct contact with
the detainee or actual knowledge of claimed constitutional violations, or condoned, ratified, or encouraged the alleged
constitutional violations in any way. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Schneyder v. Smith, 653 F.3d 313 (3rd Cir. 2011). A detainee who was being held as a material witness in a homicide
prosecution brought a civil rights action against the prosecutor who secured her arrest warrant, alleging the prosecutor failed
to have her released from custody knowing that her testimony was not required for several months. The district court entered
an order granting the prosecutor's motion to dismiss and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. On
remand, the district court entered an order denying the prosecutor's motion for summary judgment, and the prosecutor
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the prosecutor's conduct was sufficient to establish prima
facie violation of the detainee's Fourth Amendment rights. According to the court, the detainee's Fourth Amendment right to
be free from unreasonable seizures was clearly established and the prosecutor was not entitled to prosecutorial immunity.
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Tillman v. Burge, 813 F.Supp.2d 946 (N.D.Ill. 2011). A former prisoner, who served nearly 24 years in prison for rape and
murder before his conviction was vacated and charges were dismissed, brought a § 1983 action against a city, county, police
officers, police supervisors, and prosecutors, as well as a former mayor, alleging deprivation of a fair trial, wrongful
conviction, a Monell claim, conspiracy under § 1985 and § 1986, and various state law claims. The defendants filed separate
motions to dismiss. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the former prisoner’s
allegations that police officers engaged in suppressing, destroying, and preventing discovery of exculpatory evidence,
including instruments of torture used to coerce the prisoner's confession, stated a § 1983 claim against the police officers for
a Brady violation, despite the officers' contention that the prisoner was aware of everything that he claimed was withheld at
the time of the trial. The court found that the former prisoner’s complaint, alleging that municipal officials acted in collusion
with a former mayor and a state's attorney and high-ranking police officials to deflect public scrutiny of the actions of police
officers that suppressed and prevented discovery of exculpatory evidence, which prolonged prisoner's incarceration, stated a §
1983 claim against municipal officials for deprivation of fair trial and wrongful conviction.
According to the court, a prosecutor was not entitled to absolute immunity from the § 1983 complaint by the former
prisoner, alleging that the prosecutor personally participated in the prisoner's interrogation and that of a codefendant, and then
suppressed the truth concerning those events. The court found that the allegation put the prosecutor's conduct outside the
scope of his prosecutorial function. The court held that the complaint by the former prisoner, alleging that the former
prosecutor encouraged, condoned, and permitted the use of torture against the prisoner in order to secure a confession, stated
a § 1983 claim against the prosecutor for coercive interrogation, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The
court noted that the allegations supported the inference that the prosecutor participated in an investigatory rather than a
prosecutorial role. According to the court, the “Plaintiff's 46–page complaint sets forth an account of the murder of Betty
Howard and Plaintiff's arrest and prosecution for that murder, including the torture he alleges he endured at the hands of Area
2 police officers. The complaint also details the history of torture at Area 2 and the alleged involvement of the various
Defendants in that torture and in subsequent efforts to cover it up.” (Cook County, Illinois)

16.26

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Tookes v. U.S., 811 F.Supp.2d 322 (D.D.C. 2011). An arrestee brought an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)
against the United States, alleging assault and battery, false imprisonment, and negligent training and supervision. The United
States filed a motion for partial summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part, and denied in part. The
court held that the training and supervision of Deputy United States Marshals was a discretionary function, and therefore, the
discretionary function exception to FTCA precluded subject matter jurisdiction of the arrestee's negligent training and
supervision claims, following an alleged attack by marshals. The court noted that there were no statutes, regulations, or
policies that specifically prescribed how to train or oversee marshals, and decisions involved social, economic, and political
policy in that decisions had to balance budgetary constraints, public perception, economic conditions, individual
backgrounds, office diversity, experience, public safety, and employee privacy rights, as well as other considerations.
According to the court, there was no evidence that the arrestee should have known she could be diagnosed as suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder following an alleged false imprisonment by United States marshals, and therefore, the arrestee
was not limited from seeking greater damages for her emotional injuries than the amount claimed in her administrative form,
in her FTCA claim. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
the United States marshals falsely imprisoned the arrestee by bringing her back into a courthouse. (United States Marshals
Services, District of Columbia)
2012

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST

Amobi v. District of Columbia Government, 882 F.Supp.2d 78 (D.D.C. 2012). A corrections officer brought an action against
other officers, a prison director, and the District of Columbia, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the officer could not assert false
arrest and malicious prosecution claims against other corrections officers for reporting his restraint of a transgender inmate,
which resulted in criminal charges against the officer, even though the assault charges were eventually dropped against the
officer upon the inmate's admission that he had provoked the officer. The court noted that the reporting officers described
what they observed and provided probable cause for the arrest and prosecution. (District of Columbia Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
INVESTIGATIVE
DETENTION
PROBABLE CAUSE
FALSE ARREST

Bernini v. City of St. Paul, 665 F.3d 997 (8th Cir. 2012). Thirty-two arrestees filed a § 1983 action against a city and police
officers in their individual capacities for allegedly violating the First and Fourth Amendments by detentions and arrests, on
the first day of the Republican National Convention. The charges were ultimately dismissed. The district court granted the
city and the officers summary judgment and the arrestees appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that police
officers' brief detention of seven members of a group at a park during the Republican National Convention comported with
Fourth Amendment reasonableness requirements for investigative detention, since the group members were detained only
while the officers sought to determine which members were involved in a prior confrontation with officers at an intersection.
The court found that the officers had arguable probable cause for the mass arrest of 160 people in the park, based on an
objectively reasonable mistaken belief that all 160 people were part of a unit of 100 protestors that officers had probable
cause to believe had committed third-degree riot and unlawful assembly in violation of Minnesota law. According to the
court, the officers' deployment of non-lethal munitions, as authorized by the lead sergeant commanding mobile field force
operations during the confrontation with a crowd at the Republican National Convention, was not excessive force, under the
Fourth Amendment, since officers reasonably believed that the noncompliant crowd intended to penetrate a police line
blocking access to the downtown. (City of St. Paul, Minnesota)

U.S. District Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION
PROBABLE CAUSE

Gooding v. Ketcher, 838 F.Supp.2d 1231(N.D.Okla. 2012). A musician brought an action against a marshal of the Cherokee
Nation and a deputy county sheriff, sheriff, casino employees, county police officer, jail employees, and a nurse, alleging
false imprisonment, assault and battery, and violation of his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and seeking
declaratory judgment that Oklahoma law governing flag burning and desecration was unconstitutional. The musician had
been arrested and detained at a local county jail. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The court held that the musician's allegations that his use of an American flag during his performance
at a casino was a constitutionally protected activity, that the county sheriff failed to train his deputies as to the constitutional
nature of the activity, and that the sheriff adopted an unconstitutional policy and/or custom which led to the musician's arrest
and imprisonment, stated a § 1983 claim against the sheriff in his individual capacity as a supervisor for violations of the
musician's First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The court found that the musician's allegations that the county sheriff was, at all times relevant to the musician's claims
related to his arrest and imprisonment, a commissioned law enforcement officer and the duly-elected sheriff and chief policy
maker for county sheriff's office, that the deputy sheriff was a commissioned law enforcement officer acting as a marshal for
Cherokee Nation and a deputy sheriff for the county's sheriff's office, and that the deputy sheriff was acting as the sheriff's
employee during events giving rise to the musician's claims, were sufficient to demonstrate that the sheriff was responsible
for the deputy's training and supervision, as required for the musician's § 1983 inadequate training claim against county
sheriff in his official capacity. According to the court, the musician's allegations that the county had policy or custom that
was the moving force behind the alleged violation of the musician's First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and that
the policy/custom encouraged the confinement of the musician in response to his use of an American flag during a concert for
allegedly expressive purposes, stated a § 1983 claim against the county sheriff in his official capacity. The court held that the
musician's allegations that the seizure and search of his person were unconstitutional because the underlying conduct for
which he was seized was legal and did not provide lawful grounds upon which to base his arrest and the subsequent searches
of his person, stated a § 1983 claim against the county sheriff in his official capacity. (Cherokee Casino, Rogers County Jail,
Oklahoma)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
FALSE ARREST

Harris v. Hammon, 914 F.Supp.2d 1026 (D.Minn. 2012). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a county and various
officials with the state department of corrections (DOC), alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as
well as state law claims for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), and negligent infliction of
emotional distress (NIED). The defendants moved for summary judgment and for judgment on the pleadings. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that there was no evidence of a continuing, widespread
pattern of misconduct on account of county employees in not releasing prisoners pursuant to court orders, as required for the

16.27

prisoner's § 1983 failure-to-train claims against the county for alleged violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
The prisoner had been held for more than five days after a judge ordered his release pending his appeal. According to the
court, the former prisoner's allegations were sufficient to plead that department of corrections (DOC) employees were
deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, as required to state a § 1983 claim
for violations of his due process rights based on his continued detention after a court ordered his release. The prisoner alleged
that he had a court order for his release but he was returned to prison, that a judge faxed and mailed the release order to the
prison after being contacted by the prisoner's attorney the next day, that the judge's clerk also telephoned employees to inform
them that the prisoner was to be released, that one employee did not respond to calls from the prisoner's attorney, that another
employee told the attorney he would have to hand deliver a certified copy of order by the end of her shift in three minutes so
that the prisoner could be released before the weekend, and that employees told the attorney several days later that they might
not be able to release the prisoner because the order could be invalid. The court also held that the prisoner's allegations were
sufficient to plead that his continued detention, after his release was ordered by a judge, violated a clearly established right, as
required to overcome qualified immunity for department of corrections (DOC) employees. (Lino Lakes Correctional Facility,
Ramsey County Jail, Minnesota)
U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Holloway v. Delaware County Sheriff, 700 F.3d 1063 (7th Cir. 2012). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action, alleging that a
sheriff, who was sued in his official capacity, violated his rights by detaining him without charges for nine days, The district
court granted summary judgment for the sheriff and the arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held
that the sheriff did not violate the substantive due process rights of the arrestee, where the sheriff brought the arrestee before
court for an initial hearing within 72 hours of his arrest, followed the court's order in holding the arrestee without bond, and
released the arrestee promptly, within 72 hours of the initial hearing, excluding intervening weekend days, when the
prosecutor did not file charges within the time permitted by the court. (Delaware County Jail, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST

Livers v. Schenck, 700 F.3d 340 (8th Cir. 2012). Two pretrial detainees, who were arrested for murder, but who were
subsequently released after their charges were dropped, brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff and investigating
officers, alleging violations of their Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court entered an order
denying the defendants' motions for summary judgment, and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, denied in
part, and remanded. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether a detainee's confession
was coerced, and whether officers fabricated evidence. The court held that the sheriff could not be liable under § 1983 for his
alleged failure to train investigating officers not to fabricate evidence, since any reasonable officer would know that
fabricating evidence was unacceptable. (Cass County Sheriff's Office, Nebraska)

U.S. District Court
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION
DUE PROCESS

Manning v. Sweitzer, 891 F.Supp.2d 961 (N.D.Ill. 2012). An arrestee brought an action against various village police officers
and a village alleging unreasonable search and seizure of her vehicle, denial of the right to counsel, cruel and unusual
punishment, conspiracy under § 1985, failure to train, unlawful detention, and several state law claims. The defendants
moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held
that the detainee's allegation that she was offered medication for her unnamed mental ailment while incarcerated, but that she
declined to accept the medication “for fear of overmedication or a harmful interaction,” failed to establish that she was
subjected to inhumane conditions or that the police were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need, as required to
support her claim that she was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the Due
Process Clause. According to the court, the arrestee's failure to allege any other incidents of wrongdoing by the village,
combined with her failure to show that the unconstitutional consequences of the village's alleged failure to train its police
officers were patently obvious, precluded her claim against the village. (Village of Park Forest Police Department, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Northfield Ins. Co. v. City of Waukegan, 701 F.3d 1124 (7th Cir. 2012). Insurers that, pursuant to commercial general liability
policies, provided law enforcement liability coverage to a city and its employees acting within the scope of their employment,
brought a declaratory judgment action, seeking declarations that they had no duty to defend or indemnify the city or its employees in a third-party action in which a civil rights plaintiff alleged that the city and its police officers played a role in his
wrongful conviction. The district court granted summary judgment for the insurers and the defendants appealed. The appeals
court affirmed, finding that coverage did not exist for a claim alleging false arrest and imprisonment. (Waukegan, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
FALSE ARREST

Ruffins v. Department of Correctional Services, 907 F.Supp.2d 290 (E.D.N.Y. 2012). A plaintiff brought a § 1983 action
against a state's Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) and its commissioner and several employees, and the state's
Division of Parole and its chairperson and several employees, alleging wrongful detention for violations of an allegedly
illegally-imposed term of post-release supervision (PRS), false arrest and imprisonment, negligence, and a New York state
claim for gross negligence. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the
individual defendants, who were employees of New York's Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) or Division of
Parole, were entitled to qualified immunity for their actions during the time between the administrative imposition of a term
of post-release supervision (PRS) and a court decision, which found that such imposition of PRS violated due process
guarantees. (New York State Division of Parole, Department of Correctional Services for the State of New York)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Singletary v. District of Columbia, 876 F.Supp.2d 106 (D.D.C. 2012). A parolee brought a § 1983 action against the District
of Columbia, seeking money damages for unlawful revocation of his parole by the Parole Board. The district court granted
summary judgment in the parolee's favor as to the issue of liability. After a trial on damages, the jury returned a verdict of
$2.3 million for the parolee. The District of Columbia moved for a new trial. The district court denied the motion. The court
held that the damages award was not excessive, that the parolee was properly allowed to testify as to what he experienced for
the ten years that he was wrongly incarcerated, and that evidence concerning an alleged prior traffic offense was properly
excluded. The court found that the jury's damage award to the parolee whose parole was unlawfully revoked, resulting in his
serving an additional ten years in prison, of $230,000 per year—or about forty-four cents per minute—for each year that he
was stripped of the privileges of individual choice and physical freedom and subjected to the indignity of incarceration, was
not excessive. (District of Columbia Parole Board)

16.28

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION
PROBABLE CAUSE

U.S. v. Maricopa County, Ariz., 915 F.Supp.2d 1073 (D.Ariz. 2012). The United States filed an action against a county, the
county sheriff's office, and the sheriff in his official capacity, relating to treatment of Latinos, including jail detainees, and
asserting claims for violations of the Fourth Amendment, retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, violations of equal
protection and due process, and discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in violation of Title VI and the
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. The defendants filed motions to dismiss. The district court denied the
county's motion, and granted the sheriff and sheriff's office motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the sheriff's
office was an entity that was not capable of being sued in its own name. The court held that the allegations stated a claim
under Title VI for disparate impact discrimination, stated a claim for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, and that
the allegations satisfied the requirements for pleading the municipal liability of the county. According to the court, allegations
by the United States, that officers from the county sheriff's office routinely and unlawfully targeted Latinos through
pretextual traffic stops, crime suppression sweeps, and worksite raids, and that as a result Latinos were far more likely to be
deprived of their constitutional rights than non-Latinos, stated a claim for disparate impact discrimination under Title VI by
programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The court also found that allegations that a former Arizona
county attorney acted in concert with the county sheriff's office and the sheriff to file a baseless lawsuit accusing people who
had publicly criticized the defendants, and to file baseless state bar complaints against attorneys who spoke out against
defendants, and that the defendants used unjustified arrests to intimidate and retaliate against critics of their immigration
policies, stated a claim under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act for retaliation for exercising First
Amendment rights. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
FALSE
IMPRISONMENT

Ward v. Brown, 891 F.Supp.2d 1149 (E.D.Cal. 2012). A former prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a state prison, the
state's department of corrections, and prison officials, alleging violation of various constitutional rights, negligence, false
imprisonment, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Following the grant of the defendants' motions to
dismiss the federal claims, and denial of the defendants' motion to dismiss the state claims, the defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by: (1) a material fact issue as to whether a prison official was deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's right to
be free from state custody; (2) material factual disputes as to whether the prison official properly retained the prisoner's
release date; (3) a material dispute of fact as to whether the department of corrections was put on notice of the prison
official's alleged miscalculation of the prisoner's release date; and (4) material disputes of fact as to whether the department
of corrections falsely imprisoned prisoner. The inmate challenged the defendants' alleged refusal to correct his release date
from a state prison, causing him to be over-incarcerated in a federal prison, in violation of his constitutional rights.
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
PROBABLE CAUSE
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION

Wells v. City of Chicago, 896 F.Supp.2d 725 (N.D.Ill. 2012). The representative of the estate of a detainee who died on the
night he was to be released from custody brought an action against a city and city police officers, alleging under § 1983 that
the defendants unlawfully detained the detainee and denied him medical care. Following a trial, the jury returned a verdict for
the representative and against four defendants on the unlawful detention claim, and for the defendants on claims relating to
denial of medical care. The defendants moved for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, a new trial or remittitur
on the issue of damages. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The district court held that: (1) the
issue of whether the defendants held the detainee for more than 48 hours before being taken before a judge or being released,
or for less than 48 hours for an improper purpose, was for the the jury; (2) the officers had probable cause to arrest the
detainee for a crime with an intent element; (3) the issue of whether individual officers participated in the unlawful detention
was for the jury; (4) the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from the unlawful detention claim; (5) the award of
$1 million in compensatory damages was excessive; and (6) the award of $150,500 in punitive damages was not warranted
where there was little to indicate that the defendants acted with evil intent or callous indifference to the detainee's rights.. The
court noted that, although the detainee suffered significant physical pain during the time he was detained, as well as intense
humiliation and severe mental and emotional distress, he was in custody for, at most, 53 hours, and only the final five hours
of his detention were unlawful. The detainee had driven a semi-trailer truck through a bus stop and into a Chicago Transit
Authority “L” Station, killing two women and injuring 20 people. After brief treatment in a hospital, the police transported
him to a police station, where he was interviewed and then placed in a holding cell. He ultimately only received a traffic
citation, though police kept investigating the collision until the time of his death. Officers were making arrangements to take
the detainee to a hospital for evaluation after finding that he had difficulty walking once removed from his cell. He died in the
hospital 6 weeks later. (City of Chicago Police Department, Illinois)
2013

U.S. District Court
FALSE
IMPRISONMENT

Armato v. Grounds, 944 F.Supp.2d 627 (C.D.Ill. 2013). A former inmate, a sex offender, brought an action against Illinois
Department of Corrections (IDOC) employees, alleging under § 1983 that the employees violated his rights under Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment by allowing him to be held beyond the term of his incarceration, and asserting a claim for false
imprisonment under state law. The employees moved for summary judgment. The district court allowed the motion. The
court held that the employees complied with the terms of a state court judge's handwritten sentencing order and the
employees were not deliberately indifferent in allegedly allowing the inmate to be held beyond his release date. (Lake County
Jail, Robinson Correctional Center, Illinois Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE
IMPRISONMENT
MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

Donahoe v. Arpaio, 986 F.Supp.2d 1091 (D.Ariz. 2013). A former member of a county board of supervisors brought an
action against the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, a former county attorney, and deputy county attorneys, asserting
claims under § 1983 and state law for wrongful institution of civil proceedings, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment
and arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unlawful search. The parties cross-moved for summary judgment.
The district court denied the plaintiff's motion, and granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motions. The court held
that summary judgment for the defendants was precluded by fact issues: (1) with respect to the malicious prosecution claims;
(2) as to whether misrepresentations and omissions of evidence in a search warrant affidavit were material; (3) as to unlawful
search claims against the sheriff and deputy county attorneys; (4) with respect to the false arrest claim; and (5) with respect to
the claim for wrongful institution of civil proceedings. The court noted that a reasonable magistrate would not have issued a

16.29

search warrant based on the accurate and complete representation of known evidence. The court held that the retaliatory
animus of the county sheriff and prosecutors would chill a person of ordinary firmness from criticizing the sheriff and
prosecutors and from vigorously litigating against them. According to the court, fact issues as to whether the county sheriff
and prosecutors acted outrageously and either intended the arrestee harm, or were recklessly indifferent to whether their
actions would infringe on his rights and cause him severe distress, precluded summary judgment for the defendants with
regard to the claim for punitive damages in the action for unlawful search, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and First
Amendment violations. (Maricopa County Sheriff and County Attorneys, Arizona)
U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE
IMPRISONMENT

Ford v. City of Yakima, 706 F.3d 1188 (9th Cir. 2013). A motorist brought a § 1983 action alleging First Amendment
retaliation against a city and police officers who booked and jailed the motorist following a traffic stop. The district court
granted summary judgment to the defendants, and the motorist appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court
held that the motorist’s criticism of the police for what the motorist perceived to be an unlawful and racially motivated traffic
stop was squarely within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment, and any action to punish or deter such speech was
categorically prohibited by the federal constitution. The court found that the motorist's booking and jailing by the police
officers, allegedly in retaliation for the motorist's criticism of what he perceived to be an unlawful and racially motivated
traffic stop, would chill a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activity, as required to support a § 1983
First Amendment retaliation claim against the city and the police officers. The court held that the police officers were not
entitled to qualified immunity from the motorist's § 1983 claim that they booked and arrested him in violation of the First
Amendment, where it was clearly established that it was unlawful to book and jail motorist in retaliation for First
Amendment activity, even if probable cause existed, and a reasonable police officer would have known that it was unlawful
to use his authority to retaliate against an individual because of his speech. During the traffic stop one officer said to the
motorist: (1) “Stop running the mouth and listen”; (2) “If you talk over me, you are going to go to jail, sir. Do not talk over
me”; (3) “If you cooperate, I may let you go with a ticket today. If you run your mouth, I will book you in jail for it. Yes, I
will, and I will tow your car”; and (4) “If you cooperate and shut your mouth, I'll give you a ticket and you can go.” (City of
Yakima Police Department, Washington)

U.S. Appeals Court
IDENTIFICATION
PROBABLE CAUSE
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION

Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 723 F.3d 91 (1st Cir. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought a Bivens action against FBI agents,
alleging that the agents' unlawful conduct caused him to be held in custody for three months without probable cause. The
district court denied the agents' motion to dismiss on qualified immunity grounds. The agents appealed. The appeals court
affirmed and remanded. The court held that: (1) allegations by the detainee that FBI agents witnessed a black male, short,
stocky, and in his late fifties, transfer $321,956 in drug proceeds to an undercover informant; (2) after a year passed without
the FBI being able to locate or identify that suspect, they were under pressure to make an arrest; (3) agents worked with the
informant to arrange a tainted photo array, during which informant identified the detainee, who was a tall, thin, 40-year-old,
black male, and who had strikingly dissimilar appearance to the suspect; (4) that one agent either knowingly or with reckless
disregard for the truth made sworn statements in a warrant affidavit identifying the detainee as the suspect who delivered the
tainted cash; (5) that based on the affidavit, a magistrate issued an arrest warrant; and (6) that the detainee was bound over
and held in federal custody for three months, stated a Bivens claim against agents for violation of detainee's Fourth
Amendment rights. (Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
FALSE
IMPRISONMENT

Lucia v. City of Peabody, 971 F.Supp.2d 153 (D.Mass. 2013). The administrator of the estate of an individual who died from
acute and chronic substance abuse while in protective custody brought an action against a city and its mayor, as well as the
police department, its chief, and four other individual officers, alleging claims under § 1983 for various constitutional
violations and claims of negligence and false imprisonment under state law. The defendants moved for summary judgment.
The district court granted the motion. The district court held that: (1) the officers were entitled to qualified immunity on the
claim that they violated the individual's constitutional rights by failing to call a treatment center; (2) the officers were entitled
to qualified immunity on the claim that they violated the individual's constitutional rights by failing to monitor him and
provide proper care; (3) the administrator failed to establish municipal liability based on failure to train; (4) the administrator
failed to establish supervisory liability against the supervising officer; (5) police were immune from negligence liability
under statutory exception to Massachusetts Tort Claims Act; and (6) the officers were not liable for false imprisonment. The
court noted that at the time of the relevant events, a reasonable officer would not have known that determining that a suitable
treatment facility was not available was a Fourth Amendment prerequisite to his ability to constitutionally detain an
intoxicated individual who was not charged with any crime, as required for the right to be clearly established, and therefore
the individual officers who detained the individual were entitled to qualified immunity under § 1983. (Peabody Police
Department, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
DUE PROCESS
PROBABLE CAUSE

Melendres v. Arpaio, 989 F.Supp.2d 822 (D.Ariz. 2013). Latino persons brought a class action against a sheriff and sheriff's
office, seeking injunctive relief based on allegations of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments violations in the policy of using
race as a factor in determining reasonable suspicion and in investigating or detaining Latino occupants of motor vehicles
suspected of being in the country without authorization, without any basis for state charges. The district court entered
judgment for the plaintiffs. The court held that: (1) the policy of the sheriff's office directing deputies to detain vehicle
occupants because of the belief that occupants were not legally present in the United States violated the Fourth Amendment;
(2) the policy permitting deputies to use race or Hispanic appearance as a factor in determining whether there was reasonable
suspicion violated the Fourth Amendment; (3) the policy permitting deputies to use race as a factor in forming reasonable
suspicion that persons violated state laws relating to immigration status was not narrowly tailored; (4) the sheriff's office
intentionally discriminated against Latino persons; (5) deputies investigating the identities of, and arresting, vehicle
passengers on immigration violations without reasonable suspicion during a traffic stop lengthened the stop in violation of the
Fourth Amendment; and (6) deputies could not use reasonable suspicion of unauthorized presence in the United States,
without more, as probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a state law had been violated. (Maricopa County Sheriff,
Arizona)

16.30

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
IMPRISONMENT
PROBABLE CAUSE

Poche v. Gautreaux, 973 F.Supp.2d 658 (M.D.La. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a district attorney and
prison officials, among others, alleging various constitutional violations pursuant to § 1983, statutory violations under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), as well as state law claims, all related to her alleged
unlawful detention for seven months. The district attorney and prison officials moved to dismiss. The district court granted
the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee sufficiently alleged an official policy or custom, as
required to establish local government liability for constitutional torts, by alleging that failures of the district attorney and the
prison officials to implement policies designed to prevent the constitutional deprivations alleged, and to adequately train their
employees in such tasks as processing paperwork related to detention, created such obvious dangers of constitutional
violations that the district attorney and the prison officials could all be reasonably said to have acted with conscious
indifference. The court found that the pretrial detainee stated a procedural due process claim against the district attorney and
the prison officials under § 1983 related to her alleged unlawful detention for seven months, by alleging that it was official
policy and custom of the officials to skirt constitutional requirements related to procedures for: (1) establishing probable
cause to detain; (2) arraignment; (3) bail; and (4) appointment of counsel, and that the officials' policy and custom resulted in
a deprivation of her liberty without due process. The court also found a procedural due process claim against the district
attorney under § 1983 by the detainee’s allegation that it was the district attorney's policy and custom to sign charging papers
such as bills of information without reading them, without checking their correctness, and without even knowing what he was
signing, and that the attorney's policy and custom resulted in a deprivation of her liberty without due process. The court found
a substantive due process claim against the district attorney in the detainee’s allegation that after obtaining clear direct
knowledge that the detainee was being wrongfully and illegally held, the district attorney still failed to correct the mistakes
that caused the detention, and to cover up his failures in connection with the case, the district attorney made a conscious
decision to bring belated charges against the detainee. The court held that the detainee stated an equal protection claim
against the prison officials under § 1983, by alleging that the officials acted with a discriminatory animus toward her because
she was mentally disabled, and that she was repeatedly and deliberately punished for, and discriminated against, on that basis.
(East Baton Rouge Prison, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Taylor v. City of Mason, 970 F.Supp.2d 776 (S.D.Ohio 2013). A deaf arrestee brought an action against a police department
and a city, alleging that denial of a qualified interpreter during questioning prior to arrest at the jail violated the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, and that he was falsely imprisoned. The defendants moved to dismiss
for failure to state a claim. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the deaf arrestee's allegations, that police
officers denied him the benefits of effectively communicating with them prior to arrest by failing to provide an appropriate
auxiliary aid, were sufficient to state a claim under ADA and Rehabilitation Act. The arrestee alleged that he initiated a
phone call to police because he had been assaulted, and that, although officers requested an American Sign Language (ASL)
interpreter, they did not wait for the interpreter to arrive before they began questioning him, but instead used his alleged
attacker as an interpreter, and she reported that the arrestee sexually assaulted her. The court found that the allegations were
also sufficient to state a claim under the Rehabilitation Act, where the arrestee alleged that he expressed dissatisfaction with
the interpreter provided at the jail, who was not certified in ASL, that he did not fully understand his Miranda rights as
explained by the interpreter, and that the lack of a qualified interpreter was directed at him particularly. (City of Mason Police
Department and Jail, Ohio)

U.S. District Court
PROBABLE CAUSE

Vollette v. Watson, 937 F.Supp.2d 706 (E.D.Va. 2013). Former food service and medical care contractors who worked at a
city jail brought an action against a sheriff, who oversaw the jail, and sheriff's deputies, alleging under § 1983 that their being
required to undergo strip searches at the jail violated their Fourth Amendment rights, and that they were retaliated against, in
violation of the First Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to what
triggered the strip searches of contractors who worked at city jail, the nature of such searches, and the factual predicate for
revocation of the contractors' security clearances. According to the court, at the time the contractors were strip searched, it
was clearly established, for qualified immunity purposes in the contractors' § 1983 Fourth Amendment unlawful search
action against the sheriff and sheriff's deputies, that prison employees did not forfeit all privacy rights when they accepted
employment, and thus, that prison authorities were required to have reasonable and individualized suspicion that employees
were hiding contraband on their person before performing a “visual body cavity search.” The court also found that summary
judgment as to the contractors’ claims for false imprisonment and battery was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as
to what triggered the strip searches. (Aramark and Correct Care Solutions, Contractors, Portsmouth City Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
PROBABLE CAUSE
UNLAWFUL DETENTION

Wilson v. Montano, 715 F.3d 847 (10th Cir. 2013). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff, several
deputies, and the warden of the county's detention center, alleging that he was unlawfully detained, and that his right to a
prompt probable cause determination was violated. The district court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss. The
defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part. The detainee had been held
for 11 days without a hearing and without charges being filed. The appeals court held that the defendants were not entitled to
qualified immunity from the claim that they violated the arrestee's right to a prompt post-arrest probable cause determination,
where the Fourth Amendment right to a prompt probable cause determination was clearly established at the time. The court
held that the arrestee sufficiently alleged that the arresting sheriff's deputy was personally involved in the deprivation of his
Fourth Amendment right to a prompt probable cause hearing, as required to support his § 1983 claim against the deputy. The
arrestee alleged that he was arrested without a warrant, and that the deputy wrote out a criminal complaint but failed to file it
in any court with jurisdiction to hear a misdemeanor charge until after he was released from the county's detention facility,
despite having a clear duty under New Mexico law to ensure that the arrestee received a prompt probable cause
determination. The court held that the arrestee sufficiently alleged that the county sheriff established a policy or custom that
led to the arrestee's prolonged detention without a probable cause hearing, and that the sheriff acted with the requisite mental
state, as required to support his § 1983 claim against the sheriff, by alleging that: (1) the sheriff allowed deputies to arrest
people and wait before filing charges, thus resulting in the arrest and detention of citizens with charges never being filed; (2)
the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to ongoing constitutional violations occurring under his supervision and due to his
failure to adequately train his employees; (3) routine warrantless arrest and incarceration of citizens without charges being

16.31

filed amounted to a policy or custom; and (4) such policy was the significant moving force behind the arrestee's illegal
detention. (Valencia County Sheriff's Office, Valencia County Detention Center, New Mexico)
2014
U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
MALICIOUS PROSECUTION
DUE PROCESS

Chavez v. County of Bernalillo, 3 F.Supp.3d 936 (D.N.M. 2014). An arrestee brought § 1983 claims and state-law claims
against a county and its jail director, relating to the arrestee's detention pursuant to a bench warrant that had been cancelled
before the arrest. After removal to federal court, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part, and remanded to the state court. The court held that the arrestee's § 1983 claims
against a county and its jail director, relating to detention pursuant to a bench warrant that had been cancelled before the
arrest, were properly characterized as Fourth Amendment claims for false arrest and false imprisonment, rather than for
malicious prosecution. The court found that county jail employees did not violate the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment right to
be free from unlawful seizure, when they booked him into the jail following a city police officer's arrest of the plaintiff
pursuant to a bench warrant that was facially valid, but that had been cancelled before the arrest. According to the court,
county jail employees, upon learning from the arrestee's attorney about the pre-arrest cancellation of the facially valid bench
warrant pursuant to which city police officers had conducted the arrest, did not act with deliberate or reckless intent to falsely
imprison the arrestee by requiring a release order from a judge, and thus, the arrestee's continued detention for two days, until
the release order was issued, did not constitute false imprisonment in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court noted
that jail employees acted reasonably, since a judge could better determine why a bench warrant remained available to city
police at the time of arrest, and whether any other basis for detaining the arrestee existed. (Metropolitan Detention Center,
Bernalillo County, New Mexico)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Hebshi v. U.S., 32 F.Supp.3d 834 (E.D.Mich. 2014). After she was forcibly removed from an airliner, detained, and subjected
to a strip-search, a passenger brought a civil rights action against federal agents and airport law enforcement officers, alleging
discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or national origin, and violations of the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The airline law enforcement officers moved for partial judgment on the pleadings. The district court denied the motion. The
court held that the passenger stated claims for unreasonable seizure and unreasonable search, and that the officers were not
entitled to qualified immunity. The court held that the passenger's allegations that she was forced off an airplane by armed
officers, handcuffed, briefly questioned on the tarmac, transported to a jail, locked in a guarded cell under video surveillance,
detained for four hours, and strip-searched, before being extensively questioned about her involvement in other passengers'
alleged suspicious activity, were sufficient to allege that the seizure was a de facto arrest made without probable cause in
violation of the Fourth Amendment. According to the court, the passenger's allegations that she was arrested, detained for
four hours, strip-searched by airport law enforcement officers, based on her alleged involvement in suspicious activities by
two other passengers, that the officers made no effort to verify her identity or corroborate any connection between her and the
other passengers, and that the strip-search was not conducted promptly, were sufficient to state a claim for unreasonable
search under the Fourth Amendment. (Frontier Airlines, Federal Law Enforcement Agents, Wayne County Airport Authority
Law Enforcement Agents, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
UNLAWFUL
DETENTION

Liska v. Dart, 60 F.Supp.3d 889 (N.D. Ill. 2014). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a county and a county sheriff,
alleging under § 1983 that the defendants deprived him of liberty without procedural due process, and asserting claims under
state law for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The defendants moved to dismiss the case for
failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) as a matter of
first impression, the detainee had a liberty interest protected by procedural due process in remaining on home confinement;
(2) the defendants violated the detainee’s procedural due process rights; (3) the detainee sufficiently stated the sheriff’s
personal involvement in the alleged procedural due process violation; and (4) the sheriff was not entitled to qualified
immunity. The court noted that the pretrial detainee had a liberty interest protected by procedural due process in remaining on
home confinement, and thus the county and county sheriff were required to afford the detainee procedural due process prior
to transferring the detainee to jail due to his alleged violation of the terms of home confinement. The detainee alleged that the
sheriff was responsible for implementing the cell-box system used in the detainee’s home during his home confinement, that
the sheriff was aware of issues with the type and brand of system assigned to the detainee and many other home detainees,
that the sheriff knew or should have known of the malfunctions of the system in the detainee’s home, and that the sheriff
allowed the detainee’s incarceration in the county jail for violation of the terms of his home confinement despite knowledge
of numerous false alarms registered by the system. (Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Cook County Jail)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Robinson v. Keita, 20 F.Supp.3d 1140 (D.Colo. 2014). An arrestee brought an action against a city, city police officers, a
county, and sheriff's deputies, alleging under § 1983 that he was unreasonably arrested and incarcerated for a 12-day period.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held
that: (1) a front desk officer was entitled to qualified immunity from unlawful arrest claim; (2) the deputies who transported
the arrestee from a police station across the street to a detention facility, and assisted in the arrestee's booking, were entitled
to qualified immunity from a substantive due process claim; (3) there was no evidence that the city's alleged policy of relying
on the state court to schedule a hearing after promptly being advised of a warrant arrest was substantially certain to result in a
constitutional violation; but (4) summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the city had actual or
constructive notice that its failure to train as to how to process conflicting information during the process of “packing” an
arrest warrant for distribution was substantially certain to result in a constitutional violation, and as to whether the city
substantially chose to disregard the risk of harm. (City and County of Denver, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
FALSE ARREST
IDENTIFICATION
UNLAWFUL DETENTION

S.L. ex rel. K.L. v. Pierce Tp. Bd. of Trustees, 771 F.3d 956 (6th Cir. 2014). A juvenile, by and through his guardian, filed a §
1983 action against a township, its police chief, a police officer, the superintendent of a juvenile detention center, and the
center's intake officer, alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and loss of filial consortium. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The defendants appealed. The appeals court
affirmed, and on remand the district court entered summary judgment in favor of the superintendent and the intake officer,
and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the intake officer at the juvenile detention center

16.32

had no duty to make an independent assessment of probable cause for the juvenile detainee's arrest and detention, and thus
did not violate the detainee's Fourth Amendment rights by signing a complaint prepared by the arresting officer that charged
the detainee as a delinquent child. (Clermont County Juvenile Detention Center, Ohio)
U.S. District Court
ARREST AND
DETENTION

Villars v. Kubiatowski, 45 F.Supp.3d 791 (N.D.Ill. 2014). A detainee, a Honduran citizen who had been arrested for driving
under the influence and fleeing officers after they effectuated a traffic stop of his vehicle, and subsequently had been held on
an immigration detainer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and then on a federal material witness warrant,
brought a pro se action against a village, police chief, police officers, sheriff, jail deputies, and an Assistant United States
Attorney. The detainee alleged violation of his due process, equal protection, Fourth Amendment, and Eighth Amendment
rights. The defendants filed motions to dismiss. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The district
court held that: (1) the detainee stated a claim against the village defendants for violation of his Fourth Amendment and due
process rights in connection with his detention after he had posted bond; (2) the detainee stated a claim for violation of his
consular rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; (3) the detainee stated a claim against the
county defendants for violation of his Fourth Amendment and due process rights in connection with his 29-hour detention;
and (4) absolute prosecutorial immunity did not shield the AUSA from the plaintiff's claims that the AUSA violated his
Fourth Amendment and due process rights, along with the federal material witness statute and the federal rules of criminal
procedure. The court noted that following the detainee’s post-arrest transfer to the county's custody, he was detained for
approximately 29 hours pursuant to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request, and that the county
lacked probable cause that the detainee had violated a federal criminal law, but instead detained him while the federal
government investigated to determine whether or not he had, in violation of the detainee's Fourth Amendment and procedural
and substantive due process rights. (Village of Round Lake Beach, Lake County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST

Ysasi v. Brown, 3 F.Supp.3d 1088 (D.N.M. 2014). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against county sheriff officers and a
detention center, alleging false arrest, excessive force, and other claims under the Constitution. The officers and the detention
center moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the
arrestee presented no evidence that the four-day incarceration prior to his arraignment prejudiced his defense, either in his
criminal trial or in the current civil case, by concealing evidence against the arresting county sheriff officers. The court noted
that the arrestee was arraigned within the time required by New Mexico rule. (Lea County Detention Center, New Mexico)
2015

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
UNLAWFUL DETENTION

Mayorov v. United States, 84 F.Supp.3d 678 (N.D.Ill. 2015). A former state prisoner sued the United States, pursuant to the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), claiming negligence and false imprisonment based on Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) issuing an immigration detainer against him, despite his United States citizenship, causing him to
spending 325 days in prison that he otherwise would not have served due to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)
rules prohibiting a detainee from participating in a boot camp as an alternative to a custodial prison sentence. The parties
moved for summary judgment. The district court held that fact issues as to whether the government breached a duty to
reasonably investigate the prisoner’s citizenship status prior to issuing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
detainer. (Illinois Impact Incarceration Program)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

McGowan v. U.S., 94 F.Supp.3d 382 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). A federal prisoner, who was serving the remainder of his sentence at a
halfway house, brought an action against a U. S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employee who managed the halfway house,
alleging violations of his right to free speech, and asserting claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, and negligence under
the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion and dismissed
the action. The court held that the prisoner could not bring a Bivens claim alleging his free speech right was violated when he
was transferred from the halfway house to a prison for violating a BOP regulation against publishing under a byline, where
the prisoner could have challenged his transfer through a habeas petition after exhausting BOP’s administrative remediation
process. The court noted that the prisoner’s reassignment to prison was rescinded when his lawyers notified the BOP that the
byline regulation had been repealed. The court held that the prisoner’s confinement was uncategorically privileged, and thus,
under state law, he could not assert a claim for false imprisonment against the United States pursuant to the Federal Tort
Claims Act (FTCA) based on his brief transfer from the halfway house. (Community First Services, Inc., and Metropolitan
Detention Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
DUE PROCESS

Ngemi v. County of Nassau, 87 F.Supp.3d 413 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). A father brought a § 1983 action against a county, alleging
he was denied due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment in being arrested and incarcerated for failing to meet
his child support obligations. The county moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion,
finding that the father received ample process prior to his arrest. The court noted that father was present at the hearing where
his failure to comply with the order of support was addressed, an order of disposition was mailed to his home after the
hearing and warned him that failure to comply would result in imprisonment, the order afforded the father the opportunity to
object, the order of commitment was also mailed to the father and advised him of his ability to appeal, the father never
contested the orders, and the father never claimed over the course of four years that he could not pay his child support arrears.
(Nassau County Family Court, Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
FALSE ARREST
FALSE IMPRISONMENT

Purvis. v. City of Atlanta, 142 F.Supp.3d 1337 (N.D. Ga. 2015). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a city, county,
and the county sheriff, asserting claims for unlawful arrest and detention in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments. The arrestee alleged that, following his lawful arrest for drinking in public, he was unlawfully held by the city
and county for an additional five to six days on an invalid warrant. The city, county, and sheriff moved to dismiss. The
district court granted the motion and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the allegation was insufficient to establish a
pattern or practice on the part of the county or city arising out of an official policy or custom; (2) the sheriff, in his official
capacity, was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity; (3) the allegations were sufficient to support an inference that the
sheriff directed subordinates to act unlawfully; (4) the sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity from the claim for
violation of the arrestee's due process right to timely release; and (5) the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from the
claim alleging violation of the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights. (Atlanta City Det. Center, Fulton County Jail, Georgia)

16.33

16.34

XIX

XIX

U.S. District Court
SUICIDE

Mann ex rel. Terrazas v. Lopez, 404 F.Supp.2d 932 (W.D.Tex. 2005). Representatives of the
estates of two detainees who had committed suicide while confined brought an action against a
sheriff and jail officers, alleging failure to supervise and failure to train. The district court found
that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity for failing to prevent the detainees’ suicides,
where there was no evidence that the sheriff was personally aware of any suicidal thoughts the
detainees might have had and did not personally direct any actions involving the detainees
during their incarceration. The court ordered further proceedings to determine if the sheriff’s
failure to modify his policies regarding potentially suicidal detainees was an intentional choice,
or merely unintentionally negligent oversight. One inmate was known to have mental health
problems and was housed in a mental health unit that provided a 1 to 18 officer to inmate ratio,
compared to the 1 to 48 ratio required by state standards. The inmate hanged himself using a
torn-up bed sheet. The other inmate was being held in a new detox cell and was founding
hanging four minute after she had been visually observed by an officer. She also used a bed
sheet to hang herself. (Bexar County Adult Detention Center, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Mata v. Saiz, 427 F.3d 745 (10th Cir. 2005). A state inmate sued a prison’s licensed practical
nurses (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and nurse practitioner (NP) under § 1983 alleging Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendment violations. The district court entered summary judgment for the
LPNs and RN, and partial summary judgment for the NP. The inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the inmate’s alleged
severe chest pain and subsequent heart attack, if proven, were sufficiently serious to satisfy the
objective element of the test for deliberate indifference. The court found that fact issues existed
as to whether the evening LPN was deliberately indifferent when she allegedly told the inmate
that there was nothing she could do about her chest pains and that the prisoner would have to
wait until the morning. (Pueblo Minimum Center, Colorado Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Pool v. Sebastian County, Ark., 418 F.3d 934 (8th Cir. 2005). A county inmate sued jail officials
under § 1983 alleging that her miscarriage resulted from the officials’ deliberate indifference to
her serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied
summary judgment for the defendants and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part
and dismissed in part. The court found that the facts alleged by the inmate, if proven, indicated
that she had a need for medical attention that would have been obvious to a layperson, and
therefore had a serious medical need. The inmate alleged that she had informed jail officials that
she was pregnant, bleeding and passing blood clots, and that she was in extreme pain from
cramping to the point that it affected her ability to perform routine daily functions. (Sebastian
County Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSSEXUAL

Praylor v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, 430 F.3d 1208 (5th Cir. 2005). A transsexual state

U.S. District Court
ABORTION

Roe v. Crawford, 396 F.Supp.2d 1041 (W.D.Mo. 2005). A female inmate sued prison officials,

prison inmate brought a suit, asserting that denial of his request for hormone therapy
constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The district court denied relief and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that declining to provide hormone
treatment did not amount to deliberate indifference to the inmate’s serious medical needs, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that the prison had a policy for treating
transsexuals, but that the inmate did not qualify for hormone therapy because of the length of
his term and the prison’s inability to perform a sex change operation, the lack of a medical
necessity for the hormone, and disruption to the all-male prison. (Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, University of Texas and Texas Tech University)
requesting a preliminary injunction requiring them to transport her to a local health care
provider for the purpose of providing medical services to terminate her pregnancy. The district
court held that the inmate was entitled to injunctive relief and ordered accordingly. The court
found that denying the inmate the right to choose to terminate her pregnancy constituted
irreparable injury and that substantial delay in the decision to abort increased the risks
associated with the procedure. According to the court, the prison policy not to transport female
prisoners out of the institution for abortions that were not medically necessary was claimed to be
reasonably related to the penological interests of security and cost, but the court found those
interests were not legitimate penological interests. (Women’s Diagnostic and Correctional
Center, Missouri)
2006

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

XX

Beasley v. City of Sugar Land, 410 F.Supp.2d 524 (S.D.Tex. 2006). An arrestee sued a city under
§ 1983, claiming she was subjected to a strip search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The
city moved for summary judgment and the district court entered summary judgment for the city.
The court held that the municipality's policy of authorizing strip searches only when an official
had reasonable suspicion that an arrestee was a threat to facility security, did not violate the
Fourth Amendment. The arrestee was cited for driving her mother's car with no driver's license,
no current motor vehicle inspection or registration, no insurance, and no license plate light, a
17.33

few days after her eighteenth birthday. She was summoned to appear in court but mistakenly
appeared five days late. She was arrested at her house on a warrant for failure to appear and
she was allowed to put on shoes and socks, but was taken to jail in the clothes she was wearing-pajama pants and a cotton shirt with no bra. On the way to the city jail the arresting officer
radioed for a female officer to meet him at the jail to perform a search. At the jail a female police
officer told the arrestee to stand with her hands against a wall. She instructed the arrestee to
lift her shirt and the officer lifted Beasley's breasts to feel beneath them. The officer then
instructed the arrestee to drop her pants while continuing to hold up her shirt. The officer pulled
the arrestee’s panties taut and did a quick two-finger swipe across Beasley's vagina. The male
arresting officer allegedly witnessed this search. The arrestee initially alleged that she was
subjected to a “strip search and body cavity search,” but the court found that her description of
the events did not indicate that a body cavity search occurred. (City of Sugar Land, Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Calvi v. Knox County, 470 F.3d 422 (1st Cir. 2006). A female arrestee brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Clifton v. Eubank, 418 F.Supp.2d 1243 (D.Colo. 2006). An inmate brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Forton v. County of Ogemaw, 435 F.Supp.2d 640 (E.D.Mich. 2006). The estate of a deceased jail

XX

against a city, city officers, a county, and county officers alleging excessive force. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the plaintiff appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that an officer who handcuffed the arrestee in the
customary manner by cuffing her hands behind her back did not use excessive force, even if the
officer knew that the arrestee had a hand deformity. The court noted that the officer's decision to
not deviate from the standard practice of placing handcuffs behind the back was a judgment call.
The arrestee had told the officer to be gentle because she was frail and had recently undergone
elbow surgery. The officer double-locked the handcuffs behind her back so that they would not
tighten. He then marched her outside, deposited her in his cruiser, and belted her in for
transport to the jail. Upon arriving at the lockup, the arrestee was transferred to the custody of
a jail officer, who unlocked the handcuffs, patted her down, and placed her in a holding cell.
After other required aspects of the booking process had been completed, another jail officer
fingerprinted the arrestee, who claimed that the officer who fingerprinted her repeatedly pushed
her fingers down hard, in spite of being told that she had a hand deformity. She also claimed
that the fingerprinting caused injuries to her wrist and her surgically repaired middle finger.
(Knox County Jail, Maine)
alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment against a prison nurse and
corrections officers, arising out of the stillbirth of her fetus. The court denied the defendants’
motion for summary judgment. The court held that the inmate's delayed labor, resulting in the
stillbirth of an otherwise viable fetus, constituted a physical injury to the mother sufficient to
satisfy the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s (PLRA) physical injury requirement, and that PLRA
did not bar her constitutional claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The
inmate had told an officer that she was in labor and needed medical assistance but the officer
sent her back to her housing unit. Later she told another officer that she was in labor and
needed help but the officer declined to provide her with medical assistance and told her to return
to her unit. Upon her third request for medical assistance, another officer sent her to the
facility's medical unit where the nurse examined the inmate and found no evidence that her
water had broken. During the examination the nurse did not use a fetal heart monitor to
evaluate the status of the fetus, apparently because she did not know how to use the monitor.
The inmate was sent back to her housing unit without treatment, even though she told the
nurse that she had difficulties with prior deliveries. The next day, another officer noticed
Clifton's distress and sent her to the medical unit. She was sent from the prison to a hospital,
where it was determined that her fetus was dead. (Women's Corr’l Facility, Canon City, Colo.)
inmate brought suit against a county and various employees, claiming deprivation of the
inmate's Eighth Amendment right to medical care. The female inmate had been serving a
sentence in the jail and died from a cancerous tumor that encircled her esophagus. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the inmate had
an objectively serious medical condition, as required for an Eighth Amendment claim. The court
found that the jail nurse supervising medical care of the inmate did not display deliberate
indifference to the inmate's medical condition, in violation of Eighth Amendment, where the
nurse twice had the inmate sent to a clinic for a physician's evaluation, provided the inmate
with an inhaler and instructed the inmate in its use, had the inmate moved to an observation
cell, and left orders that the inmate be transported to a medical facility if her condition
worsened. The court found that a jail officer who was observing the inmate was not deliberately
indifferent to the inmate's medical condition, where the officer had no knowledge of the inmate's
condition, administered the inhalator dose, checked on the inmate frequently, and declined the
inmate's request that she be taken to hospital, supported by another inmate, only because of the
non-hospitalization order left by nurse. According to the court, the alleged failure of the jail
administrator, who was not on duty on the day in question, to relay a friend's concern regarding
the physical condition of inmate, left as telephone message, did not establish that the
administrator was deliberately indifferent to the medical situation of inmate. The court also

17.34

found that correctional officers did not show deliberate indifference to the inmate, although the inmate was
screaming while in an observation cell, wanting to return to her own cell, and not eating, because the officers
observed her frequently and took her back to her cell at her request, where she instantly fell to the floor
unconscious. (Ogemaw County Jail, Michigan)
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Gilanian v. City of Boston, 431 F.Supp.2d 172 (D.Mass. 2006). A detainee brought a civil rights action against a
municipality, county, sheriff, and corrections officers alleging that strip searches violated her Fourth Amendment
right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The district court denied the detainee’s motion, finding
that fact issues as to whether the strip search of the detainee was justified and whether the search was conducted
in a reasonable manner, precluded summary judgment. The case challenged two strip-searches of the detainee
conducted while she was held in pretrial detention, and asserted claims against the City of Boston, Suffolk
County, Suffolk County Sheriff Richard Rouse, and two unidentified Suffolk County corrections officers. The
court suggested that the trial should focus primarily on the question of whether there was a less restrictive
alternative. The court posed questions, including: could the policy change, from strip-searching to segregation,
have been implemented at the time of the detainee’s second strip-search; what changes, if any, in staffing, space
allocation, and budget were necessary for the jail to switch to segregation after the Roberts decision; what less
restrictive alternatives, other than segregation, might have been available to the Jail in March 2000; if the switch
to segregation was possible in 2001, how far back in time is it proper to assume that the same switch could have
been made? (Nashua Street Jail, Suffolk County, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
HYGIENE
USE OF FORCE

Johnson v. Blaukat, 453 F.3d 1108 (8th Cir. 2006). A female inmate brought claims against correctional officers,
supervisors, and a county alleging that her constitutional rights were violated by the alleged use of excessive
force. The district court entered summary judgment on the claims and the inmate appealed. The appeals court
affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. The court held that: (1) genuine issues of fact precluded
summary judgment on the claim that officers used excessive force in violation of the Cruel and Unusual
Punishment Clause; (2) the supervisor’s actions in allegedly using a racial epithet against another inmate and in
allegedly removing feminine hygiene products from the cell was not cruel and unusual punishment; and (3) the
purported violation of county policies that were not alleged to be unconstitutional provided no basis for civil
rights liability for the county. According to the court, genuine issues of material fact as to whether correctional
officers used excessive force in tackling and using pepper spray on the inmate when they entered her cell to
subdue a cellmate precluded summary judgment on the Eighth Amendment claim; questions included whether
their acts were defensive in nature or motivated by frustration or anger, whether the force applied was necessary
to maintain order and was commensurate with the situation, whether the inmate failed to comply with the officers’
orders and was actively resisting them, whether a verbal warning was issued before the application of pepper
spray, and whether the inmate suffered actual injuries. The court found that the correctional officers’ alleged
violation of county policies regarding the use of force and the use of pepper spray could not give rise to civil
rights liability on the part of the county, absent any allegation the policies themselves were unconstitutional. The
inmate had testified that her head was slammed down on the floor, her hair was pulled, and that an officer sprayed
mace on her face and eyes. She claimed that she sustained injuries from the incident, including bruising and
lacerations on her arms, a broken thumb, and two black eyes. The inmate admitted that after the incident an
officer gave her a cold towel and she was taken to the shower. (Jasper County Detention Center)

U.S. District Court
DISCIPLINE

Keel v. Dovey, 459 F.Supp.2d 946 (C.D.Cal. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that prison
officials violated her civil rights by placing her in administrative segregation pending the investigation of a
disciplinary charge against her, and by conducting a disciplinary hearing that violated her procedural due process
rights. Officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that: (1) the
inmate did not have a due process liberty interest in remaining free from administrative segregation prior to a
disciplinary hearing; (2) the use of confidential information in a disciplinary hearing did not violate the inmate’s
right to procedural due process; and (3) the inmate was not denied due process as the result of the officials’ refusal
to permit her to listen to and read intercepted inmate phone calls. The court noted that the administrative
segregation the inmate endured pending disciplinary investigation was not an atypical and significant hardship in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life. According to the court, even if her cell was unsanitary, birds and
mice were present in inmate cells, and she lost her prison job and her ability to participate in religious ceremonies,
the inmate did not suffer forfeiture of time credits, she had non-contact visits of one hour in length, and there was
no evidence regarding conditions of cells outside of administrative segregation. The court held that the use of
confidential information did not violate the inmate’s procedural due process rights, where officials stated that
disclosure of the source’s identity would endanger the source or the institution’s security, more than one source
independently provided the same information, the source incriminated herself in criminal activity when providing
the information, and part of the information provided by the source had already proven to be true. (California
Institution for Women, Chino)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Newsome v. Lee County, Ala., 431 F.Supp.2d 1189 (M.D.Ala. 2006). A female county jail detainee who had been
raped by three inmates, sued a county and employees, alleging violation of her federal and state rights. The district
court dismissed the case in part, and denied dismissal in part. The court held that the officers were not entitled to
qualified immunity on the claim that they retaliated against the detainee for her efforts to report the rape. The
court found that the detainee stated a Fourteenth Amendment due process violation against the officer who placed
the detainee in a cell with male inmates, but against no other jail personnel. The court also found valid claims of
conspiracy, and conspiracy to block the opportunity to report the rape, under § 1983 on the part of officer who
placed the detainee in the cell with the male inmates. After the incident, officers allegedly cut off the detainee’s
access to phones and visitors and threatened that there would be negative consequences if she persevered with her
charges. (Lee County Jail, Alabama)

XXI

17.35

U.S. District Court
ABORTION

Roe v. Crawford, 439 F.Supp.2d 942 (W.D. Mo. 2006). An inmate brought a class action against corrections
officials, challenging a policy prohibiting transportation of pregnant inmates off-site to provide abortion care for
non-therapeutic abortions. The district court held that the policy violated inmates' Due Process rights and the
policy violated the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that inmates who chose to terminate a pregnancy and had
to be transported outside of the prison for that purpose posed no greater security risk than any other inmate
requiring outside medical attention. The court held that a Missouri law prohibiting the use of State funds to assist
with an abortion did not encompass transport to the location where the procedure was to take place, there was no
alternative way for an inmate to obtain a non-therapeutic abortion, and abortion out counts had no measurable
impact on the ongoing prison need to schedule and reschedule medical appointments. (Women's Eastern
Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Way v. County of Ventura, 445 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2006). A female arrestee who had undergone a strip search
with body cavity inspection upon booking on a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled
substance, brought § 1983 Fourth Amendment action against a county sheriff and against the deputy who had
performed the search. The district court granted summary judgment for the arrestee, and defendants appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that a suspicionless strip search conducted
solely on basis of the county's blanket policy for controlled-substance arrestees offended the Fourth Amendment,
where the intrusiveness of the search was extreme, the county did not show any link between the policy and
legitimate security concerns for persons spontaneously arrested and detained temporarily on under-the-influence
charges, and the arrestee was detained only until bail was posted and never entered the jail's general population.
The court held that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because the appellate court in the county's
federal circuit had never previously addressed the constitutionality of a body cavity search policy premised on the
nature of drug offenses, and had held that the nature of offense alone may sometimes provide reasonable
suspicion. (Ventura County Sheriff's Department, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Williams v. Bradshaw, 459 F.3d 846 (8th Cir. 2006). The mother of a female detainee who died while in jail
brought a § 1983 action, claiming that police officers violated the detainee’s rights under the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. The district court granted judgment on the pleadings in favor of the officers. The mother
appealed. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the mother lacked standing. The detainee, the daughter of
the plaintiff, had been brought to a jail and was being interrogated when she began talking unintelligibly and
experiencing seizures. An officer said that she was “faking a seizure” to avoid jail time. She lost consciousness
but officers did not request an ambulance for nearly an hour. She had ingested cocaine at the time of her arrest and
died from cocaine intoxication. (Howard County Jail and City of Nashville, Arkansas)
2007

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Anderson ex rel. Cain v. Perkins, 532 F.Supp.2d 837 (S.D.Miss. 2007). A daughter, as next friend of a jail
detainee who suffered second-degree burns on her ankles, thighs, and buttocks while awaiting mental health
commitment, brought a civil rights suit against a sheriff and a county. The sheriff moved for summary judgment
on claims brought against him in his individual capacity. The district court granted the motion. The court held that
the sheriff did not violate the detainee's right to be protected from harm, absent evidence showing that restraints
were likely used to subdue her. The court found that the sheriff was not deliberately indifferent to the detainee's
medical needs in failing to administer her anti-psychotic medications, where the detainee's refusal to take her
medications prior to being taken into custody, coupled with her violent and psychotic behavior as the result of the
refusal, was the basis for her commitment. The court found that the sheriff was not deliberately indifferent in
failing to discover second-degree burns of an unknown origin on the detainee's ankles, thighs, and buttocks
because jailers regularly observed the detainee through a viewing window in her cell door, but did not actually
enter the cell to visually inspect the detainee for signs of injury. (Amite County Jail, Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Davis v. U.S., 474 F.Supp.2d 829 (N.D.Tex. 2007). An inmate who was raped by a prison officer in a federal
medical center brought a Federal Tort Claims Act action against the United States, alleging negligence on the part
of other prison officers. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court found
that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prison officers were
working within the scope of their employment when they led the inmate to another officer who raped her, whether
the officers violated a duty to protect the inmate from harm, and whether their violations proximately caused the
inmate’s injury. (Federal Medical Center-Carswell, Texas)

U.S. District Court
SUICIDE

Estate of Hill v. Richards, 525 F.Supp.2d 1076 (W.D.Wis. 2007. The estate of a county jail inmate who
committed suicide sued the social worker who interviewed the inmate shortly before her suicide, claiming
deliberate indifference to the inmate's suicidal mental condition, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The social
worker moved for summary judgment. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to
whether the worker was aware of a suicide risk, as the result of a statement by the inmate that she had poked
herself with a thumbtack, and as to the adequacy of the worker’s response to the inmate's statement. The court
noted that expert testimony was not required to establish that the social worker violated the Eighth Amendment by
being deliberately indifferent to the health and safety of the jail inmate; under those circumstances a jury of
laypersons could conclude that there was a duty to protect the inmate. The social worker knew, from her
experiences with the inmate, that the inmate had a history of depression, that she had been prescribed multiple
medications for depression and that she previously had expressed a desire to die. The social worker also knew that
the inmate had not been taking her medication for several weeks and that she was being housed in segregation at
the jail, where neither other prisoners nor staff could easily monitor her. (Dane County Jail, Wisconsin)

XXI

17.36

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER
MEDICAL CARE

Farmer v. Kavanagh, 494 F.Supp.2d 345 (D.Md. 2007). A state prison inmate sued officials, claiming her
Fourteenth Amendment due process rights and her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment were violated when she was transferred from a medium to a maximum security facility. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court entered judgment for the officials on the federal
claims and dismissed the state law claim. The court held that the inmate had a liberty interest in not being sent to a
maximum security prison, as required in order to bring a claim that transfer to maximum security facility without
prior notice and an opportunity to be heard, was a violation of her Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court noted
that the maximum security prison's strict control over every aspect of an inmate's life, and almost virtual isolation
from any human contact, imposed conditions of confinement far worse than her previous situation in the general
population of a medium security prison. But the court found that the officials had qualified immunity from the
inmate's due process claim because, at the time of the transfer, it was not clearly established that an inmate could
have a liberty interest in not being transferred to a maximum security prison.
The court held that the officials’ alleged difference in access to health care providers, between the medium
security prison and the maximum security prison to which the inmate was transferred, was insufficient to support
a determination that prison officials showed deliberate indifference to her medical needs by transferring her. The
court noted that the inmate’s delivery of drugs required for AIDS treatment was delayed and intermittently
interrupted, but the patient's file did not reflect the seriousness of her condition, and when one maximum security
prison employee was found derelict in making deliveries of medications, the employee was fired. (Maryland
Correctional Adjustment Center [“Supermax”])

U.S. Appeals Court
PREGNANCY
MEDICAL CARE

Goebert v. Lee County, 510 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2007). A pretrial detainee in a county jail, who had been
pregnant during her detention and whose child had been stillborn, brought a § 1983 action against county and jail
officials, a physician, and the jail's medical services provider, alleging deliberate indifference to her serious
medical needs. The district court granted summary judgment for all defendants based on failure to satisfy the
administrative exhaustion requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. The court held that the jail's administrative
appeal procedure for inmates was not “available” within the meaning of PLRA, where the detainee had no way of
knowing about it. According to the court, the detainee adequately exhausted her available remedies under PLRA
by filing a document titled “request form.” The court noted that the handbook given to inmates did not mention a
grievance form, but only spoke of a “written request,” and the inmate checked the “complaint” box on the request
form rather than the “request” box and cogently described her grievance. The court found that the detainee's
amniotic fluid leak constituted a serious medical need and the facility commander exceeded gross negligence in
answering the detainee's complaint about lack of treatment, supporting a deliberate indifference claim. The
commander apparently held a general disbelief of inmates' medical complaints, and responded only with a
statement that the detainee could visit an outside physician if she could pay for it. (Lee County Jail, Florida)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Heckenlaible v. Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Authority, 491 F.Supp.2d 544 (E.D.Va. 2007). An inmate
brought an action against a correctional officer and regional jail authority, seeking to recover monetary relief for
injuries suffered as a result of an allegedly nonconsensual sexual encounter between her and the officer. The jail
authority moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part, and denied in part. The
court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
correctional officer, whose duties required him to observe inmates in the shower, was acting within the scope of
his employment when he allegedly sexually assaulted the inmate after he observed her showering and during a
“cell search” thereafter. The court held that the inmate’s deposition testimony that she was the victim of a sexual
assault by the correctional officer was sufficient to preclude summary judgment in favor of the jail authority on
her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. The court found that absent evidence indicating that the
correctional officer was known by anyone to have a propensity to commit sexual assault at the time he was hired,
or evidence indicating that some testing would have revealed that the officer would pose a danger to inmates, the
jail authority was not liable under Virginia law on the inmate's negligent hiring claim. The court also found that
since the jail authority never received any complaints from inmates about the officer, and swiftly investigated the
matter and took appropriate action upon learning that a sexual encounter had occurred, it was not liable for
negligent retention. (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Kahle v. Leonard, 477 F.3d 544 (8th Cir. 2007). A female pretrial detainee sued a deputy sheriff under § 1983,
alleging that the deputy was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk that she would be sexually assaulted by a
correctional officer. The district court denied the deputy’s motion for summary judgment seeking qualified
immunity. The deputy appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The court held that genuine issues of material
fact existed as to whether a county jail official was aware of a substantial risk of serious harm from a male
correctional officer’s alleged action of going to a female inmate’s cell three times after lockdown, and as to
whether the official exhibited deliberate indifference to that risk, precluded summary judgment as to whether the
official was liable under § 1983 for due process violations. The court found that, for purposes of qualified
immunity, the law was clearly established at the time of the detainee’s assault (December 2002) that it would
violate a county jail inmate’s due process rights for a jail official to exhibit deliberate indifference to a substantial
risk that a correctional officer would sexually assault the inmate, and that a supervisor who was deliberately
indifferent to a substantial risk of such assault could be held liable under § 1983. (Pennington County Jail, S.D.)

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE

Laube v. Allen, 506 F.Supp.2d 969 (M.D.Ala. 2007). A class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of women
incarcerated by the Alabama Department of Corrections, who claimed that various state officials were deliberately
indifferent to the denial of female prisoners' basic human needs, to the denial of their serious medical needs, and
to their substantial risk of serious physical violence. The district court approved two four-year settlement
agreements and the prisoners moved for attorneys' fees and expenses. The district court held that: (1) the prisoners
were the “prevailing parties” for purposes of imposing attorneys' fees and expenses; (2) the number of hours billed

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through the date of oral arguments on the motion for a preliminary injunction and the date on which the billing
statement read “end of preliminary injunction time” would be cut in half across-the-board; (3) the time spent
challenging the prison officials’ second remedial plan was non-compensable; (4) fees relating to discovery
disputes between the prisoners and the non-state defendants were not compensable from the state defendants; (5)
attorney fees that were directly and reasonably incurred in obtaining the court-ordered relief contained within
medical-settlement agreement were compensable; (6) interest on attorney's fees and expenses runs from the date
of the judgment establishing plaintiffs' entitlement to the award; and (7) the prisoners were entitled to
compensable litigation expenses directly and reasonably related to their enforcement expenses. (Alabama
Department of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Meyer v. Nava, 518 F.Supp.2d 1279 (D.Kan. 2007). A former prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a former
employee at a county jail, a board of county commissioners, and a county sheriff, seeking damages for injuries
suffered after being raped by a former jail employee while incarcerated at the county jail. The defendants moved
for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that a former jail employee who
raped the prisoner was not a final policymaker and therefore the county could not be held liable under § 1983. The
court noted that even though the employee had some discretion to place the prisoner in a particular area of the jail,
he had no authority to make or change county policy, and all authority to establish policy otherwise remained with
the sheriff. The court held that evidence was insufficient to show that the county sheriff possessed knowledge of
an excessive risk to female inmates and that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent toward such a known risk, as
would have subjected the sheriff to § 1983 liability for an Eighth Amendment violation of the former prisoner's
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. According to the court, the employee's consensual actions
with another female inmate, the actions of another male jailer with a female inmate, and the employee’s telephone
calls to an inmate after her release did not constitute evidence demonstrative of the sheriff's knowledge of any
violation of department policy or a substantial risk of serious harm to female inmates. The court held that the
county board lacked any authority to supervise or discipline the county sheriff or his subordinates, as required to
subject it to § 1983 liability. The court found that the former county jail employee's actions in sexually assaulting
the former prisoner were not within the scope of his employment, and thus the county and sheriff were not subject
to liability for the actions under the Kansas Tort Claims Act (KTCA). According to the court, the employee was
acting for his personal benefit and not in furtherance of any business of the county, there was no express or
implied authority to perform the acts in which he engaged, and the acts were not foreseeable in the furtherance of
his duties. (Lyon County Jail, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SUICIDE

Mombourquette ex rel. Mombourquette v. Amundson, 469 F.Supp.2d 624 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A pretrial detainee in
a county jail who was left seriously brain damaged after she attempted suicide by hanging in her cell, brought a
civil rights suit against a county sheriff, correctional officers, and jail nurses, alleging that they violated her
constitutional rights by failing to protect her from harming herself. The defendants filed motions for summary
judgment. The district court denied the motions. The court held that evidence that the pretrial detainee reported to
county jail personnel that a jail lieutenant was taking another female inmate out of her cell at night to engage in
sexual activity was admissible, because such evidence showed that the lieutenant had a strong motive to withhold
protection from the detainee, and thus was relevant to show he intentionally disregarded a risk to the detainee’s
safety. The court also found that evidence that county sheriff refused to investigate allegations that the county jail
lieutenant was engaging in sexual misconduct with another inmate was relevant and admissible, where the
sheriff’s dismissive attitude of the complaint exhibited deliberate indifference, both toward the detainee’s health
and safety in particular and generally toward the health and safety of all inmates. The court denied summary
judgment because it found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a nurse and correctional officers at the
county jail were deliberately indifferent to pretrial detainee’s health and safety. The court also found a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether there was an affirmative link between the county sheriff’s failure to properly
train and supervise county jail personnel and the failure to prevent the detainee’s suicide. (Monroe County Jail,
Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Nillson-Borrill v. Burnheimer, 505 F.Supp.2d 180 (D.Me. 2007). A female former inmate who was allegedly
raped by a male inmate while she was incarcerated brought a civil rights action against a prison superintendent.
The superintendent moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The district
court held that the Maine Civil Rights Act permits a deliberate indifference claim against a corrections
superintendent, based solely upon violence that a prisoner suffered at the hands of a fellow inmate, and claims
against officers in their official capacities were barred by the Eleventh Amendment. (Maine Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE
MEDICAL CARE
RESTRAINTS

Norris v. Engles, 494 F.3d 634 (8th Cir. 2007). A county jail detainee, who had been diagnosed with manic
bipolar depression, sued a jail official under § 1983, alleging due process violations arising from his physical
restraint. The district court denied the official's motion for summary judgment based upon qualified immunity.
The official appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the official's alleged conduct of
cuffing the detainee to a floor-grate toilet in an uncomfortable manner for approximately three hours, if proven,
did not violate the detainee's substantive due process rights. According to the court, the official’s alleged actions
did not shock the conscience and thus did not violate the detainee's substantive due process rights, inasmuch as
official took such action after the detainee, who had been diagnosed with manic bipolar depression, had
threatened to pull out her own peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) so that she would bleed to death, and
after the detainee had shown that having her hands handcuffed behind her back was alone not an adequate form of
restraint. (Independence County Jail, Arkansas)

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17.38

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
DISCRIMINATION
EQUAL PROTECTION
PROGRAMMING

Roubideaux v. North Dakota Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 523 F.Supp.2d 952 (D.N.D. 2007).
Former and present female inmates of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation filed suit
alleging that the department violated their equal protection rights and Title IX of the Federal Educational
Amendments Act by discrimination on the basis of sex. The female inmates alleged that the state provided
female inmates, in comparison with their male counterparts, with unequal and inferior housing, facilities,
classification systems, orientation programs, educational programs, vocational programs, work opportunities,
and substance abuse treatment opportunities. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The
court held that the female inmates' placement at a women's correction and rehabilitation center, a contract
facility to house female inmates, was not based on a discriminatory statutory scheme. The court found that the
prison industry programs offered at the center were not “education programs or activities” as defined by Title
IX. According to the court, the vocational training offered at the center was not discriminatorily inferior to
those offered to male inmates at state facilities. The court noted that the availability and access to the restaurant
management, heating and air conditioning, auto technician, welding, carpentry, and food service programs is
based on the location of inmates, not on their gender. (Southwest Multi-County Corr. Center, North Dakota)
2008

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Anglin v. City of Aspen, Colo., 552 F.Supp.2d 1205 (D.Colo. 2008). A pretrial detainee brought a civil rights
action, alleging that a county sheriff, county jailers, and others violated her rights to due process and free
speech, as well as her right to be free from unreasonable seizure, by forcibly injecting her with antipsychotic
medication while in custody at a county jail. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in
part. The court held that a county sheriff's deputy personally participated in the decision to sedate the detainee
and therefore the deputy could be liable in his individual capacity under § 1983. The deputy had called
paramedics and admittedly lobbied the medics to sedate the detainee, he allegedly falsely reported to the
paramedics that the detainee had been banging her head and throwing herself against her steel cell door, and he
participated in physically restraining the detainee during the injection, at the request of the paramedics. The
court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the deputy
falsely reported to the paramedics. The court found that the deputy was not entitled to qualified immunity from
liability. The court found that the training of county jail personnel by the county sheriff and other officials with
respect to forcible sedation of pretrial detainees in the county jail, was not deliberately indifferent to the due
process rights of the detainees, and therefore the sheriff and county officials were not liable under § 1983 for
failure to properly train. The training required personnel to call the paramedics and let the paramedics, with the
advice of a physician, make the decision as to whether or not to sedate. (Pitkin County Jail, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Anglin v. City of Aspen, Colo., 552 F.Supp.2d 1229 (D.Colo. 2008). A jail inmate brought a civil rights action,
alleging that an emergency room physician violated her constitutional rights by forcibly injecting her with
antipsychotic medication while she was in custody. The physician filed a motion for summary judgment, which
was granted by the district court. The court held that the physician “acted under color of state law” within the
meaning of § 1983 when he ordered the inmate to be involuntarily sedated, and that the physician exercised
reasonable medical judgment in deciding to forcibly sedate the inmate. The court noted that although the
private physician did not contract directly with the state to treat the inmate, the physician however undertook a
public function because the provision of medical services to inmates was traditionally the exclusive prerogative
of the state. The inmate appeared highly intoxicated and out of control, was pounding and throwing her body
against her cell door, was violently pulling against her restraints and thrashing about, and was unable to gain
control in the presence of the paramedics or to allow her vital signs to be taken. (Pitkin County Jail, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Anglin v. City of Aspen, 562 F.Supp.2d 1304 (D.Colo. 2008). A jail inmate brought a civil rights action under §
1983 against a city, former and current police officers, and a police chief, alleging that the defendants violated
her rights to due process and free speech, as well as her right to be free from unreasonable seizure, by forcibly
injecting her with antipsychotic medication while she was in custody at a county jail. The district court granted
summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that officers did not deprive the inmate of due process by
restraining her while paramedics forcibly sedated her and that the officers' act of restraining the inmate while
she was sedated did not amount to excessive use of force. The court found that the police chief was not liable
for failure to train and/or supervise officers, where the training reflected the sound conclusion that medical
professionals, rather than law enforcement personnel, were the individuals most qualified to determine whether
sedation was appropriate. According to the court, absent a policy of sedating detainees, the city was not
municipally liable under § 1983. The court held that the officers’ act of restraining the inmate while paramedics
forcibly administered antipsychotic medication to her was not substantially motivated as a response to her
exercise of allegedly constitutionally protected conduct, as would support the inmate's First Amendment free
speech retaliation claim against the officers, where the physician, not the officers, had legal authorization to
decide whether an emergency existed that justified the inmate's forced sedation, and the officers did not
participate in making the decision to forcibly sedate the inmate. (City of Aspen, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Archuleta v. Wagner, 523 F.3d 1278 (10th Cir. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a jailer and
others alleging her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when she was strip searched. The
district court denied the jailer's request for qualified immunity and the jailer appealed. The appeals court
affirmed the district court decision. The court held that the jailer was not justified in conducting the strip search
during booking, following the arrest pursuant to an arrest warrant for harassment, where the arrestee never
intermingled with the general jail population but rather was confined in a cell by herself for several hours while
awaiting bail. The court noted that three pat down searches had been performed on the arrestee prior to
booking, the arrestee was wearing shorts and a sleeveless blouse at the time of booking, the jailer saw that the

XXII

17.39

arrestee did not have any tattoos or moles indicating that she was the culprit, and the crime of harassment was
not a crime of violence. The court found that the arrestee had a right not to be strip searched during booking
when she was not going to intermingle with the general prison population. She had already been through a patdown search, and there was no reasonable suspicion that she had a weapon. According to the court, the jailer
who conducted the strip search was not entitled to qualified immunity because at the time of this incident it was
clearly established that a strip search could be justified if there was a reasonable suspicion that the detainee
possessed weapons and the detainee intermingled with the general jail population.
The 46-year-old mother of nine had been riding in a family van with some of her children when she was
stopped by an officer because there was an extra child in the back seat. The officer arrested her with the belief
that she was the person for whom a warrant had been issued. After being booked at the jail it became apparent
that she was not the person named in the warrant because she did not have the tattoos and moles that were
described in the file. Knowing that the plaintiff was not the person named in the warrant, a jail officer
nonetheless continued to process and strip search her. As she was standing naked, she began to lactate. She
tried to cover herself but was told by the officer to put her arms down. She was mocked continually by the
officer and a male officer during this incident. (Jefferson County Detention Facility, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Brazier v. Oxford County, 575 F.Supp.2d 265 (D.Me. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a
county and corrections officers, alleging that strip searches performed upon her during two post-arrest
confinements at a county jail, both relating to her driving privileges, were unconstitutional. The district court
held that the strip searches violated the county's written policy, and thus the county was subject to liability
under § 1983. The court noted that the county's written policy prohibited strip searches of inmates charged with
misdemeanor crimes unless there was reasonable suspicion to believe that an inmate was hoarding evidence to
a crime, weapons, drugs, or contraband. (Oxford County Jail, Maine)

U.S. Appeals Court
CHILDREN

Carrascosa v. McGuire, 520 F.3d 249 (3rd Cir. 2008). A detainee sought a writ of habeas corpus seeking to
end her detention in jail for violating a state court civil contempt order that directed her to return her child to
the father's custody in the United States pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International
Child Abduction. The district court denied her motion for reconsideration and the detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the detainee’s incarceration was not in violation of laws or treaties of the
United States, as required for a grant of habeas petition. The court noted that a Spanish court awarded custody
of the child to the detainee, who had removed the child from her habitual place of residence in New Jersey
without the American father's permission, in direct contravention of both the letter and spirit of the Hague
Convention. The court noted that this also violated the principles of international comity by applying Spanish
law, rather than New Jersey law, and therefore warranted refusal to afford comity to the decisions of Spanish
courts. (Bergen County Jail, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
SEARCHES

Collins v. Knox County, 569 F.Supp.2d 269 (D.Me. 2008). A female arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a
county, sheriff, and corrections officers, alleging an unconstitutional policy and/or custom and practice of
conducting a strip search and visual body cavity search of every person taken into custody at the jail. The
district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the county did not have an
unconstitutional strip search policy or custom at the county jail, and that the sheriff did not acquiesce to a
policy or practice of unconstitutional strip searches. The court found that there was no evidence of an
unconstitutional policy and/or custom and practice of conducting a strip search and visual body cavity search of
every person taken into custody at the county jail, as required for the arrestee to establish a § 1983 claim
against the county. The court noted that it’s prior determination in an unrelated case, that the county maintained
an unconstitutional policy of strip searching all misdemeanor detainees, concerned a period several years prior
to the time that the arrestee was detained. The court found that the strip search of the female arrestee upon her
admission to jail after self-surrendering on an outstanding felony arrest warrant was reasonable under the
Fourth Amendment. The search, in which the arrestee was required to run her fingers through her hair, extend
her arms out straight, open her mouth for visual inspection, spread her toes, lift each of her breasts, expose her
vagina, squat on her haunches with her back to the officer and, while squatting, cough violently several times,
at which time she expelled menstrual fluid, caused the arrestee humiliation and embarrassment. The court
found that the search was based on a drug charge in her inmate file, the fact that she made a planned admission
to jail which provided the opportunity to conceal contraband, and that she was going to be housed overnight at
the jail, which had a problem with contraband. The search was performed by a female officer in the changing
area of the shower stall adjacent to the booking area, which was mostly shielded from view by a plastic curtain.
(Knox County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Costa v. County of Burlington, 584 F.Supp.2d 681 (D.N.J. 2008). An administrator, individually and as the
representative of a deceased pretrial detainee‘s estate, brought civil rights and state law claims against a county
and the warden of a county jail, alleging that the inmate contracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) during her incarceration and ultimately died as result of MRSA-related pneumonia. The administrator
appealed the pretrial rulings of a United States Magistrate. The district court denied the appeal in part and
dismissed in part. The court held that broadening the scope of discovery of documents concerning other
inmates' medical treatment beyond grievances related to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
would have been too intrusive and minimally probative. (Burlington County Corrections and Work Release
Center, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Ford v. County of Grand Traverse, 535 F.3d 483 (6th Cir. 2008). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against
jail officials and the county claiming, among other things, that the county's policy or custom regarding the
provision of medical care at the jail on weekends reflected deliberate indifference to her medical needs and
caused injuries resulting from a fall from the top bunk in her cell when she had a seizure. After a jury found

XXII

17.40

against the county, the district court denied the county's motions for judgment as a matter of law. The county
appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that sufficient evidence existed for reasonable minds to find a
direct causal link between county's policy of permitting jail officials to “contact” medical staff simply by
leaving a medical form in the nurse's inbox, even though a nurse might not see the notice for 48 hours, and the
alleged denial of the inmate's right to adequate medical care, allegedly leading to the inmate suffering a seizure
and falling from a top bunk. According to the court, the deposition testimony of a doctor provided a basis for
finding that the inmate would not have suffered a seizure had she been given medication within a few hours of
her arrival at the jail. The inmate, a self-described recovering alcoholic who also suffers from epilepsy, was
arrested on a probation violation and taken to the jail. That afternoon, she had a seizure, fell from the top bunk
of a bed in her cell, and sustained significant injuries to her right hip and right clavicle. Her case proceeded to
trial and the jury found that none of the jail officials were deliberately indifferent to her serious medical needs,
but determined that the county's policy regarding weekend medical care exhibited deliberate indifference to,
and was the proximate cause of, her injuries. The jury awarded her $214,000 in damages. (Grand Traverse
County Jail, Michigan)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PRIVACY
SUICIDE

Graham v. Van Dycke, 564 F.Supp.2d 1305 (D.Kan. 2008). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against medical
providers working at a state correctional facility, alleging violations of her Eighth Amendment due process
rights arising from a strip search conducted by a male officer. She also challenged her mental health
confinement. The district court granted summary judgment for the medical providers. The court held that the
prison doctor's decision to remove the inmate from her cell after she became agitated and demanded two
psychotropic drugs and to place her in mental health segregation was not deliberate indifference. The court
found that removal of the female inmate from her cell into administrative segregation and removal of her
clothing, after she became agitated and demanded psychotropic drugs, did not violate her privacy or Eighth
Amendment due process rights, even though officers who performed such tasks were all male. According to the
court, the inmate was on suicide watch, which required removal of clothing to avoid self-injury, removal was
done pursuant to established procedure and was videotaped, and a staffing shortage rendered it impractical to
include a female officer on the removal team. (Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Hartline v. Gallo, 546 F.3d 95 (2nd Cir. 2008). An arrestee brought § 1983 and 1985 claims against a police
department and others alleging her Fourth Amendment rights were violated when she was subjected to a strip
search. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the arrestee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that there was no reasonable
suspicion that the arrestee was hiding drugs on her person as required to justify the strip search and the officers
were not entitled to qualified immunity. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of
material fact regarding whether the jail's surveillance system telecast the strip search. (Southampton Police
Department, New York)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Ilina v. Zickefoose, 591 F.Supp.2d 145 (D.Conn. 2008). A federal prisoner filed a § 2241 petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, alleging that she was denied necessary medical care in violation of her Eighth Amendment
rights. The district court held that the claim was cognizable as a habeas petition. According to the court, the
claim asserted by the prisoner who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, that she was denied necessary
medical care in federal prison in violation of her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment, and seeking restoration of certain medical treatment, specifically hormone medication, was
cognizable as a habeas petition challenging her conditions of confinement pursuant. (Federal Correctional
Institution, Danbury, Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
SEARCHES

Johnson v. Government of District of Columbia, 584 F.Supp.2d 83 (D.D.C. 2008). Female former arrestees
filed a class action against the District of Columbia and a former United States Marshal for the Superior Court
of District of Columbia, under § 1983, claiming violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The arrestees
alleged that the marshal strip searched all females awaiting presentment to a superior court judge, without
reasonable and particularized suspicion that any female was carrying contraband on her person and without
strip searching any male arrestees. The District of Columbia moved for summary judgment and the district
court granted the motion. The court held that the former United States Marshal for the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia was a federal official who was not amenable to suit, under § 1983, as an employee,
servant, agent, or actor under the control of the District of Columbia, precluding the female former arrestees'
class action. The court noted that the marshal was empowered to act under the color of the federal Anti-Drug
Abuse Act, and a District of Columbia law provided that the marshal acted under the supervision of the United
States Attorney General. According to the court, the District of Columbia lacked authority to control the
conduct of the former United States Marshal, precluding the female former arrestees' class action under § 1983.
The arrestees were held for presentment for an offense that did not involve drugs or violence, but they were
subjected to a blanket policy of a strip, visual body cavity search and/or squat search without any
individualized finding of reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they were concealing drugs, weapons or
other contraband. (District of Columbia, Superior Court Cellblock)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Jones v. Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, 512 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2008). The trustee for the heirs of an inmate
brought an action against a state Department of Corrections, corrections officers and prison nurse alleging
deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical need in violation of Eighth Amendment. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the trustee appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that the inmate did not have a medical need so obvious that a layperson would easily
recognize the need for a doctor's immediate attention, as required to establish an objectively serious medical
need without a physician's diagnosis. The court found that corrections officers and a prison nurse did not
violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by deliberate indifference to

XXII

17.41

the inmate's serious medical need. The court noted that although the inmate appeared to be unable to stand or
walk under her own power, did not respond to officers' directions, rolled on the ground grunting and groaning
and had dried blood and cuts on her lips, prison personnel had no background knowledge that made it obvious
that those symptoms required medical attention and the inmate never expressed a need for medical attention.
(Blue Earth County Jail and Minnesota Correctional Facility- Shakopee)
U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
SEARCHES

Jones v. Murphy, 567 F.Supp.2d 787 (D.Md. 2008). A male arrestee brought a class action, alleging that a
booking facility's policy of frisking female arrestees while searching male arrestees down to their underwear
violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court granted summary
judgment for the arrestee, finding that the booking facility's gender-differentiated search policy was not
reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest in preventing arrestees from bringing weapons into the
booking facility, and thus violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court noted
that the additional staff needed to more thoroughly search female arrestees was not overly burdensome, and
searching all arrestees to their last layer of clothing was a readily available constitutional alternative.
(Baltimore City Central Booking, Maryland)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Jones v. Oakland County, 585 F.Supp.2d 914 (E.D.Mich. 2008). The personal representative of an arrestee's
estate brought an action against a county and two employees of the jail where the arrestee died of heart failure.
The arrestee had been brought to the jail on a bench warrant for failing to appear at a court proceeding. Two
days after her admission she was found unresponsive in her cell and could not be revived. It was subsequently
determined that she died of heart failure (ischemic cardiomyopathy). The defendants moved for summary
judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that neither a jail interviewer, whose only
contact with the arrestee was a classification interview lasting between five and fifteen minutes, nor a jail nurse,
who first came into contact with the arrestee when she was summoned to assist in CPR and other efforts to
revive the arrestee after she was found unresponsive in her jail cell, were deliberately indifferent to the
arrestee's serious medical needs. According to the court, neither employee perceived a substantial risk to the
arrestee's health and well-being and yet disregarded that risk, and any purported negligence in the interviewer's
assessment of the arrestee's medical needs did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. The court held
that the conduct of the interviewer, whose only contact with the arrestee was a classification interview lasting
between five and fifteen minutes, did not amount to “gross negligence” within the meaning of Michigan's
governmental immunity statute, and therefore she was not liable for failing to secure immediate medical
treatment for a condition that shortly would result in the arrestee's death. (Oakland County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Munyiri v. Haduch, 585 F.Supp.2d 670 (D.Md. 2008). A motorist who was arrested for driving around a police
roadblock and subsequently failing to stop when signaled by a pursuing squad car brought a civil rights action
against an arresting officer, police commissioner and warden at central booking facility to which she was
transported. She alleged she was subjected to unlawful strip and visual body cavity searches. The defendants
moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that
allegations in the motorist's complaint were sufficient to state a supervisory liability claim against the Secretary
of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and the warden at a central
booking facility, for intrusive searches to which she was subjected. The court found that the allegations in the
offender's complaint-- that she was improperly subjected to a strip search and to a visual body cavity search as
the result of a policy implemented by the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services (DPSCS) and by a warden at the central booking facility-- adequately pleaded the
minimum facts necessary to state a supervisory liability claim against the Secretary and the warden under §
1983. The policy allegedly authorized strip searches and visual body cavity searches of all persons admitted to
the facility, regardless of the charges filed against them or circumstances surrounding their arrest. (Baltimore
Central Booking and Intake Facility, Maryland)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Orem v. Rephann, 523 F.3d 442 (4th Cir. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff's deputy,
alleging use of excessive force during transport to jail. The district court denied the deputy’s motion for
summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the deputy's
repeated use of a taser on the unruly arrestee qualified as wanton and sadistic and was not objectively
reasonable, precluding qualified immunity. The court noted that the excessive force claim asserted by the
arrestee, who had not been formally charged but was being transported to a jail at the time of the events giving
rise to the claim, was analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, not under the Fourth
Amendment. According to the court, the deputy first tased the arrestee after she forcefully stated “fuck you” to
the deputy, the deputy did not follow the sheriff's department's taser policy requiring initial use of open-hand
measures, the arrestee likely was not endangering herself as the deputy had claimed, since she was handcuffed
and in a hobbling device while locked in the back-seat cage of the squad car, and the deputy used the taser
under the arrestee's breast and on her inner thigh. (Eastern Regional Jail, West Virginia)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Ortiz v. Lasker, 590 F.Supp.2d 423 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). A female inmate brought a § 1983 action alleging that a
male corrections officer physically and sexually assaulted her. The inmate moved for a default judgment and
the district court granted the motion in part. The court held that the inmate was entitled to a default judgment on
her claims of unconstitutional denial of liberty, use of excessive force, assault and battery, and sexual assault
against the male corrections officer following the officer's failure to respond to the allegations asserted in the
complaint. The inmate alleged that the officer twice cornered her in a locked, isolated classroom, and subjected
her to verbal and physical abuse, including but not limited to forcible rape. The court held that the inmate failed
to allege intent or disregard of a substantial probability to cause severe emotional distress, as required to state a
claim against the male corrections officer for intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York law.
(Albion Correctional Facility, New York)

XXII

17.42

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Parker v. Bladen County, 583 F.Supp.2d 736 (E.D.N.C. 2008). The administratrix of a detainee's estate brought
a § 1983 action in state court against county defendants, alleging that they used excessive force when they used
tasers on her. The defendants removed the action to federal court. The county and sheriff's department moved
to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. According to the court, under North Carolina law, the sheriff,
not the county encompassing his jurisdiction, has final policymaking authority over hiring, supervising, and
discharging personnel in the sheriff's office. The court found that the sheriff's deputies' alleged use of excessive
force in attempting to control the detainee by use of tasers, and the sheriff's department's alleged failure to train
and supervise its employees as to the use of tasers, could not be attributed to the county, so as to subject it to §
1983 liability for the detainee's death. The court held that the county sheriff's department lacked the legal
capacity, under North Carolina law, to be sued under § 1983 liability for the detainee's death. (Bladen County
Sheriff’s Department, North Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Phillips v. Roane County, Tenn., 534 F.3d 531 (6th Cir. 2008). A representative of the estate of a pretrial
detainee who died in a county jail of untreated diabetes brought an action against correctional officers, a jail
doctor, and paramedics, alleging deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical condition under §
1983 and asserting state law medical malpractice claims. The district court denied the defendants' motion for
summary judgment and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded. The court found that the detainee had a sufficiently serious medical condition, as required to prevail
in a § 1983 deliberate indifference claim against jail officers and others, under the Due Process Clause. The
court noted that at one point the detainee was found unconscious in her cell without a pulse, and for
approximately two weeks after that incident, the detainee complained to officers and a doctor about chest pains,
numbness, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, constipation, and a possible kidney infection.
The court held that the alleged conduct of the correctional officers in observing and being aware of the
detainee's serious medical condition, which included signs of nausea, vomiting blood, swelling, lethargy, and
chest pains, and in allegedly disregarding jail protocols, which required the officers to transport the detainee to
a hospital emergency room for evaluation upon complaints of chest pain, amounted to deliberate indifference to
the detainee's serious medical condition, in violation of the detainee’s due process rights.
The court found that the paramedic's conduct in allegedly disregarding a jail protocol which required the
paramedic to transport detainees to a hospital emergency room when they complained of chest pains, by failing
to transport the detainee upon responding to an incident in which the detainee allegedly lost consciousness, had
no pulse, and complained of chest pain and nausea after she regained consciousness, amounted to deliberate
indifference to the detainee's serious medical condition, in violation of her due process rights. The court found
that county officials were not liable under § 1983 for their alleged failure to properly train jail officers as to the
proper protocols for obtaining medical treatment for the detainee, absent a showing that any individual official
encouraged, authorized, or knowingly acquiesced to the officers' alleged deliberate indifference.
The court found that the alleged conduct of a county jail doctor in being aware of the detainee's serious
medical condition, which included signs of nausea, vomiting blood, swelling, lethargy, and chest pains, but
failing to conduct more than a cursory examination, and in allegedly disregarding jail protocols, amounted to
deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical condition, in violation of the detainee's due process
rights. Because the detainee had a clearly established right under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to receive medical treatment to address serious medical needs, the court found that jail officials
were not entitled to qualified immunity for their alleged conduct in failing to provide the diabetic detainee with
medical treatment. (Roane County Jail, Tennessee)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Popoalii v. Correctional Medical Services, 512 F.3d 488 (8th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a § 1983
action against multiple staff members of the state department of corrections (DOC) alleging deliberate
indifference to her serious medical conditions. The district court struck the prisoner's expert affidavit and
granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
court held that DOC staff members were not deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical condition
of cryptococcal meningitis, which resulted in her eventual blindness, as required to prevail in a § 1983 Eighth
Amendment claim. According to the court, the prisoner had none of the normal signs or risk factors of
cryptococcal meningitis. The court noted that although the staff probably should have been more vigilant in
obtaining the prisoner's medical records, which would have disclosed her condition, there was no showing that
they knew of the prisoner's condition. (Women's Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Corr. Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
ABORTION

Roe v. Crawford, 514 F.3d 789 (8th Cir. 2008). An inmate brought a class action against corrections officials
challenging the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDC) policy prohibiting transportation of pregnant
inmates off-site for elective, non-therapeutic abortions. The district court determined that the MDC policy was
unconstitutional and entered judgment for the inmate. Corrections officials appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that the MDC policy could not withstand scrutiny under Turner. The court noted that
even if the MDC policy rationally advanced the prison's legitimate security interests, the policy acted as a
complete bar to elective abortions. The prison policy allowed transportation “outcounts” to outside facilities
only for medically necessary therapeutic abortions due to a threat to the mother's life or health. According to
the court, obtaining an abortion prior to incarceration was not a valid alternative means of exercising the right.
According to the court, the MDC policy did not reduce the overall number of outcounts and so did not reduce
any strain on financial or staff resources, and ready alternatives to the MDC policy existed including reverting
to the previous policy of allowing outcounts for elective abortions. (Missouri Department of Corrections,
Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Tafoya v. Salazar, 516 F.3d 912 (10th Cir. 2008). A female inmate who was sexually assaulted by a detention
officer brought an action against an officer and a sheriff under § 1983 and state law. The district court granted
summary judgment to the sheriff and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part

XXII

17.43

and remanded. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of material fact as to whether
the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to inmates that continued to exist at
the jail, notwithstanding the measures he had implemented to remedy the circumstances in the jail that had
directly led to sexual assaults of inmates by detention officers. Prior to this case, two independent incidents of
sexual assault occurred in the jail, both perpetrated by male detention officers against female inmates. The
appeals court had previously found evidence that these assaults were the product of unconstitutional jail
conditions maintained through the deliberate indifference of the sheriff. The court noted many ways in which
his administration of the jail fell below an acceptable standard. Three years after these assaults the plaintiff in
this case was sexually assaulted by a detention officer who was later arrested for and convicted of the assaults.
(Huerfano County Jail, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Tardiff v. Knox County, 567 F.Supp.2d 201 (D.Me. 2008). An arrestee who was subjected to a strip and visual
body cavity search brought a § 1983 action against a county for alleged violations of her Fourth Amendment
rights. She brought the action after opting out of a class action against the county in which her claim had
initially moved forward and in which she was named as class representative. The county asserted counterclaims
for breach of contract and equitable estoppel and the parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The district
court held that the settlement agreement in a prior class action did not contain an implied term that the arrestee,
as named class representative, would not opt out of the agreement. (Knox County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Tardiff v. Knox County, 573 F.Supp.2d 301 (D.Me. 2008). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a county
alleging a strip and visual body cavity search violated the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted
summary judgment for the plaintiff, in part. The court held that jail personnel did not have individualized
reasonable suspicion that the arrestee was concealing contraband or weapons, as required to perform a strip and
visual body cavity search of the arrestee who had been arrested for felony witness tampering. The court noted
that the arrestee was not arrested for a violent felony, spending a night in jail did not implicate sufficiently
serious security concerns to warrant a search, the county failed to show the underlying facts of the crime
provided individualized reasonable suspicion, and the county failed to establish that the arrestee's conduct
required the search. According to the court, a felony categorization alone does not obviate the requirement of
individualized reasonable suspicion for a strip and visual body cavity search of an arrestee. (Knox County Jail,
Maine)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

U.S. v. Moore, 525 F.3d 1033 (11th Cir. 2008). Two male correctional officers at a federal correctional
institution were charged with a variety of misconduct arising from their inappropriate sexual contact with
female inmates and their distribution of contraband to inmates. Both defendants were found guilty of
conspiracy to accept an illegal gratuity. One was also found guilty of witness tampering and the other of
bribery. The district court sentenced the defendants to twelve months of incarceration, followed by a three-year
term of supervised release, and ordered them to pay a fine. The defendants appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that there was sufficient evidence that the officers' conduct constituted an “official act”
to support their conviction for conspiracy to accept an illegal gratuity. According to the appeals court, the
district court did not commit a plain error by instructing the jury that sex was a “thing of value” under the
bribery statute. The court also held that there was sufficient evidence to uphold the officer's witness tampering
conviction. The court noted that the government offered evidence of five instances which satisfied the official
act requirement, where officers switched unit assignments, one officer permitted an inmate to telephone another
officer to request contraband, one officer telephoned another officer on an inmate's behalf, one officer
permitted an inmate to leave her unit to meet with another officer, and one officer gave another officer the key
to staff offices to meet with an inmate in the middle of the night. The district court had instructed the jury that
“contraband” was defined as “anything whatsoever not approved by the warden”, despite the defendant's claim
that a broad federal regulatory definition of “contraband” should have been used. (Federal Correctional Institute
in Tallahassee, Florida)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
RESTRAINTS

Zabala-Calderon v. U.S., 616 F.Supp.2d 195 (D.Puerto Rico 2008). A female detainee filed suit, under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), seeking injunctive relief and damages from the United States for injuries she
allegedly suffered from falling to the ground when exiting the bus managed by the United States Marshal
Service (USMS) during her transport from a detention center to a federal courthouse while she was fully
restrained with handcuffs, a belly chain, and shackles. The district court denied the government’s motion for
summary judgment, finding that fact issues precluded summary judgment as to whether the detainee's injuries
were caused by the government's negligence. The court found genuine issues of material fact remained as to
whether the government failed to follow a standard of care and skill in transporting the female detainee by
placing shackles on her that were allegedly too short for her to step down from a bus managed by the United
States Marshal Service (USMS) and by allegedly failing to assist her as she stepped down from bus, resulting in
the detainee's falling to the ground and sustaining injuries. (Metropolitan Detention Center, Puerto Rico)
2009

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

XXII

Boyd v. Nichols, 616 F.Supp.2d 1331 (M.D.Ga. 2009). A female, who had been housed in a jail for violation of
her probation, brought an action against a former jailer, county, and former sheriff, under § 1983 and state law,
relating to the sexual assault of the inmate by the jailer. The county and sheriff moved for summary judgment
and the district court granted the motions. The court held that the sheriff was not “deliberately indifferent” to a
substantial risk of serious harm to the inmate under the Eighth Amendment or the Georgia constitution in
failing to protect the inmate from sexual assaults by a jailer, absent evidence that the sheriff had knowledge or
indication that the jailer was a threat or danger to inmates, or that male guards, if left alone with female
inmates, posed a risk to the inmates' health and safety. The court noted that the sheriff's actions in calling for an

17.44

investigation and terminating the jailer's employment upon learning of the jailer's actions was not an
“indifferent and objectively unreasonable response” to the inmate's claims, and thus, there was no violation of
the inmate's rights. The court held that the jail's staffing did not pose a “substantial risk of serious harm” to the
inmate who was sexually assaulted by a jailer, as required to show violation of the Eighth Amendment and
Georgia constitution, absent evidence that the jail was inadequately staffed. According to the court, the county
did not have a policy or custom of underfunding and understaffing the jail, as would constitute deliberate
indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to the inmate, and thus the county could not be liable under §
1983 to the inmate who was sexually assaulted by a jailer. The court found that the sheriff's failure to train
deputies and jailers in proper procedures for escorting and handling female inmates did not support supervisory
liability on the § 1983 claim of the inmate, where the sheriff had no knowledge of any prior sexual assaults at
the jail or any problems with jailers improperly escorting and handling female inmates, and the jailer who
committed the assault had been trained previously on how to interact with inmates and knew it was improper to
have intimate contact with inmates. During the time period in question, the county did not have a policy
prohibiting a male jailer from escorting a female inmate within the Jail. The court held that the county and
sheriff had sovereign immunity from the state law claims of the inmate, absent evidence that such immunity
had been waived by an act of the General Assembly. (Berrien County Jail, Georgia)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Brace v. Massachusetts, 673 F.Supp.2d 36 (D.Mass. 2009). The administrator of a female detainee’s estate
sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a number of individuals having some role in providing medical
services to inmates at a county correctional facility, including a clinician, asserting claims for negligence and
medical malpractice, and alleging that the detainee was deprived of her constitutional rights by deliberate
indifference to her medical needs. A clinician moved to dismiss certain counts. The district court allowed the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that dismissal of a medical malpractice claim after a medical
tribunal found that there was insufficient evidence to raise a legitimate question of liability did not preclude the
deceased detainee's estate from stating a § 1983 claim against a prison clinician for deliberate indifference to
the inmate's medical needs. The court held that the deceased detainee's estate stated a § 1983 wrongful death
claim against the jail clinician for deliberate indifference to the inmate's medical needs, in violation of her
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The estate alleged that the clinician observed the detainee while she
was in obvious medical distress and took the minimal step of making a phone call to a medical unit about the
detainee's condition. (Hampden County House of Correction, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Brickell v. Clinton County Prison Bd., 658 F.Supp.2d 621(M.D.Pa. 2009). A former inmate filed a § 1983
action against a county, county prison board, and various county officials to recover for injuries she sustained
while working in a jail kitchen. The district court dismissed the case in part, and denied dismissal in part. The
court held that the sheriff was not subject to supervisory liability under § 1983 for alleged failure to obtain
adequate medical treatment for the inmate after she suffered burns while working in a jail kitchen, where the
sheriff did not participate in or have knowledge of any violations of the inmate's rights, did not direct jail
employees to commit the violations, and did not acquiesce in the employees' violations. The court found that
the inmate's allegation that a county prison board failed to adopt, and the jail's warden and deputy wardens
failed to implement, policies regarding treatment of severe burns and general medical treatment was sufficient
to state a claim against the board and officials under § 1983 for violation of her Eighth Amendment right to
adequate medical care, where the inmate claimed that there was a total absence of policy concerning medical
treatment for severe burns or general medical care when prison facilities were inadequate. According to the
court, the county's alleged negligence in the training of kitchen staff at the county jail was not sufficiently
shocking to support the inmate's § 1983 due process claim pursuant to a state-created danger theory based on
the inmate's allegation that she suffered severe burns while transferring a hot container from a stove to a top
shelf of upright warmers, even if the county officials knew or should have known that the inmate was
physically unable to place the container on the top shelf in a safe fashion. (Clinton County Prison Board,
Clinton County Correctional Facility, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
FAULURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Chao v. Ballista, 630 F.Supp.2d 170 (D.Mass. 2009). A former state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
officials at the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), alleging that the officials failed to properly
investigate and protect her from sexual abuse by a prison guard. The officials moved to dismiss the complaint
on a number of grounds. The district court held that the former prisoner was not subject to the Prison Litigation
Reform Act's (PLRA) exhaustion requirement. The court found that the former prisoner's allegations in her
amended complaint that, over the course of a year, she and the prison guard engaged in 50 to 100 sexual
encounters in a prison facility without detection, that the guard had a sexual relationship with at least one other
female inmate, that sexual encounters continued even after the guard was reassigned to different duties, and
that a prison nurse placed the prisoner on oral contraceptive pills during the relevant time period, sufficiently
stated a § 1983 claim against prison officials. The district court held that DOC officials were not entitled to
qualified immunity, given the extent of the abuse, the numerous warning signs alleged, and the available
sources of information. (South Middlesex Correctional Center, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE
SUICIDE

Edwards v. District of Columbia, 616 F.Supp.2d 112 (D.D.C. 2009). The representative of the estate of a
woman who committed suicide while being held in a District of Columbia jail brought an action against the
District and the jail's medical services contractor in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, alleging
negligence in the provision of mental health care in ensuring that the woman was not a danger to herself. The
representative also alleged that the District and contractor failed to adequately provide a medical response upon
discovering the woman in the immediate moments after her suicide. The contractor removed the case to federal
district court and moved to dismiss. The district court held that the representative was required to exhaust
administrative remedies under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) on claims against the contractor before

XXIII

17.45

bringing an action under FTCA and that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the FTCA claims and
claims against the District. (District of Columbia Jail)
U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE

Estate of Enoch ex rel. Enoch v. Tienor, 570 F.3d 821 (7th Cir. 2009). The estate and minor sisters of an 18year-old female prisoner who committed suicide while on suicide watch at a correctional institution brought an
action against correctional officers and staff, alleging violations of the prisoner's civil rights and seeking $5
million for the estate plus $5 million for the sisters. After accepting the defendants' offer of a judgment for
$635,000, the plaintiffs filed a motion requesting $328,740 in attorney fees. The district court awarded
$100,000 to the plaintiffs, with $1,500 to be taxed as fees for the guardian ad litem. The plaintiffs appealed.
The appeals court reversed and remanded, holding that the fact that the case was settled for $635,000 did not
warrant a reduction in the requested attorney fees. The court noted that $635,000 was not a nominal award, and
the Farrar analysis for determining attorney fees, which considered the extent of relief compared to the relief
sought, was not relevant in cases in which the recovery was not merely nominal. The court found that the
district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $1,500 in fees to the guardian ad litem. (Taycheedah
Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
MEDICAL CARE

Flynn v. Doyle, 672 F.Supp.2d 858 (E.D.Wis. 2009). Female inmates filed a class action alleging that medical,
dental, and mental health care provided to prisoners at a state facility violated the Eighth Amendment, Equal
Protection Clause, Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act, and Rehabilitation Act. The officials moved for
partial summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether there were systemic and
gross deficiencies in staffing, facilities, and procedures at the state correctional facility that resulted in
provision of inadequate medical care for female inmates. The court also found that summary judgment was
precluded on the inmates' claim that the state violated Title II of ADA by failing to provide access to programs
to inmates with mobility, visual, and hearing disabilities. The court found a genuine issue of material fact as to
the effectiveness of accommodations offered to disabled inmates at a state correctional facility. The court found
that the female inmates' allegation that the state provided inpatient mental health services for male inmates, but
not for female inmates, was sufficient to state claim against the state under the Equal Protection Clause, despite
the state's contention that the disparity was natural outgrowth of the historically small number of female
inmates in the state. (Taycheedah Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
SEARCHES

Forde v. Zickefoose, 612 F.Supp.2d 171 (D.Conn. 2009). A federal prisoner petitioned for a writ of habeas
corpus, alleging that she was being denied freedom of religious expression, in violation of the First and Fourth
Amendments and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The district court granted the government's
motion for summary judgment in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded
by issues of fact as to: (1) whether the prisoner’s exercise of her religion was substantially burdened by the
prison's non-emergency cross-gender pat-down search policy; (2) whether the prisoner’s exercise of her
religion was substantially burdened by the prison's policy of requiring her to carry an identification photograph
that showed her without a hijab to cover her head; and, (3) whether the prisoner’s exercise of her religion was
substantially burdened by the prison's failure to provide an imam during Ramadan. The court held that the
prison's non-emergency cross-gender pat-down search policy did not violate the prisoner’s limited right, under
the Fourth Amendment, to bodily privacy. According to the court, although the prisoner made a sufficient
showing of a subjective expectation of privacy, the expectation would not be considered reasonable by society,
since the prison had a legitimate penological interest in security and in providing equal employment
opportunities to both male and female staff, and no available further accommodation was reasonable under the
circumstances. (Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE

Foster v. Runnels, 554 F.3d 807 (9th Cir. 2009). A female inmate brought a civil rights action against a prison
official, alleging the official deprived her of 16 meals over a 23-day period in violation of the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The district court entered summary judgment
for the official, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the
official's conduct in allegedly depriving the inmate of 16 meals over a 23-day period for the inmate’s failure to
remove a paper from the rear window of her cell was a sufficiently serious deprivation of a life necessity, as
required to establish violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The court noted that the official's argument-- that the alleged deprivation was due to the inmate's personal
choice not to comply with a prison policy-- failed to demonstrate how the inmate's failure to remove a paper
from a window jeopardized her safety or security during in-cell feeding. The court found that the official was
not entitled to qualified immunity because the inmate's right to adequate meals was clearly established, and the
case law alerting prison officials to their obligations to provide inmates with adequate meals should have put
the official on notice of her Eighth Amendment rights. (High Desert State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Hall v. Terrell, 648 F.Supp.2d 1229 (D.Colo. 2009). A female detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
correctional officer, alleging that he raped her while she was in custody. Following entry of default judgment
against the officer, a bench trial to determine damages, and the entry of a judgment awarding compensatory and
punitive damages, the detainee moved for prejudgment interest and attorney fees. The district court granted the
motion for attorney fees in part. The court held that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applied to the
detainee's request for attorney fees where the detainee was, at every stage of the lawsuit, a prisoner confined to
a correctional facility, she was the prevailing party in her suit, and the suit was an action in which attorney fees
were authorized under § 1988. The court held that the reasonable hourly rate for the lodestar amount, in
determining the award of attorney fees under PLRA, was the hourly rate for Criminal Justice Act (CJA)
appointments in Tenth Circuit and District of Colorado. According to the court, under PLRA, the appropriate
hourly rate for the award of paralegal fees was 64% of the average rate that she had requested for non-senior

XXIII

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attorneys, and for an assistant was 50% of such rate. The court held that under PLRA, 10 percent was the
appropriate percentage of the judgment obtained by the detainee against the corrections officer, where the
factor of the opposing party's culpability or bad faith favored the detainee, the factor of ability to satisfy the
award of attorney fees suggested that the detainee should bear some portion of attorney fees, and the factor of
the possibility that the award might deter other persons favored the detainee. The district court had awarded
$1,354,070 in damages, comprised of $354,070.41 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive
damages. (Denver Women's Correctional Facility, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
CHILDREN
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Havard v. Puntuer, 600 F.Supp.2d 845 (E.D.Mich.,2009). The guardian of a minor child, who was born in a
county jail while her mother was incarcerated there, brought a § 1983 action against jail employees for injuries
sustained during and immediately after the birthing process. The district court denied the employees’ motion to
dismiss. The court held that the minor child was a “person” within the Fourteenth Amendment at the time of
her § 1983 claims against jail employees, for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of alleged unconstitutional
conduct during and immediately after the birthing process. The child was allegedly injured by the employees'
failure to provide medical attention to the mother in violation of the child's due process rights, such that the
child was not in a hospital at the time of her birth, the physicians and the facilities of the hospital were not
available to resuscitate her when she was born, and she was not resuscitated until she arrived at the hospital
following transport from the jail, at which time she had no respiration or heartbeat.
The court found that deputies and a nurse at the county jail were not entitled to qualified immunity from the
§ 1983 action brought on behalf of the minor child, where the constitutional duty to care for helpless infants
who have newly come into the world, including the duty to care for them by anticipation, during the birthing
process, was clearly established at the time of the birth. The court noted that the defendants allegedly left the
mother in her cell for two hours even though they were aware that she was in active labor, crying out for help,
and that, once called, paramedics did not arrive until the child was being delivered and did not have the
equipment to resuscitate the child when she was delivered. (Wayne County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Jennings v. Hart, 602 F.Supp.2d 754 (W.D.Va. 2009). The administrator of an inmate's estate brought an
action against a sheriff and several other current or former officers in a county sheriff's department, alleging
claims under § 1983 and a state wrongful death act for one officer’s alleged wrongful denial of medical care to
an inmate in the county jail. The district court denied the officers’ motion to dismiss on the grounds of
sovereign immunity. The district court held that the officers lacked the discretion to keep the inmate at the jail
and deny her the opportunity to be seen by a neurologist or other medical professional for ten days following
referral by a nurse practitioner. The officers allegedly ignored the inmate's repeated requests for help and
worsening physical condition, including severe headaches, dizziness, pressure in her head, loss of appetite, and
fluid drainage in her ears. By the time the officers contacted outside medical professionals, the inmate was
suffering from brain abscesses and a stroke which lead to her death. (Culpeper County Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Kahle v. Leonard, 563 F.3d 736 (8th Cir. 2009). An individual who was raped by a trainee corrections officer
while she was a pretrial detainee, brought a § 1983 action against the trainee corrections officer and other
public officials and entities. After a jury found the trainee corrections officer liable and awarded damages, the
district court granted the plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees. The trainee corrections officer appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part and remanded in part. The court held that the district court did not abuse its
discretion by admitting the plaintiff's psychologist's report as a supplemental report, and the district court's jury
instructions did not constitute an abuse of discretion. The district court applied one percent of the detainee’s
$1.1 million judgment ($11,000) to attorneys' fees. With the detainee’s legal expenses totaling $186,208.88, the
defendant was responsible for $175,208.88 in attorneys' fees, in addition to the $1.1 million judgment. The
appeals court did not affirm the award of only one percent and remanded the case for further proceedings.
(Pennington County Jail, South Dakota)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Mann v. Taser Intern., Inc., 588 F.3d 1291 (11th Cir. 2009). The administrators of an estate, the husband, and
guardians of the children of an arrestee who died following her arrest by sheriff's deputies and her admission to
a county jail, brought an action under § 1983 and state law against the deputies and the manufacturer and
distributor of the stun gun used by deputies during the arrest. The district court granted summary judgment to
the defendants and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the use of
the stun gun constituted reasonable force where the arrestee's behavior was violent, aggressive and prolonged,
demonstrating that she was clearly a danger to herself and others, and the deputy warned the arrestee to stop her
behavior and discharged his stun gun only after she refused to comply with the his orders. According to the
court, the plaintiffs failed to establish that the arrestee's death was caused by the use of a stun gun. The court
noted that the plaintiffs' own medical expert testified that, while it would have been naive of him to say that the
use of the stun gun did not contribute in some degree to the arrestee's death, he was unable to declare to a
reasonable degree of medical certainty that the arrestee would have survived but for its use.
The court held that the sheriff's deputies were not deliberately indifferent to the arrestee's serious medical
condition of “excited delirium” when they opted to take her to jail instead of to a hospital. Although one deputy
had knowledge of the arrestee's past methamphetamine use, and the arrestee's mother and another person told a
different deputy that the arrestee was sick and needed to go to the hospital, the deputies had no prior knowledge
of the medical condition called “excited delirium” or its accompanying risk of death. The court noted that the
arrestee's physical resistance and verbal communication suggested to the deputies that, although agitated, the
arrestee was not in immediate medical danger, which was an opinion shared by emergency medical personnel
called to the scene by the deputies. (Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Nelson v. Correctional Medical Services, 583 F.3d 522 (8th Cir. 2009). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action
against the director of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), and a corrections officer, alleging that
while giving birth to her child she was forced to go through the final stages of labor with both legs shackled to
her hospital bed in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied the defendants' motion for

XXIII

17.47

summary judgment. On rehearing en banc, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part, reversed in part and
remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as
to whether the corrections officer’s conduct in forcing the inmate to go through the final stages of labor with
both legs shackled to her hospital bed constituted “deliberate indifference” in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. The appeals court held that the inmate, in the final stages of labor, had a “clearly established”
right not to be shackled absent clear and convincing evidence that she was a security or flight risk, and thus a
government official would not be protected from § 1983 liability for violating that right based on qualified
immunity. (Arkansas Department of Correction, McPherson Unit)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Parlin v. Cumberland County, 659 F.Supp.2d 201 (D.Me. 2009). A female former county jail inmate brought
an action against jail officers, a county, and a sheriff, under § 1983 and Maine law, alleging deliberate
indifference to her serious medical needs, negligence, and excessive force. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the officers were not deliberately
indifferent to a serious medical need; (2) an officer who fell on the inmate did not use excessive force; (3) the
county was not liable for deprivation of medical care; and (4) the county was not liable for failure to train. The
court held that the officers were not entitled to absolute immunity from excessive force claims where a genuine
issue of material fact existed as to whether the officers used excessive force in transferring the jail inmate
between cells. According to the court, there was no evidence that jail officers were subjectively aware of the
jail inmate's serious medical condition, where the inmate made no mention of her shoulder injury to the officers
other than crying out “my shoulder” after she had fallen. (Cumberland County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
SUICIDE

Reinhart v. City of Schenectady Police Dept., 599 F.Supp.2d 323 (N.D.N.Y. 2009). An arrestee brought a §
1983 action against a city, police department and officers, alleging Fourth Amendment violations following her
arrest for allegedly making harassing telephone calls. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The court held that probable cause existed to commence the criminal action and perform the arrest,
and that the suspicionless seizure of the arrestee's brassiere while incarcerated qualified as a “special need” for
Fourth Amendment purposes. The court noted that the police department had a policy of seizing brassieres
purely as a safety measure to preclude their use as a suicide tool, and the policy was implemented in a manner
reasonably designed to reduce intrusion on the arrestee's privacy by allowing her to remove the brassiere
without disrobing. (Schenectady Police Department, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
TRANSFER

Roubideaux v. North Dakota Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 570 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 2009). North Dakota prison inmates, representing a certified class of female inmates, brought a sex discrimination suit under §
1983 and Title IX, alleging that a state prison system provided them with unequal programs and facilities as
compared to male inmates. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the
inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that North Dakota's gender-explicit statutes, allowing the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to place female inmates in county jails and allowing
the Department to place female inmates in “grade one correctional facilities” for more than one year, was substantially related to the important governmental objective of providing adequate segregated housing for female
inmates, and thus the statutes were facially valid under heightened equal protection review. According to the
court, even if the decision to house them at the women’s center was based on economic concerns, where the
female prison population as a whole was much smaller than the male population, sufficient space to house the
female prisoners was becoming an issue as the entire prison population increased. Female inmates were in need
of a separate facility to better meet their needs, and statutes expressly required the Department to contract with
county facilities that had adequate space and the ability to provide appropriate level of services and programs
for female inmates. The court held that the female inmates, by expressing an assertion before the district court
that they were not challenging the programming decisions made by Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation upon transfer to county jails for housing, abandoned an “as-applied” challenge to the gender-explicit statutes facilitating such transfers. The court held that North Dakota's “prison industries” program offered at a
women's correction and rehabilitation center, under contract between several counties and the state, was not an
“educational program” subject to Title IX protections, even though the program provided on-the-job training.
The court noted that the program was primarily an inmate work or employment program, providing female
inmates with paying jobs and enabling them to make purchases, pay restitution, or support their families, and
the contract between the counties and state distinctly separated inmate employment and educational programs.
According to the court, vocational training offered at the center was not discriminatorily inferior to those offered to male inmates at state facilities, as required for a claim under Title IX. Although locational differences
existed, like male inmates, female inmates had access to a welding class and classes in basic parenting, social
skills, speech, and healthy lifestyles. (Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center, North Dakota)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRIVACY
SEARCHES

Schmidt v. City of Bella Villa, 557 F.3d 564 (8th Cir. 2009). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a
police chief and city, alleging the chief's photographing of her tattoo violated her rights. The defendants moved
for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The arrestee appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that the chief's photographing of the arrestee's tattoo was not an unreasonable search
and did not violate due process, and the photographing of the arrestee's tattoo did not amount to a strip search
under Missouri strip search law. The court found that the action of photographing the tattoo did not violate the
Fourth Amendment, despite the fact that the arrestee was required to unzip her pants for the photograph and
that the photograph was taken by male officer. The court concluded that the photograph served legitimate law
enforcement purposes, the chief told the arrestee that photograph was needed for identification purposes, and
the photograph was taken in private. The court noted that the arrestee gave a false date of birth and social
security number. She was arrested for making a false declaration and for being a minor in possession of
alcohol. (City of Bella Villa, Missouri)

XXIII

17.48

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Tardiff v. Knox County, 598 F.Supp.2d 115 (D.Me. 2009). After granting a detainee's motion for summary
judgment on liability under § 1983 for a strip search she underwent at a county jail, the county moved to
exclude the detainee's evidence of lost income or profits allegedly caused by her mental distress growing out of
the strip search. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the
detainee's tardy pretrial disclosure of economic loss information did not prejudice the county's ability to
investigate so as to warrant the exclusion of evidence of the detainee's evidence of lost income or profits. The
court found that damages for economic loss based upon a lost future contract were not recoverable in the civil
rights suit seeking damages allegedly caused by the detainee's mental distress, since the jury would have to
speculate in order to determine whether the detainee suffered an economic loss on a future contract and, if so,
how much. (Knox County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
PRIVACY

Zargary v. The City of New York, 607 F.Supp.2d 609 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). A prisoner, who wore a headscarf as an
Orthodox Jew, brought an action against a city, alleging that the city's practice or custom of removing head
coverings from prisoners before taking photographs during admittance to a correctional facility violated her
rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The court entered judgment in favor of the city.
The court held that the city correctional facility's practice or custom of removing head coverings from prisoners
before taking photographs during their admittance to a facility was rationally related to the legitimate
penological interest of being able to identify prisoners accurately to maintain security, and that the practice did
not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The court noted that the prisoner could
dramatically change her appearance by removing the headscarf, making it more difficult to identify her, which
would pose a security risk. According to the court, the prisoner had other means to express her religious beliefs
in prison, the corrections officers attempted to accommodate the prisoner by minimizing the presence of male
officers in the room when the photograph was taken, and the alternative of not removing the headscarf could
not be said to pose only a de minimis security risk. (Rose M. Singer Correctional Facility, New York)
2010

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY
RESTRAINTS

Brawley v. Washington, 712 F.Supp.2d 1208 (W.D.Wash. 2010). A female former inmate brought a § 1983
action against the Washington State Department of Corrections and various officials, seeking relief from
violations of her constitutional rights that she alleged occurred during the birth of her first child. The
Department filed a motion for summary judgment, which the district court granted in part and denied in part.
The court held that the female inmate, who was shackled to a hospital bed while giving birth, showed, from an
objective standpoint, that she had a serious medical need and was exposed to an unnecessary risk of harm for
the purposes of her § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by
material issues of fact as to whether officers were deliberately indifferent to the risks of harm to the inmate and
her serious medical needs when they shackled her to a hospital bed. According to the court, the inmate showed
that shackling inmates while they were in labor was clearly established as a violation of the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, thereby barring the Department of Corrections'
qualified immunity defense. (Washington State Corrections Center for Women)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Castro v. Melchor, 760 F.Supp.2d 970(D.Hawai‘I 2010). A female pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action
against correctional facility officials and medical staff, alleging the defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs resulting in the delivery of a stillborn child. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary
judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the correctional facility's medical
staff subjectively knew the pretrial detainee's complaints of vaginal bleeding presented a serious medical need.
The court held that the staff’s failure to ensure the detainee received an ultrasound and consultation was no
more than gross negligence, and the medical staff did not deny, delay, or intentionally interfere with the pretrial
detainee's medical treatment. According to the court, summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the correctional facility officials' actions and inactions in training the facility's
medical staff resulted in the alleged deprivation of the pretrial detainee's right to medical treatment and whether
the officials consciously disregarded serious health risks by failing to apply the women's lock-down policies.
Following a verbal exchange with a guard, two officers physically forced the detainee to the ground from a
standing position. While she was lying on the ground on her stomach, the officers restrained her by holding
their body weights against her back and legs and placing her in handcuffs. The detainee was approximately
seven months pregnant at the time. (Oahu Community Correctional Center, Hawai’i)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
SEARCHES

Chase v. District of Columbia, 723 F.Supp.2d 130 (D.D.C. 2010). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action
for monetary damages against the District of Columbia and the operator of the District's Correctional Treatment
Facility (CTF), alleging violations of the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments, as well as invasion of privacy,
while under arrest, during interrogation, and while in jail and CTF. The defendants moved to dismiss. The
district court granted the motions. The court held that the District did not have a custom or policy that caused
the detainee to be videotaped while naked and changing her clothes in an interrogation room, thereby
precluding the detainee's municipal liability claim alleging that the videotaping was an unreasonable search in
violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court found that the detainee had not been adjudicated of any crime
and was not subject to punishment, thereby precluding her Eighth Amendment claim. (District of Columbia,
Corrections Corporation of America, Correctional Treatment Facility)

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
EQUAL PROTECTION
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Dodge v. Shoemaker, 695 F.Supp.2d 1127 (D.Colo. 2010). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action,
proceeding in forma pauperis, against prison officials, alleging that she was raped by a lieutenant while
incarcerated, and asserting various due process, equal protection, and Eighth Amendment violations. The
officials moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that
the issue of whether the state prisoner's placement in administrative segregation for a period of one year
violated her due process rights could not be determined at the motion to dismiss stage of the prisoner's § 1983

XXIII

17.49

action against prison officials, because of a factual dispute as to whether the duration of confinement was
atypical and significant. According to the court, the contours of constitutional law were sufficiently clear that
the state prison officials were on notice that assignment of a prisoner to administrative segregation under
conditions that imposed a significant and atypical hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life
could give rise to a liberty interest protected by due process, and, thus, the officials were not entitled to
qualified immunity in the prisoner's § 1983 action, with respect to her due process claim.( Denver Women's
Correctional Facility, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL
MEDICAL CARE

Fields v. Smith, 712 F.Supp.2d 830 (E.D.Wis. 2010). Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) inmates,
who were diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), brought a § 1983 action against DOC officials,
alleging, among other things, that the officials violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by enforcing a
statutory provision preventing DOC medical personnel from providing hormone therapy or sexual reassignment
surgery to inmates with GID, and from evaluating inmates with GID for possible hormone therapy. The
inmates sought a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the statute against them and other inmates. The
court held that: (1) GID or transsexualism was a “serious medical need” for the purposes of the Eighth
Amendment; (2) as matter of first impression, enforcement of the statute against the inmates violated the Eighth
Amendment; (3) as matter of first impression, the statute was facially unconstitutional under the Eighth
Amendment; (4) the possibility that certain inmates seeking treatment for gender issues might have had
conditions not requiring hormone therapy did not repel a facial challenge to the statute; and (5) as matter of first
impression, the statute violated the Equal Protection Clause both as applied to the inmates and on its face. The
district court granted the motion, issuing a “…permanent injunction that restrains the defendants from
enforcing or attempting to enforce the provisions of Wis. Stat. § 302.386(5m), by direct, indirect or other
means, against any prisoner to whom the statute would otherwise apply and specifically against the plaintiffs.”
(Wisconsin Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Forde v. Baird, 720 F.Supp.2d 170 (D.Conn. 2010). A federal inmate petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus,
alleging that she was being denied freedom of religious expression, in violation of the First Amendment and the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants,
in part, and denied in part. The court held that the Muslim inmate's right to free exercise of religion was
substantially burdened, as required to support her claim under RFRA, by a prison policy allowing for nonemergency pat searches of female inmates by male guards, despite prison officials' claim that the inmate's
belief was not accurate. The court found that the choice offered the inmate, of violating her understanding of
the precepts of Islam, or refusing a search and risking punishment, constituted a substantial burden.
The court found that the prison's interest in maintaining safety and security of the female prison through the
use of cross-gender pat searches was not compelling, as required to justify a substantial burden on the inmate's
right of free exercise of religion under RFRA, where the prison's arguments regarding how and why the crossgender pat searches promoted safety and security at the prison were actually related to the staffing of the
facility, not to its safety and security. According to the court, the prison's interest in avoiding staffing and
employment issues at the female prison through the use of cross-gender pat searches was not compelling, as
required to justify a substantial burden on the inmate's right of free exercise of religion under RFRA. The court
noted that even if the prison's interests in maintaining safety and security and avoiding staffing and
employment issues were compelling, cross-gender pat searches were not the least restrictive means of
addressing these interests, as required to justify the substantial burden on an inmate's right of free exercise of
religion under RFRA, absent evidence that the prison considered and rejected less restrictive practices to crossgender pat searches. (Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610 (7th Cir. 2010). The administrator of a female detainee‘s estate brought a §
1983 action against correctional facility officials and nurses, alleging they violated her due process rights by
failing to provide adequate medical care. The district court entered summary judgment for the defendants, and
the administrator appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals
court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding a physician unqualified to offer expert
testimony that the detainee's death from non-specific heart failure would have been prevented had she been
given her congestive heart failure medication, where the physician lacked specific knowledge in cardiology and
pharmacology, and he provided no basis for his testimony except that the detainee's medication treated heart
disease. But the appeals court held that the district court abused its discretion in finding the physician
unqualified to offer expert testimony that the detainee's vomiting combined with her diuretic medication may
have contributed to her tachycardia and subsequent death from non-specific heart failure.
The court held that a correctional facility nurse who examined the detainee during intake was not
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs posed by her heart condition, as required to establish
violation of the detainee's due process right to adequate medical care in the § 1983 action. The court noted that,
even though the nurse failed to follow the facility's protocol requiring her to contact a doctor when an inmate
complained of chest pains, the nurse placed the detainee on a list to have her vital signs checked each morning,
and the nurse arranged for the detainee to get her congestive heart failure medication. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the nurse who examined the
detainee following her complaints of nausea was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs posed by
her heart condition and vomiting. In its decision, the court noted that “On the other hand, Nurse Pam Hibbert
was presented with ample evidence that Taylor needed medical treatment.” (Peoria County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Hawkins v. Brooks, 694 F.Supp.2d 434 (W.D.Pa. 2010.) A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against
various prison officials and corrections officers, alleging retaliation, harassment, due process violations,
defamation of character, and mental anguish. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner's conduct of pressing charges against a

XXIII

17.50

corrections officer who the prisoner claimed raped and impregnated her and complaining about other officers'
alleged harassment amounted to a “constitutionally protected activity,” as required for the prisoner to state a §
1983 retaliation claim. The court found that corrections officers' alleged conduct of withholding the prisoner's
incoming and outgoing mail in retaliation for the prisoner's pressing rape charges against an officer at another
prison amounted to an “adverse action,” as required to establish a prima facie pro se § 1983 retaliation claim
against the officers. But the court found that a prison official's alleged conduct of reassigning the prisoner to a
different unit in the same prison did not rise to the level of an “adverse action,” as required to establish a prima
facie pro se § 1983 retaliation claim. The court found that the prisoner had no liberty interest in her place of
confinement, transfer, or classification, and thus, prison officials' alleged refusal to have the prisoner
transferred to an out-of-state institution did not violate her due process rights. The court found that the
prisoner's assertions that she made supervisory prison officials aware of the harassment and retaliation she
allegedly suffered at the hands of correctional officers as a result of her pressing rape charges against a
correctional officer at another facility, and that none of the supervisory officials offered assistance or took any
corrective action, were sufficient to state a claim for supervisory liability, in her § 1983 retaliation action. (State
Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SUICIDE

Jessup v. Miami-Dade County, 697 F.Supp.2d 1312 (S.D.Fla. 2010). A pre-trial detainee who had been placed
on suicide precaution status at a county detention center for women, filed a state action against a corrections
officer and the county, asserting negligence and claims under § 1983 for the officer's deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs, and against the county for failure to train or discipline staff. The defendants removed
the case to federal court and moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court
held that the detainee's actions of drinking from a toilet, smearing menstrual blood on a window, and stepping
on and off a ledge in her cell, did not indicate a “strong likelihood” that she was about to inflict self-harm, as
required for jail officials to be liable for deliberately disregarding the detainee's serious medical needs in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, when they failed to place her in four-point restraints. The detainee
subsequently injured her head. The court noted that the detainee's activities were bizarre but not violent,
aggressive or out of control as would require restraints. According to the court, a jail official did not act in a
fashion “beyond gross negligence,” as required to hold her liable for deliberate disregard of the pre-trial
detainee's serious medical needs, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, when the official failed to act to
stop the detainee from self-inflicting head and nose injuries by banging her head against a cell wall during her
confinement after being placed on a suicide watch. The officials immediately ordered the detainee to stop head
banging activity and tried to open her cell. (Miami-Dade Women's Detention Center, Florida)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Kendrick v. Faust, 682 F.Supp.2d 932 (E.D. Ark. 2010). A female state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action
against employees of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), alleging various violations of her constitutional rights. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The court found that an ADC employee's use of force against the inmate was justified by the
inmate's disruptive behavior during the search of her cell and thus did not give rise to the ADC employee's
liability on an excessive force claim. The inmate alleged that the ADC employee grabbed her by the arm,
dragged her from her cell, and threw her into the shower. The court note that there was no medical evidence
that the ADC employee's use of handcuffs caused any permanent injury to the inmate as required to support a
claim that the employee used excessive force against the inmate. (Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL
MEDICAL CARE

Konitzer v. Frank, 711 F.Supp.2d 874 (E.D.Wis. 2010). A prisoner, a biological male suffering from Gender
Identity Disorder (GID), brought an action against prison officials alleging violation of Eighth Amendment's
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by denying him certain medical services related to his disorder. The district court granted summary judgment for the prison officials in part and denied in part. The court
held that the prisoner's Gender Identity Disorder (GID) was a “serious medical need,” as required to establish
the prisoner's § 1983 claim alleging that denial of his request for the opportunity to live as a female, as part of
his treatment for GID, violated his Eighth Amendment rights. According to the court, although the prisoner had
received some hormonal therapy to provide relief from GID symptoms, denial of the opportunity to live as a
female allegedly caused the prisoner to be depressed, resulting in self-mutilation of his genitals and suicide
attempts. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether triadic therapy for Gender Identity Disorder (GID), which consisted of hormone therapy, real-life experience living as the preferred gender, and sex reassignment surgery, was the appropriate treatment for the
prisoner. The court also found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact regarding whether prison officials' denial of a request by the male prisoner to live as a female by, for example,
wearing makeup and female undergarments and removing facial hair, constituted deliberate indifference to the
prisoner's serious medical needs, and whether security concerns justified such denial. (Wisconsin Department
of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Mitchell v. Rappahannock Regional Jail Authority, 703 F.Supp.2d 549 (E.D.Va. 2010). A female inmate
brought an action against a regional jail authority and correctional officers who held the ranks of colonel, lieutenant, captain, sergeant, and corporal, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants violated the Eighth Amendment, and asserting state-law claims for assault and battery, gross negligence, and negligent retention. The
district court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss. The court held that the inmate's allegations in her complaint: (1) of over ten instances of sexual assaults by a correctional officer, under circumstances where his superiors were in a position to have knowledge of what was happening at various times; (2) that each named superior witnessed or participated in several of those actions; (3) that all superiors had direct knowledge of the
officer's personal remarks to the inmate; (4) and that the officer's obsession with the inmate was a matter of
commentary among all correctional staff, were sufficient to state a § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim for
supervisory liability against the superiors. The inmate also alleged that each superior witnessed several inci-

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17.51

dents where the officer followed the inmate into a storage room and assaulted her. The inmate also alleged that
a corporal, who was in charge of inmate workers, witnessed the correctional officer, in violation of jail regulations, approach her several times while working in the kitchen, and that the corporal told the inmate not to be
rude to the officer or she would be fired from her job after the inmate asked the corporal to prevent the officer
from moving behind the counter. (Rappahannock Jail Authority, Rappahannock Regional Jail, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE

Paine v. Johnson, 689 F.Supp.2d 1027 (N.D.Ill. 2010) affirmed in part 678 F.3d 500.. The guardian of the
estate of a pretrial detainee, who allegedly suffered from bipolar disorder, brought a § 1983 action against a city
and city police officers, alleging civil rights violations in connection with the detainee's arrest and subsequent
release from custody without being provided access to mental health treatment. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the detainee, who exhibited
drastic and unnatural behavior throughout her 28-hour detention, had a serious mental health condition. The
court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the arresting city police officer, and other police
employees, who witnessed the arrestee singing rap lyrics, taking her clothes off and dancing provocatively for
different men, acting erratically, discussing the price of oil, and screaming bizarre and vulgar statements,
among other things, had notice that the arrestee had a serious mental health condition that required medical
attention. The court noted that a city police officer, who spoke on the telephone with the detainee's mother, and
was informed by her mother that the detainee was likely bipolar and might be having an episode, had notice
that the detainee had a serious mental health condition that required medical attention, precluding summary
judgment. The court also found genuine issues of material fact as to whether a city police officer, who had
actual knowledge of the pretrial detainee's mental health condition based on observations of her behavior while
in custody, placed the detainee in a position of heightened risk when she released the detainee from the police
station and pointed her toward an area known for violent crime, without providing the detainee with food,
money, or medication, and as to whether the officer's conduct “shocked the conscience.” The court identified a
fact issue as to whether the detainee would not have been raped and seriously injured absent a city police officers' failure to provide the detainee with psychiatric care.
The court held that city police officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from the § 1983 claim
brought by the mother of the detainee, for unreasonably failing to provide the detainee with mental health care
under the Fourth Amendment, as it was clearly established that pretrial detainees were entitled to mental health
treatment for serious mental health conditions. On appeal (678 F.3d 500), the appeals court held that the arresting officer was entitled to qualified immunity. The district court also denied qualified immunity for the city
police officer who released the detainee, where the law was clearly established that the officer could not release
the detainee from custody in a manner that increased her risk of harm. (Chicago Police Department, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Parrish v. Ball, 594 F.3d 993 (8th Cir. 2010). A female detainee filed a § 1983 suit against a sheriff and a
deputy, individually and in their official capacities, alleging failure to train the deputy, who had sexually
assaulted the detainee. After bench trial the district court granted in part and denied in part the sheriff’s motion
for summary judgment. The sheriff and the detainee cross-appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the sheriff in his official capacity was not liable for the
deputy's inadequate training, and that the sheriff in his individual capacity was entitled to qualified immunity
from the failure to train claim. The court noted that although the deputy received minimal training at best for
his law enforcement position, the inadequacy of his training was not so likely to result in violation of the
constitutional rights of the detainee, so that the county could reasonably be said to have been deliberately
indifferent to the need for training, especially when the county had no notice at all that a sexual assault was
likely. According to the court, there was no patently obvious need to train the deputy not to sexually assault
women, and the sexual assault was a consequence too remote to conclude that failure to train the deputy caused
him to sexually assault the detainee. (Hot Spring County Sheriff's Department and Jail, Arkansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE

Pourmoghani-Esfahani v. Gee, 625 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir. 2010). A female pretrial detainee brought a § 1983
action against a deputy sheriff, alleging excessive force and deliberate indifference to her serious medical
needs. The district court denied the deputy's motion for summary judgment and the deputy appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the deputy sheriff was not
qualifiedly immune from the pretrial detainee's § 1983 excessive force claim, since the deputy's alleged actions,
including slamming the detainee's head to the floor seven to eight times while she was restrained, if proven,
were obviously beyond what the Constitution would allow under the circumstances.
The court held the deputy sheriff's alleged actions or inactions following her altercation with the pretrial
detainee, if proven, did not constitute deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical needs, where: the
detainee alleged that the deputy dispatched her to her cell directly after the altercation; the nurse saw her within
approximately two minutes of her arrival in the cell; the nurse informed the deputy that the detainee had a
possible nose injury but that her nose was not broken; the nurse and an officer then attended to the detainee
within approximately five minutes of the detainee's cellmate's first signals for help; and, the detainee then
received continuous medical care until she was taken to hospital. The court noted that no preexisting law
clearly established that an approximately two-to-five-minute delay of medical care, either while the detainee
moved from a waiting room to her cell following an altercation or while her cellmate waited for the guard to
respond to her signaling, was a constitutional violation.
The appeals court accepted the depiction of events from recordings from closed-circuit video cameras
placed throughout jail, rather than crediting the detainee's account of the altercation, where the video obviously
contradicted the detainee's version of the facts. But the court noted that video failed to convey spoken words or
tone and sometimes failed to provide unobstructed views of the events, and the court credited the detainee's
version where no obviously contradictory video evidence was available. (Hillsborough County Jail, Florida)

XXIII

17.52

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Qasem v. Toro, 737 F.Supp.2d 147 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). A female inmate brought a § 1983 suit against corrections
officials regarding injuries suffered by the inmate at the hands of a corrections officer alleged to have sexually
assaulted the inmate. The superintendent and deputy superintendent for security moved to dismiss claims that
they were deliberately indifferent to the inmate's personal safety. The district court denied the motion. The
court held that the inmate's allegations against the superintendent and deputy superintendent for security,
claiming that they were deliberately indifferent to her rights and were responsible for creating or maintaining
policies or practices that failed to prevent her from being repeatedly raped and assaulted by a corrections
officer, stated a claim for Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations. The court noted that the complaint
alleged that the officials were responsible for determining where inmates were to be housed and the assignment
of guards, and in conjunction with another official, investigation and response to complaints of staff
misconduct. The court found that the superintendent and deputy superintendent for security were not entitled to
qualified immunity, given the extent of the alleged sexual abuse, the numerous warning signs alleged, and the
number of questionable, if not unintelligible, decisions made with respect to the inmate during the course of an
investigation. (Taconic Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexton v. Kenton County Detention Center, 702 F.Supp.2d 784 (E.D.Ky. 2010). Two female detainees brought
a § 1983 action against a county detention center and officials, alleging deliberate indifference with respect to
hiring and supervision of a deputy who sexually assaulted them while they awaited arraignment. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the
detainees failed to establish deliberate indifference with respect to the center's hiring of the deputy. The court
noted that none of the deputy's prior misdemeanor offenses, including his driving infractions and domestic
assault, demonstrated a propensity to commit rape. The court found that the detainees failed to demonstrate a
causal link between the center's alleged policy of not terminating employees with excessive absenteeism and
the deputy's conduct. The court noted that "...Absent evidence of prior complaints of sexual assault, the mere
fact that a male guard supervises a female inmate does not lead to the conclusion that the inmate is at a great
risk of being sexually assaulted by the guard." According to the court, the detainees failed to establish that the
county detention center was deliberately indifferent to their constitutional rights by not effectively monitoring
surveillance equipment, and thus they could not recover in their § 1983 action against the center, where there
was no evidence that the center had a policy or custom of ineffective surveillance. The detainees argued that
only one person monitored the 89 cameras that were used throughout the Detention Center and that they were
mainly monitored only for ingress and egress of secured doors. They asserted that the county should have had
cameras in the video arraignment room for the inmates' protection. The court noted that state jail regulations do
not require constant monitoring of video surveillance cameras or dictate where the cameras are to be placed
inside a detention facility. (Kenton County Detention Center, Kentucky)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE

Smith v. County of Lenawee, 600 F.3d 686 (6th Cir. 2010). A female detainee's estate brought an action against
a county, sheriff, on-call physician, police officers, and parole agent, under § 1983 and state law, arising out of
the detainee's death while in the county's custody. The district court denied the parole agent's motion for
summary judgment on a gross negligence claim. The agent filed interlocutory appeal. The appeals court
reversed. The court held that the parole agent's failure to intercede on behalf of the detainee in county custody,
upon arriving at the jail to serve the detainee a notice of parole violation charges and determining that the
detainee was unable to be transported or served, was not the “proximate cause” of the detainee's death, so as to
entitle the agent to governmental immunity from gross negligence liability under Michigan law. The court
noted that the detainee was in the custody of county jail officials in the hours leading up to her death, the parole
agent worked for the state Department of Corrections, not the county, the detainee had been experiencing
delirium tremens (DT) symptoms for close to 48 hours prior to arrival at the jail, a physician had been notified
of the detainee's condition and told jail officials to monitor the detainee, the agent was present at the jail for a
matter of minutes only, and county jail officials failed to check the detainee until 40 minutes after the agent left
the jail. (Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department, and Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
PREGNANCY

Townsend v. Jefferson County, 601 F.3d 1152 (11th Cir. 2010). A detainee who suffered a miscarriage at a
county jail brought a civil rights action against the county, county sheriff, two deputies, and the nurse who had
examined her. The district court denied the deputies' motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity
grounds, and they appealed. The appeals court reversed and rendered. The court held that the injury suffered by
the pregnant detainee who used crack cocaine daily and had a miscarriage at the county jail was not caused by
any deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by the deputies, in violation of due process. According
to the court, the deputies knew that the detainee had spoken with a nurse at the jail who determined that the
detainee's condition was not an emergency, and there was no evidence that the detainee's situation was so
obviously dire that the deputies must have known that the nurse had grossly misjudged her condition.
(Birmingham Jail, Jefferson County, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SUICIDE

Ulibarri v. City & County of Denver, 742 F.Supp.2d 1192 (D.Colo. 2010). Deaf detainees, and the estate of one
detainee who committed suicide, brought a civil rights action challenging their arrests and detentions by the
members of city and county's police and sheriff departments. The district court granted the defendants’ motions
for summary judgment in part and denied in part. The court held that failure to provide a deaf detainee with a
sign language interpreter during the intake process did not constitute disability discrimination. The court found
that jail deputies were not deliberately indifferent to a deaf detainee's needs. But the court held that summary
judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the deaf detainee had access to the
jail's services after he was booked and placed in his housing assignment to the same extent as inmates who
could communicate verbally, and whether the detainee could access the jail's services without assistance.
The court held that jail deputies were not deliberately indifferent to needs of a deaf detainee who committed
suicide, and because there was no underlying Eighth Amendment violation, supervisor defendants were not

XXIII

17.53

liable in either their official or individual capacities for the detainee's suicide, and the municipality was not
liable for failure to adequately train and supervise the deputies. The court noted that no evidence indicated that
the detainee had been suicidal prior to his incarceration or at the time of his medical screening, but rather,
evidence established that the detainee could communicate through writing and otherwise sufficiently to at least
alert medical staff that he needed assistance. The court noted that medical staff made regular and frequent visits
to the jail. But the court also held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact
existed as to whether the sheriff's department breached a duty to the detainee to take reasonable care to prevent
the detainee from committing suicide, and whether any such breach proximately caused the detainee's suicide.
The court held that jail officials' late night release of the deaf detainee and the potential harm from being
unable to communicate or get herself home did not demonstrate the level of outrageousness required to establish a substantive due process violation under a state-created danger theory. According to the court, the detainee
failed to show that officers would have been aware of the risk that, instead of waiting in the facility for public
transportation to begin, the detainee would leave and accept a ride from a stranger. The detainee was released at
2:00 a.m. and she was given bus tokens by a deputy sheriff. Her husband had called the facility to say that he
was on his way to pick her up, but the message was not relayed to the detainee. There was a waiting area in the
lobby of the facility but she did not notice it and attempted to get herself home on her own. (City and County of
Denver Police and Sheriff Departments, Pre-arraignment Detention Facility, Denver County Jail, Colorado)
U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Whitson v. Stone County Jail, 602 F.3d 920 (8th Cir. 2010). A female prisoner initiated a pro se § 1983 suit,
alleging that two officers failed to protect her from a sexual assault by a male prisoner, and that others failed to
properly train and supervise the officers responsible for her safety. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals
court held that summary judgment was precluded by a fact issue as to whether the officers were deliberately
indifferent to the safety of the female prisoner who was placed in the back of a dark van for transport with two
male inmates and allegedly raped by one of them. (Stone County Jail, Missouri)
2011

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Amador v. Andrews, 655 F.3d 89 (2nd Cir. 2011). Current and former female inmates filed a class action § 1983
suit against several line officers employed at seven state prisons and various supervisors and other corrections
officials, claiming that they were sexually abused and harassed by the line officers and that the supervisory
defendants contributed to this abuse and harassment through the maintenance of inadequate policies and
practices. The district court dismissed, and the inmates appealed. The appeals court dismissed in part, and
vacated and remanded in part. The court held that the female inmates who made internal complaints,
investigated by an Inspector General (IG), that sought redress only for the alleged actions of a particular
corrections officer and did not seek a change in policies or procedures, failed to exhaust their internal remedies,
as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to proceed in federal court on § 1983 claims of sexual
abuse and harassment. But the court found that the female inmates' claim of a failure to protect was sufficient
exhaustion with regard to a § 1983 class action litigation seeking systemic relief from alleged sexual abuse and
harassment. (New York Department of Correctional Services)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Banker v. County of Livingston, 782 F.Supp.2d 39 (W.D.N.Y. 2011.) A female patient brought an action
against a county and the company that provided court-ordered alcohol treatment and counseling services,
alleging she was sexually abused by a counselor while undergoing treatment and counseling. The defendants
moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motions. The court held that the plaintiff's allegation that she
was required to make unescorted visits to a male area of the jail in order to receive alcohol abuse medication
that was mandated as a condition of probation, did not state a claim of a constitutional magnitude as would give
rise to the county's municipal liability under § 1983. According to the court, the county's alleged requirement
that the plaintiff walk unescorted through portions of the male population jail to receive her medication was not
so outrageous as could give rise to the county's liability for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)
under New York law, where nothing indicated that the plaintiff's physical safety was threatened. (Livingston
County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Livingston County Jail, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
GID- Gender Identify
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE
TRANSSEXUAL

Battista v. Clarke, 645 F.3d 449 (1st Cir. 2011). A Massachusetts civil detainee, who was anatomically male but
suffered from gender identity disorder (GID), brought an action against Massachusetts officials alleging
“deliberate indifference” to her medical needs, and seeking an injunction requiring that hormone therapy and
female garb and accessories be provided to her. The district court granted preliminary injunctive relief, and the
state officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the record supported the district
court's conclusion that Massachusetts officials were deliberately indifferent to the medical needs of the civil
detainee or exercised an unreasonable professional judgment by denying her female hormone therapy. The
court noted that it had been fifteen years since the detainee first asked for treatment, and for ten years, health
professionals had been recommending hormone therapy as a necessary part of the treatment. According to the
court, when, during the delay, the detainee sought to castrate herself with a razor blade, state officials could be
said to have known that the detainee was at a “substantial risk of serious harm.” (Massachusetts Treatment
Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Cash v. County of Erie, 654 F.3d 324 (2nd Cir. 2011). A pretrial detainee filed a § 1983 action against a county,
sheriff, and deputy sheriff alleging that the deputy sexually assaulted her. After entry of a jury verdict in the
detainee's favor, the district court granted the defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The
parties filed cross-appeals. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that there was
sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to the risk of sexual
misconduct, and the jury's determination that the county was subject to municipal liability was not

XXIII

17.54

irreconcilably inconsistent with its finding that the sheriff was not negligent. According to the court, trial
evidence revealed that the detainee was housed in a female housing unit at the facility, that the deputy, acting
alone, escorted some female detainees to the recreation center but ordered the plaintiff to remain behind. When
the deputy returned, he grabbed the plaintiff, put his hands over her nose and mouth, forced her into the
deputies' bathroom, and raped her. The plaintiff reported the assault the next morning, prompting an
investigation that led to the deputy’s arrest for first-degree rape. (Erie County Holding Center, New York)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Chao v. Ballista, 772 F.Supp.2d 337 (D.Mass. 2011). A former inmate brought an action under § 1983 and the
Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA) against a prison guard and officials, alleging that the guard violated
her constitutional rights by sexually exploiting her while she was incarcerated, and that the officials failed to
protect her from the guard's repeated sexual battery. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by
genuine issues of material fact as to whether repeated sexual encounters between the male prison guard and the
female inmate were consensual, as to whether the psychological and physical harm suffered by the inmate was
objectively, sufficiently serious, and as to whether the guard was recklessly indifferent to the inmate's health,
safety, and her right to be free from sexual harassment and abuse. The court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether prison officials were actually aware of the conditions
giving rise to the risk of serious harm to the female inmate, namely, the male guard's sexual misconduct, and as
to whether the officials disregarded that risk. (South Middlesex Corr’l Center, Framingham, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Chao v. Ballista, 806 F.Supp.2d 358 (D.Mass. 2011). A female former inmate brought an action under § 1983
and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA) against a prison guard and superintendent, alleging that the
guard violated her constitutional rights by sexually exploiting her while she was incarcerated, and that the superintendent failed to protect her from the guard's repeated sexual battery. Following a jury trial, the district
court entered judgment in the inmate's favor. The defendants subsequently moved for judgment as matter of
law or for a new trial. The district court denied the motions. The court held that the question of whether the
prison guard's misconduct in sexually exploiting the inmate while she was incarcerated rose to the level of “sufficiently serious harm” necessary to establish an Eighth Amendment violation, was for the jury. The court also
found that the issue of whether the prison guard and superintendent were deliberately indifferent to the rights,
health, or safety of the inmate was for the jury. The court found that the jury verdict finding that the prison
superintendent was not liable for punitive damages because the superintendent's conduct was not “willful,
wonton, or malicious,” was not inconsistent with the verdict finding that the superintendent was “sufficiently
culpable” as to have been deliberately indifferent to the inmate's needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The court noted that malicious conduct is not required to sustain an Eighth Amendment claim for supervisory
liability for deliberate indifference. According to the court, issues of whether the prison guard knew, or should
have known, that emotional distress would result from his sexually exploiting the inmate while she was
incarcerated, and as to whether the guard's conduct, including demanding fellatio in 23 separate places with the
inmate, was extreme and outrageous, were for the jury. The court found that the superintendent was not entitled
to qualified immunity from the former inmate's § 1983 claim alleging that the superintendent failed to protect
her from the prison guard's repeated sexual exploitation, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the law
was clearly established that prison officials had a duty to protect their inmates by training and supervising
guards, creating and sustaining a safe prison environment, and investigating allegations of sexual misconduct or
abuse when they arose. (South Middlesex Correctional Center, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Cobige v. City of Chicago, Ill., 651 F.3d 780 (7th Cir. 2011). The estate of a deceased female arrestee brought a
§ 1983 action against a city and police officers, alleging failure to provide medical care in violation of the
Fourth Amendment and the Illinois wrongful death law. After a jury verdict in favor of the estate, the city and
officers filed motions for judgment as a matter of law and/or for a new trial. The district court denied the motions. The city and officers appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded. The
appeals court held that evidence presented at trial in the estate's § 1983 action was sufficient to establish causation of the arrestee's death, where evidence from one of the arrestee's cellmates, two deputy sheriffs and a civilian aide at the lockup, permitted a jury to find that she experienced severe abdominal pain throughout her
confinement. A professor and head of coronary care at university hospitals testified that the pain led the arrestee to produce more epinephrine, which combined with a pre-existing heart condition caused her death, and
uterine tumors found during a post-mortem examination led to his conclusion that the arrestee had suffered
serious abdominal pain. The court held that the probative value of evidence of the deceased arrestee's police
record, time in prison, and drug addiction outweighed the danger of unfair prejudice, where the evidence bore
directly on the appropriate amount of damages and that a new trial on the issue of damages was warranted.
(Chicago Police Department lockup, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
GID- Gender Identify
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE
TRANSSEXUAL

Fields v. Smith, 653 F.3d 550 (7th Cir. 2011). Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) inmates, who were
diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), brought a § 1983 action against DOC officials, alleging,
among other things, that the officials violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by enforcing a statutory
provision preventing DOC medical personnel from providing hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery
to inmates with GID, and from evaluating inmates with GID for possible hormone therapy. The inmates sought
a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the statute against them and other inmates. The district court
granted judgment on behalf of the plaintiffs and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1) enforcement of the statute constituted deliberate indifference to the inmates' serious
medical needs; (2) the statute facially violated the Eighth Amendment; (3) deference to prison administrators in
implementing the ban was not warranted; and (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in enjoining the
entirety of the Wisconsin Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act. (Wisconsin Department of Corrections)

17.55

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Johnson v. Government of Dist. of Columbia, 780 F.Supp.2d 62 (D.D.C. 2011). Female arrestees, who were
arrested for non-drug and non-violent offenses, brought an action against the District of Columbia and a former
United States Marshal for the Superior Court, among others, alleging that the defendants' blanket policy of
subjecting them to “drop, squat, and cough” strip searches before presentment to a judicial official violated
their rights to be free from unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment, and their rights to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment. The marshal moved for summary judgment. The court granted the motion
in part and denied in part. The court held that the Marshal was entitled to qualified immunity from the Fourth
Amendment claim and that there was no evidence that the Marshal implemented a policy that directed the blanket practice of strip searching female arrestees, as would support a Fifth Amendment claim, nor that the Marshal knew of a blanket practice of strip searching female arrestees. The court noted that the law at the time of
the searches did not clearly establish that strip searching female arrestees prior to presentment to a judicial
official violated the Fourth Amendment. (U. S.Marshal for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING

Khatib v. County of Orange, 639 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2011). A former detainee sued a county for allegedly violating the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by requiring her to remove her
headscarf, in public, against her Muslim religious beliefs and practice, while she was held on two occasions in a
county courthouse holding facility pending disposition of her probation violation. The district court granted the
county's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and
remanded, finding that the holding facility was an “institution” under RLUIPA. According to the court, the
county courthouse holding facility was a “pretrial detention facility,” and thus was an “institution” under
RLUIPA, where the facility's main purpose was to temporarily hold individuals who were awaiting court proceedings, including individuals awaiting trial. The court noted that although the facility housed inmates for
relatively short periods, it held up to 600 inmates a day, and was described by the county as a secure detention
facility for the confinement of persons making a court appearance. According to the court, the short-term detainee was not required to satisfy PLRA's exhaustion requirements before suing for the county's alleged violation of RLUIPA in failing to accommodate her religious beliefs. (Orange Co. Santa Ana Courthouse, Calif.)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Ortiz v. City of Chicago, 656 F.3d 523 (7th Cir. 2011). A female arrestee's estate brought a civil rights action
against a city and a number of its police officers, alleging claims arising out of the arrestee's denial of medical
care and death during detention. The district court barred the proposed testimony of the estate's medical expert,
and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The estate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether it was objectively unreasonable for police officers to take no action to seek medical
care for the arrestee, and as to whether the arrestee would not have died or experienced pain and suffering prior
to her death had the police officers taken her to a hospital. The court held that remand was required for the
district court to determine whether the medical expert's testimony that, assuming the arrestee died of a heroin
overdose, she would have suffered less if she had been taken to the hospital, would help a jury understand
whether the police officers' failure to take the arrestee to the hospital exacerbated her injury. According to the
court, the police officers were not entitled to qualified immunity where it was clearly established at the time of
arrestee's death that the Fourth Amendment protected a person's rights until she had had a probable cause
hearing, and that providing no medical care in the face of a serious health risk was deliberate indifference.
(Chicago Police Department 23rd District Lockup, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Pauls v. Green, 816 F.Supp.2d 961 (D.Idaho 2011). A female pretrial detainee brought an action against a
county, county officials, and a jail guard, alleging that she was coerced into having inappropriate sexual contact
with the guard. The defendants moved to dismiss and for summary judgment, and the plaintiff moved to
compel discovery and for sanctions. The district court granted the motions, in part. The court held that the
detainee was not required to file grievances after being transferred to a state prison before filing her § 1983
action, in order to satisfy the administrative exhaustion requirement under the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA). The court noted that the county jail grievance procedures were not available to detainees after they
transferred, and the county did not offer any assistance to the detainee after learning of the alleged assaults.
The court found that neither the county nor the county sheriff was deliberately indifferent in failing to train
or supervise county jail guards to not sexually assault jail detainees, and thus, the female detainee could not
demonstrate that the county or sheriff was liable under § 1983. According to the court, the guards did not need
specific training to know that they should refrain from sexually assaulting detainees, and there was no showing
that the general training program for guards was deficient or that there was a pattern of prior abuses at county
jail. The court held that the summary judgment affidavit of the pretrial detainee's expert, containing the opinion
that county officials exhibited deliberate indifference to the rights and safety of jail detainees in training or
supervising jail staff, and that sexual improprieties on the part of staff were easily accomplished and rarely
punished, was insufficient to avoid summary judgment, where the affidavit was conclusory, and without factual
predicate. The court found that the detainee was entitled to the sanction of an adverse jury instruction against
the county for the destruction of recordings of interviews conducted by police during the investigation of the
county jail guard's contact with the detainee. (Adams County Jail, Idaho)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Rattray v. Woodbury County, Iowa, 788 F.Supp.2d 839 (N.D.Iowa 2011). A detainee sued a county, claiming
that her civil rights were violated by a strip search conducted by jail employees. Following a jury verdict
awarding substantial damages, the county moved for a new trial or for a reduction of the jury’s award. The
court granted the motion. The court held that a new trial was warranted because it was impossible to determine
why the jury, in its first verdict, awarded $5,000 for past emotional distress, and then a few minutes later
awarded her $250,000 for past emotional distress in a second verdict. The court noted that, after the jury
learned it could not award $250,000 I n nominal damages, it drastically increased its initial award of $5,000 for
past emotional distress to $250,000 in the second verdict, and while the jury may have intended the $250,000

17.56

award as punitive damages, such damages were not pled, and the jury had been instructed that such damages
could not be awarded. (Woodbury County Jail, Iowa)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Shultz v. Allegheny County, 835 F.Supp.2d 14 (W.D.Pa. 2011). The administratrix of the estate of an inmate
who died after developing bacterial pneumonia while pregnant brought a § 1983 action against a county, jail
health services, and various officials and employees of county jail, alleging they ignored her serious medical
problems. The county and official filed a motion to dismiss. The district court denied the motion. The court
held that allegations that the inmate had complained of symptoms involving her breathing and lungs to jail
personnel but was told to “stick it out,” that she feared impending death and communicated that to officials and
her mother, that her condition progressed to the point where she had difficulty breathing and had discharge
from her lungs, that she was taken to the infirmary with additional symptoms including nausea and vomiting,
which had been present for several days, that she was treated for influenza without taking cultures or other
testing, that there was no outbreak of the flu within the jail, that her condition did not improve, that she
continued to complain of difficulty breathing and lung discharge, that she was taken to a medical facility
intensive care unit, and that tests were performed there but her condition had already progressed to the point
where it was fatal were sufficient to plead deliberate indifference to her serious medical need. The court found
that allegations that her condition could have been easily controlled and cured with testing were sufficient to
plead a cost-cutting/saving custom or policy existed and was the moving force in the inmate's death, as required
for the § 1983 action. (Allegheny Correctional Health Services Inc., Allegheny County Jail, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Webb v. Jessamine County Fiscal Court, 802 F.Supp.2d 870 (E.D.Ky. 2011). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a county fiscal court, a judge, detention center, and jailers, alleging that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, resulting in her being forced to endure labor unassisted by
medical personnel and to give birth to her child in a holdover cell. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the pregnant inmate had a “serious medical
need” during the overnight hours in which she, at the end of her pregnancy term, experienced readily recognizable symptoms of labor, and as to whether the county jailer who communicated with the inmate on the night
in question, and who was purportedly a certified nursing assistant (CNA), perceived the facts necessary to draw
the inference that a serious medical condition existed and then disregarded that condition. According to the
court, the fact that the inmate gave birth to a healthy baby in a holdover cell following a normal and, by all
appearances, unremarkable course of labor and delivery, went to the amount of damages to be awarded in the
inmate's § 1983 action against the county defendants, but did not change the fact that the type of injury the
inmate allegedly suffered was cognizable under the 8th Amendment. (Jessamine County Det. Center, Kentucky)
2012

U.S. District Court
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE

Alexander v. Weiner, 841 F.Supp.2d 486 (D.Mass. 2012). An inmate, who was a male-to-female transsexual
diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), brought an action against prison medical staff, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments for failing to provide adequate medical treatment for her GID.
The district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The court held that allegations by the inmate that
she was a male-to-female transsexual diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), that laser hair removal
or electrolysis was part of her treatment prescribed by doctors under contract with the prison, and that she was
denied this medical care were sufficient to plead that her serious medical need was not adequately treated in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court also held that allegations that she was denied this care on at least
three separate occasions, despite a long history of administrative appeals and requests for doctors' orders to be
followed, were sufficient to plead deliberate indifference by prison officials in violation of the Eighth Amendment. According to the court, allegations that the associate medical director at the prison had direct responsibility for administrating medical care ordered by physicians, and that the director failed to permit the inmate to
receive her prescribed treatment, were sufficient to plead personal involvement by the director in deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs, as required for the inmate's § 1983 claim alleging violations of the
Eighth Amendment. The court also found that the assistant deputy commissioner for clinical services at the
prison was aware of the inmate's prescribed course of treatment, that the inmate was denied treatments, and that
the commissioner responded to filed grievances by claiming the grievances were resolved and then telling the
inmate to address her concerns with primary care providers, were sufficient to plead the commissioner's personal involvement in deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs. (Massachusetts Dept. of Correction)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Ard v. Rushing, 911 F.Supp.2d 425 (S.D.Miss. 2012). A female inmate brought an action against a sheriff and a
deputy asserting claims under § 1983 and § 1985 for violation of the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments,
and also alleging a state law claim for negligence, relating to an incident in which she was sexually assaulted
by the deputy while she was incarcerated. The sheriff moved for summary judgment. The district court granted
the motion. The court held that the sheriff was not deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of harm to the
female jail inmate as would have violated the Eighth Amendment, where the sheriff had established safeguards
to ensure the safety of female prisoners, including a female-only, camera-monitored area in which female inmates were housed, a policy that male jailers could not enter the female-only area without a female jailer, and a
policy that a female jailer was to cover each shift. The court noted that past allegations that the deputy had
engaged in unwanted sexual contact with female inmates had been investigated and found not to be substantiated. The court found that the inmate failed to show that the sheriff had knowledge of the deputy's disregard of
the sheriff's policy to ensure the safety of female prisoners, which included a requirement that male jailers
could not enter the female-only area without a female jailer, or to show that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to the need for more or different training, as required to establish an Eighth Amendment failure to
train/supervise claim. (Lincoln County Jail, Mississippi)

17.57

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
MEDICAL CARE

Choquette v. City of New York, 839 F.Supp.2d 692 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). Female detainees filed § 1983 actions
against a city and city officials alleging that the policy, practice, and custom of the city department of correction (DOC) of subjecting female detainees to a forced gynecological examination upon admission to DOC
custody violated their constitutional rights. The detainees alleged that they were not informed of what the exam
entailed and were subjected to, or threatened with, punishment if they questioned or refused the exam. The
defendants moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the statute of limitations
for the detainees' claims was tolled until the gynecological exam class claims were dismissed from the class
action challenging the DOC's alleged practice of conducting strip searches, where the potential gynecological
exam class was pleaded in both the original complaint and the first amended intervenor complaint, and the
settlement agreement did not provide unequivocal notice that the gynecological exam class claims were not
being pursued. (New York City Department of Correction, Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
MEDICAL CARE
PROGRAMMING
TRANSFER
WORK RELEASE

Henderson v. Thomas, 913 F.Supp.2d 1267 (M.D.Ala. 2012). Seven HIV-positive inmates brought an action on
behalf of themselves and class of all current and future HIV-positive inmates incarcerated in Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) facilities, alleging that ADOC's HIV segregation policy discriminated against
them on the basis of their disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act. After a non-jury trial, the district court held that: (1) the class representatives had standing to sue; (2)
the claims were not moot even though one inmate had been transferred, where it was reasonable to believe that
the challenged practices would continue; (3) inmates housed in a special housing unit were “otherwise qualified,” or reasonable accommodation would render them “otherwise qualified;” (4) the blanket policy of
categorically segregating all HIV-positive inmates in a special housing unit violated ADA and the Rehabilitation Act; (5) housing HIV-positive inmates at other facilities would not impose an undue burden on the state;
and (6) food-service policies that excluded HIV-positive inmates from kitchen jobs within prisons and prohibited HIV-positive inmates from holding food-service jobs in the work-release program irrationally excluded
HIV-positive inmates from programs for which they were unquestionably qualified and therefore violated ADA
and the Rehabilitation Act. The court also found that female HIV-positive class representative had standing to
challenge ADOC policies that HIV-positive women were segregated within the prison from general-population
prisoners and that women were allowed work-release housing at one facility, but not at ADOC's other workrelease facility for women. The court held that modification of the ADOC medical classification system to
afford HIV-positive inmates individualized determinations, instead of treating HIV status as a dispositive criterion regardless of viral load, history of high-risk behavior, physical and mental health, and any other individual
aspects of inmates, was a reasonable accommodation to ensure that HIV-positive inmates housed in the prison's
special housing unit were “otherwise qualified,” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act, for integration into the general prison population. According to the court, requiring ADOC
to dismantle its policy of segregating HIV-positive female inmates in a particular dormitory at a prison would
neither impose undue financial and administrative burdens nor require fundamental alteration in the nature of
ADOC's operations. The court suggested that it was almost certain that ADOC was wasting valuable resources
by maintaining its segregation policy, in that a large space at a prison filled with empty beds was being used to
house only a few women. (Alabama Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Kendrick v. Pope, 671 F.3d 686 (8th Cir. 2012). A female state inmate brought a civil rights action against a
corrections officer who allegedly confiscated religious items during a cell shakedown. The district court dismissed the inmate's claims and she appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that genuine
issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. According to the court, summary judgment was precluded
by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the corrections officer confiscated the inmate's Catholic Bible,
rosary beads, and other religious materials during a cell shakedown, and subsequently failed to return those
items. (McPherson Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SEARCHES

Manning v. Sweitzer, 891 F.Supp.2d 961 (N.D.Ill. 2012). An arrestee brought an action against various village
police officers and a village alleging unreasonable search and seizure of her vehicle, denial of the right to counsel, cruel and unusual punishment, conspiracy under § 1985, failure to train, unlawful detention, and several
state law claims. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee's allegation that she was offered medication
for her unnamed mental ailment while incarcerated, but that she declined to accept the medication “for fear of
overmedication or a harmful interaction,” failed to establish that she was subjected to inhumane conditions or
that the police were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need, as required to support her claim that she
was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the Due Process
Clause. According to the court, the arrestee's failure to allege any other incidents of wrongdoing by the village,
combined with her failure to show that the unconstitutional consequences of the village's alleged failure to train
its police officers were patently obvious, precluded her claim against the village. (Village of Park Forest Police
Department, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Moulton v. DeSue, 966 F.Supp.2d 1298 (M.D.Fla. 2012). The personal representative of a jail inmate's estate
brought a § 1983 action against correctional officers, a nurse, and a sheriff, alleging deliberate indifference to
the inmate's right to adequate medical care while in pretrial confinement, which resulted in her death. The
defendants filed motions for summary judgment. The district court denied the motions in part and granted the
motions in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether the correctional officers' failure to call emergency rescue when the pregnant jail inmate complained of
stomach cramps constituted more than grossly negligent disregard of a substantial risk of a serious harm,
precluding summary judgment for the officers on the deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical
need claim. According to the court, correctional officers were on notice that their alleged actions or inactions
violated the jail inmate's clearly established Fourteenth Amendment right to adequate medical care, and, thus,

17.58

the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity in § 1983 action. The court also held that summary
judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the correctional officers acted with ill
will or malice toward the jail inmate, or exhibited reckless indifference. (Bradford County Jail, Florida)
U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE

Paine v. Cason, 678 F.3d 500 (7th Cir. 2012). The guardian of the estate of an arrestee, who allegedly suffered
from bipolar disorder, brought a § 1983 action against a municipality and police officers, alleging civil rights
violations in connection with the arrest and subsequent release from custody without being provided access to
mental health treatment. The arrestee was raped at knifepoint after her release and either jumped or was pushed
from a window, causing permanent brain damage. The district court denied summary judgment in part for the
defendants. The defendants sought relief through interlocutory appeal. The appeals court affirmed in part, denied in part, and remanded. The appeals held that: (1) the arrestee, as a person in custody, had clearly a established right for police to provide care for her serious medical condition; (2) whether the police should have
understood that the arrestee had a serious medical condition, and thus should have provided care, was a factual
issue that could not be decided on interlocutory appeal; (3) causation was a factual issue not suited to resolution
on interlocutory appeal of denial of qualified immunity; (4) the arrestee did not have a clearly established constitutional right for her release to be delayed pending mental-health treatment; (5) the arrestee had a clearly
established due process right for the police to not create danger, without justification, by arresting her in a safe
place and releasing her in a hazardous one while unable to protect herself; (6) the arresting officer was entitled
to qualified immunity; (7) the watch officer was not entitled to qualified immunity; and (8) a detention aide was
not entitled to qualified immunity. According to the court, a police officer who was responsible for preparing
the arrestee's individual-recognizance bond and collecting possessions that were to be returned on her release,
and who received a telephone call from the mother of the arrestee regarding the arrestee's bi-polar condition
and did nothing in response and who did not even note the call in a log, was not entitled to qualified immunity
to the civil rights claims that the police had created a danger, without justification. The court found that the
detention aide who was responsible for evaluating inmates, observed the arrestee behaving in a mentally unstable way, such as smearing menstrual blood on her cell walls, and transferred another person out of the arrestee's
cell because of her inappropriate behavior, and yet did nothing to alert other personnel at the stationhouse, was
not entitled to qualified immunity to the civil rights claims that the police did not arrange for medical treatment
of serious conditions while the arrestee's custody continued. (Eighth District Station, Second District Station,
Chicago Police Department)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
SUICIDE

Shelton v. Arkansas Dept. of Human Services, 677 F.3d 837 (8th Cir. 2012). The administratrix of the estate of a
mental health patient brought an action against various public officials and health professionals, alleging shortcomings in the way the medical professionals responded after the patient hanged herself while a patient at the
facility. The district court dismissed the action. The administratrix appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
court held that the state actors' discovery of an unconscious voluntary mental health patient hanged in her room
did not trigger duties related to involuntary commitment nor did it give rise to a constitutional-level duty of
care. According to the court, after the state actors discovered the patient, she was no different than any
unconscious patient in an emergency room, operating room, or ambulance controlled by the state actors, and, in
such circumstances, the state actors owed patients state-law duties of care based upon standards for simple or
professional negligence. The court found that the physician's decision to remove the mental health patient from
a suicide watch was a medical-treatment decision, and therefore a claim based on that decision could not be
brought pursuant to either the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Rehabilitation Act, absent any
allegation that the removal from suicide watch was influenced by anything other than the physician's judgment.
(Arkansas State Hospital)

U.S. District Court
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE
TRANSSEXUAL

Soneeya v. Spencer, 851 F.Supp.2d 228 (D.Mass. 2012). A state prisoner, a male-to-female transsexual, brought
an action against the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), alleging violations
of her Eighth Amendment rights. Following a bench trial, the district court held that the prisoner's gender
identity disorder (GID) was a serious medical need and the treatment received by the prisoner was not
adequate. The court found that the Commissioner was deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical
need and the DOC's pattern of obstruction and delay was likely to continue, as required for the prisoner to
obtain injunctive relief on her Eighth Amendment claim, where the DOC's policy for treating GID imposed a
blanket prohibition on cosmetic and sex reassignment surgery without exception. The court noted that the
transsexual prisoner's gender identity disorder was a “serious medical need” within the meaning of the Eighth
Amendment, the prisoner's GID was diagnosed by a physician as needing treatment, and she had a history of
suicide attempts and self castration while in custody. The court found that the treatment received by the
transsexual prisoner was not adequate, although the DOC provided the prisoner with psychotherapy and
hormone treatment, it failed to perform an individual medical evaluation aimed solely at determining
appropriate treatment for her GID as a result of its blanket prohibition on cosmetic and sex reassignment
surgery. (MCI–Shirley, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
ACCESS TO COURT
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Vogelfang v. Capra, 889 F.Supp.2d 489 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). A female state inmate filed a pro se § 1983 action
against a prison's correction officers, officials, and medical staff, asserting 25 claims contesting the conditions
of her confinement and the conduct of the staff. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate’s complaint stated due process claims based on
insufficient notice of a disciplinary hearing and on the inmate's allegedly improper removal from a disciplinary
hearing. According to the court, the pro se state inmate's allegations that she was denied access to a computer
failed to state a claim against prison officials for due process violations absent allegations that such denial
constituted an atypical and significant hardship to her. Although the inmate claimed that it was impossible for
her to perform legal work because courts no longer accepted hand-written documents, the court did not prohibit
hand-written documents and had accepted them on prior motions in the inmate's case. The court held that the

17.59

inmate stated a First Amendment retaliation claim under § 1983 against a male prison correction officer by
alleging that the officer had written a false inmate misbehavior report (IMR) against her three days after she
had filed a grievance against him for performing a degrading sexual act in front of her, and that because of the
false report she had been forced to spend three months in the prison's special housing unit (SHU). (Bedford
Hills Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE

Wilkins-Jones v. County of Alameda, 859 F.Supp.2d 1039 (N.D.Cal. 2012). A detainee at a county jail who had
limited mobility and deformed hands as a result of systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis brought an action
against the contractor that provided medical care assessment services for detainees, and its employees, alleging
violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the California Disabled Persons Act
(CDPA), and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the private contractor was not liable as a
public entity or instrumentality under the ADA; (2) the contractor qualified as a “business establishment,”
under the California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (3) the complaint properly asserted a deprivation of full and equal
accommodations, as required to state a claim under the California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (4) the allegations
were insufficient to assert intentional discrimination, as required to state a claim against the contractor for
violation of the California Unruh Civil Rights Act; (5) the CDPA applied to county jails and the
accommodations and services provided therein; and (6) the allegations stated a claim against contractor under
the CDPA. The jail inmate who had limited mobility and deformed hands alleged that she was unable to use the
toilet in the jail as needed, causing her injuries, and that she was deprived of access to jail's facilities, beds,
showers, walkways, and benches. According to the court, this properly asserted a deprivation of full and equal
accommodations, as required to state a claim against the private contractor that contracted with county to
provide medical care assessment services for the county jail. (County of Alameda, California)
2013

U.S. Appeals Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE
SUICIDE

Belbachir v. County of McHenry, 726 F.3d 975 (7th Cir. 2013). The administrator of the estate of a female
federal detainee who committed suicide in a county jail filed suit against the county, county jail officials, and
employees of the medical provider that had a contract with the county to provide medical services at the jail,
alleging violation of the detainee's due process rights and Illinois tort claims. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of all county defendants. The administrator appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court found that the jail inmate who was detained by federal
immigration authorities pending her removal hearing was in the same position as a lawfully arrested pretrial
detainee. The court noted that a pretrial detainee was entitled, pursuant to the due process clause, to at least as
much protection during her detention as convicted criminals were entitled to under the Eighth Amendment-namely protection from harm caused by a defendant's deliberate indifference to the inmate's safety or health.
The court asserted that persons who have been involuntarily committed are entitled, under the due process
clause, to more considerate treatment during detention than criminals whose conditions of confinement are
designed to punish.
The court found that the alleged conduct of a clinical social worker at the county jail who interviewed the
detainee, in noting that the detainee suffered from a major depressive disorder, hallucinations, acute anxiety,
and feelings of hopelessness, but allegedly failing to report those findings to the jail guards or any other jail
staff or to recommend that the detainee be placed on a suicide watch or receive mental health treatment,
amounted to deliberate indifference to the detainee's risk of suicide, in violation of the detainee's due process
rights. The court held that a nurse manager employed by the medical provider was not deliberately indifferent
to the detainee's risk of suicide, as would violate the detainee's due process rights, where the nurse manager
treated the detainee for panic attacks and anxiety, and recommended that she be given a cellmate and
transferred to a medical treatment area at the jail, both of which were done, and there was no showing that the
nurse manager knew that the detainee was suicidal.
According to the court, the county sheriff's and county jail director's failure to provide annual training to jail
staff on how to recognize the risk of suicide in detainees, and their failure to implement a suicide prevention
policy, did not render the county liable under § 1983 for the detainee's suicide during her detention at the jail,
absent a showing that such failures caused the detainee's suicide. (McHenry County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SUICIDE

Chennault v. Mitchell, 923 F.Supp.2d 765 (E.D.Va. 2013). The guardian for an incapacitated former pretrial
detainee filed § 1983 action against a former sheriff and former officers of the sheriff's department for alleged
violation of the detainee's Fourteenth Amendment right to due process, by deliberate indifference to her
medical needs that resulted in her permanent brain damage from an attempted suicide. The defendants moved
to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that sheriff's department officers were not
deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of the detainee, as required to support the detainee's § 1983
claim for violation of her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, where the officers had no knowledge or
even any reason to suspect that the detainee presented a risk of suicide, rather than merely a risk of violent
behavior towards officers. According to the court, the sheriff's department officers' pepper spraying of the
detainee due to her violent behavior toward the officers, and then failing to decontaminate her, did not establish
that the officers knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of harm to the detainee, where the officers did not
know or have reason to believe that the detainee was suicidal at the time that she was sprayed, the detainee did
not allege that the use of spray was unnecessary or excessive in amount, and the detainee did not exhibit any
adverse reactions to the spray or to the lack of decontamination. The court found that the sheriff's department
officers' failure to support the detainee's body and/or neck when they cut her shirt on which she hung herself on
cell bars in an attempted suicide did not constitute deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs in
violation of her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. The court noted that, even though the detainee's
injuries were increased from sliding down cell bars and forcibly striking her head on the cell door, the officers

17.60

faced an emergency and needed to act quickly and decisively to save the detainee's life. According to the court,
their actions “…were not only reasonable in this situation, but laudable.” The court held that the detainee's §
1983 claim that the sheriff failed to train jail personnel, to ensure they could adequately respond to the medical
needs of combative and/or intoxicated detainees, was foreclosed by the lack of a Fourteenth Amendment
violation by jail personnel and a lack of a causal link between the sheriff's policies and the detainee's attempted
suicide, where jail personnel were not deliberately indifferent to the detainee's medical needs in violation of the
detainee's due process rights, and there was no pattern of unconstitutional violations resulting in suicides or
attempted suicides. (Richmond City Jail Annex, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
PRIVACY
SEARCHES

Clay v. Woodbury County, Iowa, 982 F.Supp.2d 904 (N.D.Iowa 2013). A female arrestee brought a § 1983
action against a city, an arresting officer, county, county sheriff, and jail officers, alleging, among other things,
that jail officers “strip searched” her without reasonable suspicion and in unconstitutional manner, and did so in
retaliation for her vociferous complaints about her detention and the search of her purse and cell phone. The
defendants moved for summary judgment, and the arrestee moved to exclude expert testimony. The district
court held that the expert's reference to an incorrect standard for the excessive force claim did not warrant
excluding his opinions in their entirety, although portions of the expert's report were inadmissible.
The court found that the incident in which male and female county jail officers forcibly removed the female
arrestee's under-wire bra and changed her into jail attire was not a “strip search” within the meaning of the Iowa
law which defined a “strip search” as “having a person remove or arrange some or all of the person's clothing
so as to permit an inspection of the genitalia, buttocks, female breasts or undergarments of that person or a
physical probe by any body cavity,” where there was no indication that the officers inspected the arrestee's
private parts or physically probed any of her body cavities. The court also found that the arrestee whose
clothing was forcibly removed in the presence of male and female county jail officers in a holding cell after the
arrestee refused to answer questions during the booking process and to remove her clothing herself, was not
subjected to a “strip search” requiring reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment. According to the
court, the officers did not violate the arrestee’s privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment where the officers'
reason for removing the arrestee's bra-- institutional safety-- was substantially justified, and the scope of the
intrusion was relatively small. The court also found that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity from
the female arrestee's § 1983 unlawful search claim, where the officers neither knew, nor reasonably should
have known, that their actions would violate the arrestee's privacy rights.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the
amount of force used by female county jail officers during the booking process to forcibly remove the female
arrestee's under-wire bra and change her into jail attire after the arrestee refused to answer questions, became
disruptive, and refused to remove her clothing herself, was reasonable. The officers allegedly threw the
arrestee onto the cell bunk, causing her to bang her head against the bunk or cell wall. The court found that
male county jail officers did not use excessive force, within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, in
restraining the female arrestee in a holding cell after the female officers had allegedly thrown the arrestee onto
a cell bunk, causing her to bang her head against bunk or cell wall, in an effort to forcibly remove the arrestee's
clothing and to change her into jail attire. (Woodbury County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
PREGNANCY

Cooper v. Rogers, 968 F.Supp.2d 1121 (M.D.Ala. 2013). A female state prisoner filed a § 1983 action against
jail officials in Alabama court, alleging deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. After the action was removed to federal court, officials moved for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion. The court held: (1) officials were acting within scope of their discretionary
authority when they denied the pregnant prisoner medical care, as required to invoke qualified immunity; (2)
the prisoner’s prolonged vaginal bleeding accompanied by pain was a serious medical need; (3) officials acted
with deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs; but (4) evidence was insufficient to
establish that deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs caused her miscarriage. The court
noted that officials were aware that the prisoner was pregnant and that she was experiencing vaginal bleeding
and pain, the prisoner testified that she made almost daily verbal requests for medical attention, officials
ignored her requests or responded by threatening to send her to a women's prison, and told her to keep the baby
inside of her. (Bullock County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. Appeals Court
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder

De'lonta v. Johnson, 708 F.3d 520 (4th Cir. 2013). A pre-operative transsexual inmate filed a § 1983 action
alleging that state prison officials' continued denial of consideration for sex reassignment surgery as treatment
for her gender identity disorder (GID) constituted deliberate indifference to her serious medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the complaint, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the inmate's allegation was sufficient to state a plausible
Eighth Amendment claim against the officials, even though the officials had provided the inmate with hormone
treatment and mental health consultations, and had allowed her to live and dress as a woman, where the standard protocol for treatment of GID indicated that sex reassignment surgery might be necessary for individuals
who continued to present with severe GID after one year of hormone therapy and dressing as woman. The court
noted that the officials failed to evaluate the inmate concerning her suitability for surgery, despite her repeated
complaints as to the persistence of her symptoms and the inefficacy of her existing treatment. (Powhatan Correctional Center, and Buckingham Correctional Center, Virginia Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Franklin v. Curry, 738 F.3d 1246 (11th Cir. 2013). A female pretrial detainee brought an action under § 1983
against a corrections officer and various other officers at a jail after she had been sexually assaulted. The
district court denied the supervisory defendants' motion to dismiss and they appealed. The appeals court
reversed, finding that the detainee had to allege that the supervisory officers actually knew of a serious risk that
the offending officer posed, and that her complaint was insufficient to state a plausible claim that each
supervisory officer should have known of a substantial risk that the offending officer would sexually assault
her. (Shelby County Jail, Florida)

17.61

U.S. Appeals Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Graham v. Sheriff of Logan County, 741 F.3d 1118 (10th Cir. 2013). A sentenced female county jail prisoner
brought a § 1983 action against the county and others, alleging violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition
against cruel and unusual punishment in connection with two guards' conduct of having sexual intercourse with
her. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the county jail prisoner consented to engaging in sexual
intercourse with the two officers, and thus, the officers’ conduct could not support the prisoner's § 1983 Eighth
Amendment excessive force claim. The court noted that the prisoner admitted to talking to one officer about
her sexual fantasies and that she asked to have sex with him. She also admitted to allowing another officer to
look at her naked, she did nothing to indicate her lack of consent when the two officers entered her cell, when
they removed her clothing, or when they touched her. According to the court, there was no showing that the
prisoner's mental health issues negated her ability to consent or that the officers had any knowledge of the
prisoner's mental health issues. The officers had confessed and were fired immediately. (Logan County Jail,
Oklahoma)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Hahn v. Walsh, 915 F.Supp.2d 925 (C.D.Ill. 2013). The estate of a diabetic pretrial detainee brought an action
against a city, police officers, a county, the county sheriff, and a jail medical provider, alleging under § 1983
that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the detainee's serious medical needs. The defendants moved
for summary judgment. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that a
city police officer at the scene of the arrest who had no involvement with the diabetic detainee could not be
held liable under § 1983 for being deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of detainee, who died
from diabetic ketoacidosis after she was taken to a county jail. The court also found that city police officers
who transported the detainee to the county jail, rather than a hospital, were not deliberately indifferent to the
serious medical needs of the detainee, where the officers were entitled to defer to the judgment of the paramedics on the scene. According to the court, there was no evidence that the county sheriff knew of a serious
risk to the health of the diabetic pretrial detainee and consciously disregarded that risk, that any prior deaths at
the jail involved medical care provided to an inmate, much less that medical care involved an inmate with diabetes, or that the sheriff's decisions about certification of the jail's medical contractor had any adverse effect on
the detainee, as would subject the sheriff to liability under § 1983, in his individual capacity, for his alleged
deliberate indifference to the detainee's serious medical needs. The court found that the county's actions in
shutting off water to the mentally ill, diabetic pretrial detainee's cell when the inmate was stuffing clothing into
the cell's toilet did not violate the detainee's 14th Amendment rights. According to the court, the estate's claim
against the county that the detainee, who died of diabetic ketoacidosis after allegedly refusing diabetic
treatment and food while incarcerated, was not properly treated for her mental illness and diabetes was not
actionable under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act. (Champaign Co. Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCH
EQUAL PROTECTION
ACCESS TO COURT

Johnson v. Government of Dist. of Columbia, 734 F.3d 1194 (D.C. Cir. 2013). Female arrestees who were
forced to endure strip searches while awaiting presentment at hearings at the District of Columbia Superior
Court filed a class action against the District of Columbia and a former United States Marshal for the Superior
Court, alleging that such searches violated the Fourth Amendment. They also alleged a violation of the Fifth
Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, where men were not similarly strip searched. The district court
granted summary judgment to the District and the Marshal. The arrestees appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The appeals court found that the former marshal who administered the Superior Court cellblock was at all times
a federal official acting under the color of federal law, and, thus, the District of Columbia could not be held
liable under § 1983 for the marshal's conduct. The court noted that the statutory scheme gave the District of
Columbia no power to exercise authority over, or to delegate authority to, the marshal, and lacked the
discretion to stop sending pre-presentment arrestees to the marshal. According to the court, any Fourth
Amendment right that the former United States Marshal may have violated by subjecting detainees arrested on
minor charges to blanket strip searches was not clearly established at the time of any violation, and therefore
the marshal was entitled to qualified immunity on the detainees' claims alleging violations of their Fourth
Amendment rights. The court also found no evidence that the marshal purposefully directed that women should
be treated differently than men with respect to the strip-search policy at the Superior Court cellblock, in
violation of the Fifth Amendment's equal protection guarantee. (District of Columbia, United States Marshal
for the Superior Court)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Keele v. Glynn County, Ga.. 938 F.Supp.2d 1270 (S.D.Ga. 2013). A pretrial detainee's estate brought an action
against a county, county sheriff, and officials at the county detention facility in their official and individual
capacities, alleging that, while detained, the detainee's access to necessary medical care was delayed or
deficient and that the delay or deficiency led to the detainee's death. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee's
bruised or fractured ribs and rash were objectively serious medical needs, as required for the estate's deliberate
indifference claim against officials at the county detention facility under Fourteenth Amendment. According to
the court, a lay person would be alerted to the necessity of medical attention after the detainee lost control of
her bowels, began to hallucinate, vomited repeatedly, became pale and developed blisters inside her mouth, and
thus the detainee had an objectively serious medical need when the symptoms manifested, as required for the
estate's deliberate indifference claim against the officials.
The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact regarding whether
the nurse at the county detention facility was subjectively aware that the pretrial detainee faced a substantial
risk of serious harm, whether the nurse was more than grossly negligent in disregarding that risk of harm, and
whether the nurse's actions caused the detainee's injuries, including death. The court noted that a reasonable
nurse in the county detention facility nurse's position would have known that delaying provision of medical
care to a pretrial detainee with the detainee's symptoms, which included hallucinating, withdrawing from pain
medication, pale, vomiting, hives, complaining of feeling bad, and not eating, drinking, or getting up to do any

17.62

activity, violated her constitutional rights, and thus the nurse failed to establish an entitlement to qualified
immunity from deliberate indifference claims under the Fourteenth Amendment. According to the court, it was
clearly established that knowledge of the need for medical care and intentional refusal to provide that care
constituted deliberate indifference, and the law was clearly established that nearly half a day was too long to
fail to properly respond to a medical need. (Glynn County Detention Center, Georgia)
U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
PREGNANCY
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Keith v. Koerner, 707 F.3d 1185 (10th Cir. 2013). A female former prison inmate who was impregnated as a
result of her vocational-training instructor's unlawful sexual acts brought a § 1983 action against a former
warden and other Kansas Department of Corrections employees. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district
court granted the motion in part, but denied qualified immunity for the former warden, who appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that the former prison inmate adequately alleged that the former warden
violated a clearly established constitutional right, precluding qualified immunity for the warden in the § 1983
action alleging that the warden was deliberately indifferent to sexual abuse by the vocational-training
instructor. According to the court, the inmate alleged that the warden had knowledge of the abuse but failed to
properly investigate or terminate staff when abuse allegations were substantiated, and that the prison's structural
policy problems contributed to abuse by failing to address known problems with the vocational program or to
use cameras to monitor inmates and staff. (Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Pena v. Greffet, 922 F.Supp.2d 1187 (D.N.M. 2013). A female former state inmate brought a § 1983 action
against a private operator of a state prison, the warden, and corrections officers, alleging violation of her civil
rights arising under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and various state claims. The defendants
moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the
inmate’s complaint stated claims against the operator and the warden for violations of the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment, and for First Amendment retaliation. The inmate alleged that the operator and the
warden engaged in practices of placing inmates who reported sexual abuse in segregation or otherwise
retaliating against them, violating its written policies by failing to report allegations of prison rape to outside
law enforcement, failing to conduct adequate internal investigations regarding rape allegations, and offering
financial incentives to prison employees for non-reporting of rape allegations. The inmate alleged that the
operator and the warden placed her in segregation for eight months because she reported a corrections officer's
rape and another officer's assault, that the operator and warden were aware of her complaints, and that her
placement in segregation was in close temporal proximity to the complaints. (New Mexico Women's
Correctional Facility, Corrections Corporation of America)

U.S. District Court
ACCESS TO COURT
DISCIPLINE
DISCRIMINATION
EQUAL PROTECTION
SPECIAL NEEDS

Poche v. Gautreaux, 973 F.Supp.2d 658 (M.D.La. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a district
attorney and prison officials, among others, alleging various constitutional violations pursuant to § 1983,
statutory violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), as well
as state law claims, all related to her alleged unlawful detention for seven months. The district attorney and
prison officials moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court
held that the detainee sufficiently alleged an official policy or custom, as required to establish local government
liability for constitutional torts, by alleging that failures of the district attorney and the prison officials to
implement policies designed to prevent the constitutional deprivations alleged, and to adequately train their
employees in such tasks as processing paperwork related to detention, created such obvious dangers of
constitutional violations that the district attorney and the prison officials could all be reasonably said to have
acted with conscious indifference. The court found that the pretrial detainee stated a procedural due process
claim against the district attorney and the prison officials under § 1983 related to her alleged unlawful detention
for seven months, by alleging that it was official policy and custom of the officials to skirt constitutional
requirements related to procedures for: (1) establishing probable cause to detain; (2) arraignment; (3) bail; and
(4) appointment of counsel, and that the officials' policy and custom resulted in a deprivation of her liberty
without due process. The court also found a procedural due process claim against the district attorney under §
1983 by the detainee’s allegation that it was the district attorney's policy and custom to sign charging papers
such as bills of information without reading them, without checking their correctness, and without even
knowing what he was signing, and that the attorney's policy and custom resulted in a deprivation of her liberty
without due process. The court found a substantive due process claim against the district attorney in the
detainee’s allegation that after obtaining clear direct knowledge that the detainee was being wrongfully and
illegally held, the district attorney still failed to correct the mistakes that caused the detention, and to cover up
his failures in connection with the case, the district attorney made a conscious decision to bring belated charges
against the detainee. The court held that the detainee stated an equal protection claim against the prison
officials under § 1983, by alleging that the officials acted with a discriminatory animus toward her because she
was mentally disabled, and that she was repeatedly and deliberately punished for, and discriminated against, on
that basis. (East Baton Rouge Prison, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
SEARCHES
TRANSSEXUAL

Shaw v. District of Columbia, 944 F.Supp.2d 43 (D.D.C. 2013). A former pretrial detainee, a transgender
woman, who underwent sex reassignment surgery and had her sex legally changed to female, brought an action
against the United States Marshals Service (USMS), USMS marshals, District of Columbia, a police chief, and
police officers, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants violated her Fourth Amendment rights in connection
with her arrests, and asserting claims under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act and tort law. The
police chief, officer, and USMS defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The district court held that the USMS marshals were not entitled to qualified immunity from the
unlawful search claim, where a reasonable officer would have known that a cross-gender search of a female
detainee by male USMS employees that included intimate physical contact, exposure of private body parts, and
verbal harassment, all in front of male detainees and male USMS employees, in the absence of an emergency,
was unreasonable. The court also found that the USMS marshals and the police officer were not entitled to

17.63

qualified immunity from a § 1983 Fifth Amendment conditions of confinement claim brought by the pretrial
detainee, arising from the defendants' actions in holding the detainee with male detainees and otherwise treating
her as if she were male. According to the court, a reasonable officer would know that treating the female
detainee as the detainee was treated exposed her to a substantial risk of serious harm, and, therefore, would
know that those actions violated the detainee's due process rights. (District of Columbia Metropolitan Police
Department, Sixth District Police Station and MPD's Central Cellblock, and United States Marshals Service)
U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
SEARCHES

Stoudemire v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 705 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2013). A female former prisoner brought
an action against the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC), a warden, and other DOC-associated
officers, doctors, and nurses, asserting violations of § 1983, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(ADEA), and state law. The prisoner alleged that she underwent three separate amputations as a result of
inadequate health care by the defendants and was subjected to a strip search that served no legitimate
penological purpose. The district court denied summary judgment to the warden and a corrections officer on
their qualified immunity defenses to the § 1983 claims against them, and they appealed. The appeals court
affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the district court did not properly
evaluate the warden's qualified immunity defense to the prisoner's Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate
indifference to her serious medical needs, when it denied summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds to
“defendants.,” The court held that remand was warranted for the court to conduct a particularized analysis of
whether the warden was deliberately indifferent to the conditions of the prisoner's confinement while in
quarantine. The court noted that the district court did not mention any facts in the record that specifically
pertained to the warden, nor did the court make any findings regarding the warden's knowledge or mental state.
According to the court, the prisoner established, for qualified immunity purposes, that the corrections officer
violated her Fourth Amendment rights by conducting a strip search of her in her cell in view of other inmates
and prison personnel. The court noted that the officer received a reprimand for violating Department of
Corrections (DOC) rules by conducting the strip search in view of those not assisting in the search, the officer
allegedly refused to tell the prisoner her reasons for initiating the search, and smirked during the search, which
suggested personal animus and implicated the prisoner's dignitary interest. The court found that the female
prisoner's right not to be subjected to a suspicionless strip search in full view of others absent a legitimate
penological justification was clearly established, for purposes of the female corrections officer's qualified
immunity defense. (Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Valade v. City of New York, 949 F.Supp.2d 519 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). Arrestees brought § 1983 and state law
actions against police officers and a city. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment on the Fourth Amendment
excessive force claim was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether a police officer used
excessive force against the arrestee by handcuffing her too tightly and shoving her into a police car. The court
also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the arrestee was sexually assaulted while she was in
police custody following her arrest. (New York City Police Department, Central Booking)

U.S. Appeals Court
PREGNANCY
RESTRAINTS

Villegas v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 709 F.3d 563 (6th Cir. 2013). An Immigration detainee filed
a § 1983 action against a metropolitan government alleging deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs
after she was shackled during the final stages of labor and post-partum recovery. The district court entered
judgment in the detainee's favor. A jury awarded the detainee $200,000 in damages. The defendants appealed.
The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment should not have been
granted by the district court, where there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether the pregnant
immigration detainee presented a flight risk, whether the officers who accompanied her to the hospital when
she went into labor were aware of the hospital's no restraint order, and whether the detainee was at risk of
physical or psychological harm as a result of being shackled. The appeals court also found genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the hospital prescribed a breast pump to allow the detainee to express her breast
milk postpartum, and whether a layperson would recognize the need to provide the detainee with a breast
pump. (Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Davison County Sheriff's Office,
Tennessee)
2014

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
PRIVACY

Baggett v. Ashe, 41 F.Supp.3d 113 (D.Mass. 2014). A former female inmate and current female inmates
brought a class action against a sheriff and an assistant superintendent pursuant to § 1983, alleging that the
policy of permitting male officers to videotape female inmates being strip-searched violated the Fourth
Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment and the plaintiffs moved for partial summary
judgment. The district court granted the inmates’ motion and denied the defendants’ motion. The court held
that strip searches of female inmates being transferred to a segregation unit while male officers conducted
videotaping in the vicinity were unreasonable in violation of the Fourth Amendment, regardless of whether the
officers actually viewed the inmates, where the inmate being searched was fully aware that a male officer was
videotaping her, the officer was within the inmate's view just a few feet away, the inmate was required to strip
and manipulate her body in the officer's presence, including lifting her breasts and spreading her legs, and the
videotaping by male officers was not limited to urgent situations. The court found that the policy did not have a
reasonable relationship with a legitimate penological interest, and therefore, the policy was unconstitutional in
violation of the Fourth Amendment as applied to the inmates, regardless of whether the officers actually viewed
the inmates. The court noted that the policy of using males to tape searches applied to all strip searches upon
transfer, not just emergencies, the prison did not have staffing problems, permitting males to tape the searches
did not enhance employment opportunities, and the policy did not provide for alternatives. According to the
court, clearly established law prohibited male officers from viewing female inmates during a strip search, and

17.64

therefore, the sheriff and assistant superintendent were not entitled to qualified immunity in female inmates' §
1983 class action. (Western Regional Women's Correctional Center, Massachusetts)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT
SEXUAL HARASSMENT
WORK RELEASE

Castillo v. Bobelu, 1 F.Supp.3d 1190 (W.D.Okla. 2014). Five female inmates brought a § 1983 action against
state officials and employees, alleging they were subjected to sexual abuse while working outside a community
corrections center in which they were housed, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The inmates were
participating in the Prisoner Public Works Program (“PPWP”) that allowed offenders to work off-site at
different state offices. They were working during the day doing grounds maintenance at the Oklahoma
Governor's Mansion, where they were supervised by a groundskeeper and his immediate supervisor. When
inmates work at places such as the Governor's Mansion, the DOC does not have a guard stay with the women at
the work site. Instead, they are supervised by state workers employed at the work site, who function like
guards. These individuals go through an eight hour training program. The inmate claimed that they were
sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by the groundskeeper and by a cook employed at the Governor's
Mansion.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in
part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to (1) whether
prison guards were deliberately indifferent. The court held that: (1) the prison district supervisor did not have
knowledge of a substantial risk of harm to the inmates because the supervisor did not know that the inmates
were working only with males while off-site; (2) the supervisor was not deliberately indifferent; (3) the prison
supervising case manager was not deliberately indifferent; and (4) there was no evidence that the employee had
supervisory authority over the inmate. The court noted that the inmate did not return to the work assignment
where she was allegedly abused by state employees or have contact with the alleged abusers, as required for
the continuing violation doctrine to apply to her § 1983 action that alleged violations of the 8th Amendment.
According to the court, despite the supervisor being aware of misconduct by a groundskeeper under his
supervision, the supervisor was aware that the groundskeeper violated certain policies, but did not have
knowledge of the sexual assaults, and he investigated the groundskeeper's conduct and counseled the
groundskeeper. The court also found that the prison supervising case manager, who oversaw the off-site public
works program, was not deliberately indifferent to the excessive risk of sexual assaults of female inmates
working at the governor's mansion as part of the program, where the inmates did not complain to the manager
and the manager was never informed of misconduct. (Hillside Community Corrections Center, Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Hahn v. Walsh, 762 F.3d 617 (7th Cir. 2014). A female pretrial detainee's estate brought an action against a
county, sheriff, and medical services contractor, alleging the defendants failed to provide adequate medical
treatment for the detainee's diabetes in violation of her rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and Illinois law. After several of the estate's claims were
dismissed, the district court entered summary judgment for the defendants on the estate's remaining claims. The
estate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the
district court abused its discretion in dismissing with prejudice the wrongful death claim brought by the
detainee's estate for failure to include an affidavit and written report confirming the claim's merit, where the
court made no specific finding that failure to include an affidavit and report was in bad faith or an attempt to
delay litigation, and its conclusion that the estate could not timely file an amended complaint because the
statute of limitations had lapsed failed to take into account the possibility that an amendment would relate back
to the estate's initial, timely complaint. The court found that the county sheriff's lack of a written policy or
procedure for diabetic detainees whose blood sugar was not being measured and who refused to eat did not
amount to deliberate indifference to the pretrial detainee's serious medical needs in violation of her due process
rights. According to the court, the deaths of seven correctional facility inmates and a single incident of an
inmate complaining about his diabetes treatment were insufficient to put the sheriff on notice that his lack of a
policy could cause the death of a detainee as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, as none of the deaths were caused
by complications from diabetes. (Champaign County Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE

Kosilek v. Spencer, 774 F.3d 63 (1st Cir. 2014). A state inmate brought an action against the Massachusetts
Department of Corrections (DOC), alleging that the DOC's refusal to provide male-to-female sex reassignment
surgery (SRS) to treat the inmate's gender identity disorder (GID) constituted inadequate medical care and
deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The
district court granted an injunction requiring the DOC to provide SRS, and the DOC appealed. The appeals
court reversed. The court held that the DOC's decision not to provide SRS to treat the inmate's GID was not
sufficiently harmful to the inmate so as to violate the Eighth Amendment, and the DOC was not deliberately
indifferent in refusing to provide SRS. The court noted that the DOC continued to provide all ameliorative
measures to the inmate, in addition to antidepressants and psychotherapy. The DOC solicited the opinion of
multiple medical professionals, and the DOC's concerns about safety and security, including the provision of
safe housing options for the inmate after SRS, were reasonable, according to the court. (Massachusetts
Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PREGNANCY
MEDICAL CARE

Mori v. Allegheny County, 51 F.Supp.3d 558 (W.D.Pa. 2014). An inmate who was seven and one-half months
into a “high risk” pregnancy brought an action under § 1983 against a county for deliberate indifference to her
health in violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and survival and
wrongful death claims for violations of the Fourteenth Amendment, after the loss of the child following a
placental abruption. The county moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the
prisoner: (1) stated an Eighth Amendment claim based on failure to monitor the unborn child after the prisoner
complained of vaginal bleeding; (2) stated a claim against the county based on custom and practice; (3)
sufficiently alleged a causal link between the policies and the loss of the child; (4) stated a claim against county

17.65

officials for individual liability; and (5) stated wrongful death and survivor claims for the death of the child.
The inmate alleged that individual policy makers, including the chief operating officer of the county jail’s
health services, and the jail’s nursing supervisor, were responsible for the policies that led to failure to provide
adequate medical treatment. The prisoner also alleged that she was made to wait over 24 hours before being
sent to a hospital after her vaginal bleeding started, that she was transported by a police cruiser rather than
ambulance, that it was well known that bleeding late in pregnancy often indicated serious medical issues, that
the child was alive during birth, and that the delay in medical treatment contributed to the injuries during birth
and the death of the child shortly after birth. (Allegheny County Jail, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Poore v. Glanz, 46 F.Supp.3d 1191 (N.D.Okla. 2014). A juvenile female held as an inmate in the medical unit
of a county jail brought an action against the county and the county sheriff in his individual capacity under §
1983 alleging deliberate indifference to her health in violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel
and unusual punishment, based on an alleged failure to prevent a detention officer's repeated sexual assaults.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine disputes of material fact as to whether the county sheriff was
aware of the risk of sexual assault by detention officers as to female inmates housed in the medical unit of the
county jail, and whether he failed to take steps to alleviate that risk. The court also found a genuine dispute of
material fact as to whether the county jail had a policy and practice of housing juvenile female inmates in a
wing of the medical unit which was not under direct supervision and was frequently single-staffed, such that it
placed those inmates at a substantial risk of sexual assault by jail staff. (Tulsa County Jail, also called the David
L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, Oklahoma)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Scott v. Clarke, 61 F.Supp.3d 569 (W.D.Va. 2014). Female inmates brought a § 1983 action alleging that a
correctional facility failed to provide adequate medical care and that Commonwealth of Virginia Department of
Corrections (VDOC) officials were deliberately indifferent to that failure, in violation of the inmates’ Eighth
Amendment rights. The inmates moved for class certification. The district court held that class certification was
warranted under the subsection of the class action rule pertaining to cases where predominantly injunctive or
declaratory relief was appropriate. The court found that the proposed class of approximately 1,200 female
inmates housed at the state correctional facility who were subject to its medical care system was sufficiently
large, on its face, to satisfy the size requirement for class certification, and that the “commonality” requirement
for class certification was met. The court noted that one of the questions of fact was whether the VDOC
medical contract system permitted improper cost considerations to interfere with the treatment of serious
medical conditions. (Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Commonwealth of Virginia Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Scott v. Clarke, 64 F.Supp.3d 813 (W.D.Va. 2014). Prisoners brought a § 1983 action against prison officials,
alleging failure to provide adequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court
granted the prisoners’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that: (1) the state department of
corrections has a non-delegable duty to provide prisoners with medical care that meets constitutional minimum
standards; (2) the prisoners had serious medical needs; and (3) a genuine issue of material fact existed as to
whether the prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the prisoners’ serious medical needs. The court
noted that the prisoners serious medical needs included: (1) one prisoner who had sarcoidosis, which was a
potentially life-threatening chronic inflammatory disease that could affect the body’s vital organs; (2) another
prisoner had Hepatitis C; (3) another prisoner had severely deformed ingrown toenail that made it difficult to
walk when inflamed and infected, and she was profoundly hearing impaired; and (4) a final prisoner suffered
from various medical problems, including degenerative disc disease affecting her neck and spine, bi-lateral
carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrists, a bladder condition causing constant incontinence, and chronic kidney
disease. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
the decision by prison officials to favor lower contract costs over the likely quality of resulting care was
deliberate indifference to the prisoners’ serious medical needs. (Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women,
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SPECIAL NEEDS

Stoudemire v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 22 F.Supp.3d 715 (E.D.Mich. 2014). A female former prisoner,
who was a double amputee, brought an action against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and
various MDOC-associated officers and healthcare professionals, asserting violations of § 1983, the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state law. The prisoner alleged failure to provide adequate health care and
accommodations for disabled individuals. The district court denied summary judgment to the warden and a
corrections officer on their qualified immunity defenses to the § 1983 claims. The defendants appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. On remand the district court held that: (1) a fact
question as to whether the warden was aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm existed precluded summary judgment, and (2) it was clearly established that
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constituted the unnecessary and wanton infliction
of pain proscribed by Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that she acquired MRSA following the
amputation of her left leg. As a result of her condition, her housing assignment at the facility was changed from
the infirmary to the segregation unit. The prisoner alleged that there was an absence of handicap facilities
within this unit, that she was unable to safely transfer from her wheelchair to the bed or toilet, and that she was
allowed only one shower during the two weeks while housed in segregation. (Huron Valley Women's
Correctional Facility, Michigan)

17.66

2015
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
PRIVACY

Blanco v. County of Kings, 142 F.Supp.3d 986 (E.D. Cal. 2015). An arrestee brought an action against a
county, city, and county and city law enforcement officers alleging violations of her First, Fourth, Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights under § 1983, stemming from an alleged cross gender strip search at a county
jail. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The
court held that the female arrestee sufficiently alleged that a male law enforcement officer's entering a room
while she was still undressed following a strip search at the county jail, in order to interrogate her further, and
in absence of a compelling interest or emergency, violated her right to privacy, as required to state claim under
§ 1983 for violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court found that the
officer’s conduct in entering the room was outrageous, willful, and intended to cause her mental anguish that
directly and proximately caused the arrestee severe and protracted emotional distress likely to result in a
“permanent disability,” as required to state a claim under the California law for intentional infliction of
emotional distress (IIED). (City of Lemoore Police Department, Kings County Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SUICIDE

Cavanagh v. Taranto, 95 F.Supp.3d 220 (D. Mass. 2015). A pretrial detainee’s son brought an action under §
1983 against correctional officers who were on duty the day of the detainee’s suicide, alleging the officers
violated the detainee’s due process rights. The officers moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that the officers were not deliberately indifferent to the detainee’s mental
health history and safety, to her safety through inadequate cell checks, or to her safety by failing to remove a
looped shoelace from her cell. The court noted that the detainee was not identified as a suicide risk, the officers
did not have access to the detainee’s medical records, the officers were not trained to make suicide assessments,
and the detainee’s risk of suicide was not so obvious that someone other than a professional could have
recognized the risk. The court noted that even if an expert’s report prepared for the plaintiff had been filed on
time, the report would have been excluded due to the expert’s lack of qualifications. According to the court, the
expert only pointed to national statistics as support for his opinion that the detainee possessed predisposing
characteristics that made her an obvious risk for suicide, and the expert’s opinions that the officers were
improperly trained and a reasonable mental health clinician would have deemed the detainee to pose a suicide
risk were irrelevant. (Suffolk County House of Correction, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSFER
HYGIENE
SEARCHES
PRIVACY
MEDICAL CARE

Chavarriaga v. New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, 806 F.3d 210 (3d Cir. 2015). A former prisoner brought a §
1983 action in state court against the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC), the former New Jersey
Attorney General, the New Jersey Commissioner of Corrections, a correctional sergeant, and various other
correctional officers. The prisoner alleged that the defendants violated her constitutional rights when they
transferred her from one place of confinement to another where they denied her potable water, clothing,
sanitary napkins, and subjected her to an unlawful body cavity search. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the Attorney General, Commissioner of Corrections, and correctional sergeant, and
dismissed the remaining claims. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part
and remanded. The appeals court held that: (1) NJDOC’s policies regarding custodial placements and the Due
Process Clause did not give the prisoner a liberty interest in being housed in a particular institution, as required
to support a due process claim based on the prisoner’s transfers among custodial facilities; (2) allegations that
correctional officers deprived the prisoner of potable water were sufficiently serious so as to reach level of an
Eighth Amendment violation; (3) allegations that correctional officers forced her to walk down a staircase and
hallway naked in plain view of male prison personnel and inmates to reach a shower were sufficiently serious
so as to reach the level of Eighth Amendment violation; (4) allegations that she was denied her sanitary napkins
and medication for migraine headaches and menstrual cramps were sufficiently serious so as to reach the level
of an Eighth Amendment violation; and (5) the prisoner plausibly alleged that a correctional officer maliciously
searched her body cavities, as required to state a claim against the officer for using excessive force in violation
of the Eighth Amendment, where the prisoner alleged facts demonstrating that a cavity search was not routine,
that the cavity search was conducted in a manner that violated New Jersey regulations, and alleged that the
cavity search was so painful that during the search prisoner cracked a molar while clenching her teeth. The
court noted that a state has broad authority to confine an inmate in any of its institutions, and thus, courts
recognize that a state’s authority to place inmates anywhere within the prison system is among a wide spectrum
of discretionary actions that traditionally have been the business of prison administrators rather than of the
federal courts. (Garrett House Residential Community Release Facility, Edna Mahan Correctional Facility,
New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Henderson v. Glanz, 813 F.3d 938 (10th Cir. 2015). A special needs inmate brought a § 1983 action against a
county sheriff and detention officers, alleging an Eighth Amendment violation for deliberate indifference to the
risk of assault. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on qualified
immunity and the defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed in part and dismissed in part. The district
court held that undisputed record facts blatantly contradicted the district court’s factual determination, in
denying summary judgment based on qualified immunity. According to the court, the detention officer who left
his post in the jail’s medical unit to deliver a gurney during a medical emergency was entitled to qualified
immunity from the special needs inmate’s Eighth Amendment claim arising from her sexual assault by a fellow
inmate while in the unit’s tub room. The court noted that the officer had no subjective knowledge of the risk of
assault to the inmate, and left believing the inmate was in a locked room under the supervision of another
officer. (David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma)

17.67

U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION

Lopez v. Cipolini, 136 F.Supp.3d 570 (S.D.N.Y. 2015). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, asserting claims for violation of her Free Exercise Clause rights under the First Amendment, the
Religious Land and Institutionalized Person Act (RLUIPA), and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection
Clause, alleging that she was prohibited from attending religious services. The officials moved to dismiss the
action. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner's
allegation that prison officials prevented her from attending religious services was sufficient to support a claim
for violation of the Equal Protection Clause. According to the court, the prisoner's allegation that a prison
official prevented her from attending two religious services “because of her hair” and because of “her
sexuality,” while other prisoners in the facility were not prevented from attending those services, was sufficient
to allege that she was treated differently from others similarly situated, as required to support a claim that
prison officials discriminated against her in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted that there
was no legitimate penological interest that would be served by denying the prisoner the right to attend religious
services based on her hair and/or sexuality. (Downstate Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Nagy v. Corrections Corporation of America, 79 F.Supp.3d 114 (D.D.C. 2015). A female detainee brought an
action in the District of Columbia Superior Court against the operator of a correctional facility, alleging
negligence, negligent supervision, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. The operator moved the action to federal court and moved for summary judgment. The
district court denied the motion, finding that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material
fact as to: (1) whether the operator caused the detainee’s injuries stemming from a second alleged assault by
failing to follow up on the first alleged assault by guards at the correctional facility; (2) whether the detainee
was injured by outrageous behavior of the guards; (3) whether the guards negligently handled the detainee, and
(4) whether this negligence physically injured the detainee. The detainee alleged that she was abused almost
immediately upon arrival at the facility, when two correctional officers grabbed her by the arms, took her to a
locked cell, and threw her against the commode. She alleged that she landed sideways on her back, and that the
officers kicked her on her right side, broke her ribs, and bruised her body. She reported the incident to
corrections officials. Six days later, she was once again allegedly assaulted “by staff and officers.” She showed
her injuries to a doctor who observed bruises on her buttocks and hips “of varying stages, none that appeared
newer than 2–3 days old with some yellowing and fading.” (Correctional Treatment Facility, Corrections Corp.
of America, District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSSEXUAL

Norsworthy v. Beard, 802 F.3d 1090 (9th Cir. 2015). A transsexual female prison inmate filed a § 1983 action
against prison officials and medical staff for denying necessary medical treatment for the inmate’s gender
dysphoria, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court issued a preliminary injunction ordering
the officials to provide the inmate with sex reassignment surgery, and the officials appealed. The injunction
was stayed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the inmate’s release from prison rendered
the action moot, and remand was warranted for determination of whether her release while her appeal was
pending was the result of the officials’ actions. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE
EQUAL PROTECTION

Norsworthy v. Beard, 87 F.Supp.3d 1104 (N.D.Cal. 2015). A transsexual female prison inmate brought a §
1983 action against prison officials and medical staff for denying necessary medical treatment for the inmate’s
gender dysphoria in violation of Eighth Amendment. The inmate also alleged that the officials were
deliberately indifferent to her medical needs and deprived her of her right to equal protection under the law
when they denied her sex reassignment surgery. The officials moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The
district court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part. The court held that: (1) the inmate stated
a claim for prospective injunctive relief; (2) the inmate stated an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
claim based on denial of the request for sex reassignment surgery; (3) the inmate stated an equal protection
claim; but (4) the inmate failed to state an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim based on denial of
a request for a legal name change. (Mule Creek State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE

Norsworthy v. Beard, 87 F.Supp.3d 1164 (N.D.Cal. 2015). A transsexual female prison inmate brought a §
1983 action against prison officials and medical staff for denying necessary medical treatment for the inmate’s
gender dysphoria in violation of Eighth Amendment. The inmate moved to strike expert testimony and for a
preliminary injunction requiring the defendants to provide her with sex reassignment surgery (SRS). The
defendants moved for judicial notice. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The
district court found that the expert report of a psychiatrist retained by the officials and medical staff would not
be stricken for failure to comply with the requirements for disclosure of expert qualifications, and that the
expert was qualified to testify regarding prison culture and the treatment that incarcerated persons with gender
dysphoria should receive. The court noted that notwithstanding years of treatment in the form of hormone
therapy and counseling, the inmate continued to experience severe psychological pain, and that the treating and
examining psychologists agreed the inmate met the eligibility criteria for SRS under the standards of care for
treating transsexual patients. The court held that: (1) the inmate was likely to succeed on the merits of the
Eighth Amendment claim; (2) the inmate was suffering irreparable harm that would likely continue absent a
preliminary injunction; (3) the balance of equities weighed in favor of granting an injunction; (4) it was in the
public interest to grant an injunction; and (5) an injunction would meet the requirements of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Mule Creek State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SEXUAL ASSAULT

Pena v. Greffet, 110 F.Supp.3d 1103 (D.N.M. 2015). A female prison inmate brought an action under § 1983
for numerous violations of her constitutional rights, including under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendments against employees of the contractor that operated the correctional facility, and against the
contractor under the theory of vicarious liability, for alleged physical and sexual assault by employees while
she was incarcerated. The defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district court denied the

17.68

motion. The court held that the “aided-in-agency” theory of vicarious liability applied to the female prison
inmate’s claims under § 1983 against the contractor after the contractor’s employee repeatedly sexually
assaulted the inmate. According to the court, the employee’s relationship with the inmate by virtue of his
employment conferred “extraordinary power” upon him, the employee’s authority to do as he wished appeared
to be delegated to him, and the inmate was unlikely to be able to successfully complain about the employee’s
actions. The court noted that the issue of whether the employer was vicariously liable for the employee’s
repeated rape and sexual assault of the inmate was for a jury to decide in the inmate’s claim under § 1983 for
violations of numerous constitutional rights, including the right to bodily integrity under the Fourteenth
Amendment. (New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility, operated by Corrections Corporation of America)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Peters v. Risdal, 786 F.3d 1095 (8th Cir. 2015). A pretrial detainee filed a § 1983 action against a county,
county sheriff, and jail officers alleging that she was subjected to an unreasonable search, that her right to
freedom of speech was violated, and that the officers used excessive force. The district court granted the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the unreasonable search claim, and after a jury verdict, in the
officers’ favor on the remaining claims, and denied the detainee’s motion for a new trial. The detainee
appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the officers did not violate the detainee’s Fourth Amendment
rights when they forcibly removed her clothing in a holding cell. According to the court, it was objectively
reasonable for county jail officers to believe that the pretrial detainee presented a risk of harm to herself if she
was permitted to retain strings on her clothing, and thus the officers did not violate her Fourth Amendment
rights when they forcibly removed her clothing in a holding cell. The court noted that the detainee refused to
respond to medical screening questions, refused to comply with a female officer’s instruction to change into an
orange jumpsuit while male officers were outside the holding cell, and acted aggressively toward the male
officers when they entered. The officers restrained the detainee face down on her stomach and covered her with
a paper suit while the female officer removed her clothing. (Woodbury County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSSEXUAL
GID- Gender Identity
Disorder
MEDICAL CARE

Rosati v. Igbinoso, 791 F.3d 1037 (9th Cir. 2015). A transgender inmate brought a pro se § 1983 action alleging
that prison officials violated the Eighth Amendment by their deliberate indifference to her serious medical
needs. The district court dismissed the action without leave to amend. The inmate appealed. The appeals court
reversed and remanded, finding that the inmate’s complaint, alleging that she suffered from severe gender
dysphoria for which male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) was the medically necessary treatment,
but that prison officials refused to provide the surgery, stated a cause of action under Eighth Amendment.
(Pleasant Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SUICIDE

Shepard v. Hansford County, 110 F.Supp.3d 696 (N.D. Tex. 2015). A husband brought an action against a
county and a county jail employee under § 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to detainee health in violation
of the right to provision of adequate medical treatment under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment, following his wife’s suicide while in the county jail. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the jail
employee was entitled to qualified immunity; (2) summary judgment was precluded by a fact issue as to
whether the jail employee violated the detainee’s rights, (3) the county had an adequate suicide risk prevention
training policy, where employees were required to attend training to learn about suicide risk detection and
prevention methods, and were required to read the county’s policy on conducting face-to-face suicide checks
with detainees; (4) the county adequately trained employees on cell entry; but (5) a fact issue existed as to
whether the county had an unwritten policy of understaffing the jail, precluding summary judgment. The court
noted that it was not clearly established at the time of the suicide that an employee was required to abandon
other duties to ensure that suicide watch checks were completed, and it was not clearly established that the
employee was prohibited from providing a detainee with a towel in a cell with “tie-off points,” since the
employee was not aware of any other suicides in that cell.
According to the court, the jail cell entry policy prohibiting jail employees from entering a cell alone did not
amount to training employees to be deliberately indifferent to the needs of detainees, and was not causally
related to the detainee’s death, and thus the county was not liable under § 1983 for deliberate indifference to
detainee health. (Hansford County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CONDITIONS
EXERCISE
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE
SEARCHES

Shorter v. Baca, 101 F.Supp.3d 876 (C.D. Cal. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a county,
sheriff, and deputies, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants denied her medical care, subjected her to
unsanitary living conditions, deprived her of food, clean clothes, and access to exercise, and conducted overly
invasive searches. The detainee had been classified as mentally ill and housed in a mental health unit at the
detention facility. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part
and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as
to what policies governed classification of pretrial detainees who were mentally ill.
The court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether jail
conditions imposed on the detainee, including permitting the detainee, who was incarcerated for 32 days, to
shower only three times, only permitting the detainee outside of her cell for recreation on one occasion, failing
to clean her cell, failing to provide the detainee with clean clothing, and depriving the detainee of food,
amounted to punishment.
The court also found fact issues as to whether the county sheriff’s deputies’ manner of conducting a visual
body cavity search of the female pretrial detainee on three occasions exhibited exaggerated and excessive force,
and was vindictive or harassing, precluding summary judgment on the detainee’s § 1983 Fourth Amendment
unlawful search claim against the deputies.
The court found that there was no evidence that county jail employees’ alleged failure to adequately treat
the detainee’s blood condition caused her measurable harm, where there was no indication that the alleged
denial of treatment caused the detainee any physical pain, or that any mental anguish the detainee suffered was

17.69

related to denial of her medication.
The court denied summary judgment to the defendants on the detainee’s claim that she was denied dental
treatment. (Century Regional Detention Facility, Los Angeles County, California)
U.S. Appeals Court
PREGNANCY
MEDICAL CARE
TRANSFER

White v. Bukowski, 800 F.3d 392 (7th Cir. 2015). A pregnant county prisoner brought a civil rights action under
§ 1983 against a county sheriff’s office, alleging violation of her Eighth Amendment rights, alleging deliberate
indifference to her need for proper prenatal care and prompt transport to a hospital for delivery of her baby
while she was in their temporary custody. The county moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion
and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that no administrative remedies
were available, and thus the prisoner did not fail to exhaust administrative remedies under the requirements of
the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The prisoner alleged that the delay in her transport to the hospital contributed
to her baby’s birth defects. According to the court, the prisoner had no opportunity to grieve the delay in
transport until after the harm was done, the prisoner was uninformed about any deadline for filing a grievance,
the prisoner would not have known that she would be transferred to another jail four days after returning from
the hospital, and the prisoner could not have filed a grievance after she was transferred. (Kankakee County Jail,
Illinois)

17.70

U.S. District Court
PRIVATE PROVIDER

Page v. Kirby, 314 F.Supp.2d 619 (N.D.W.Va. 2004). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Wrinkles v. Davis, 311 F.Supp.2d 735 (N.D.Ind. 2004). Death row inmates at a state prison

challenging his conditions of confinement. The district court dismissed the complaint, finding that
private corporations that provided food and medical services at a state prison were not subject to
liability under § 1983, absent an allegation that the inmate's constitutional rights were denied
because of a corporation's policy or custom. (Huttonsville Correctional Center, West Virginia)

brought a § 1983 action in state court, alleging that a 79-day lockdown of the death row area
violated their constitutional rights. The lockdown had been implemented after a death row
inmate was killed during recreation, apparently by other death row inmates. The court held that
ceasing, for security reasons, allowing religious volunteers into the death row unit for group
religious services and for spiritual discussions during the lockdown did not violate the inmates'
First Amendment right to practice their religion. (Indiana State Prison)
2005

U.S. District Court
SERVING

Atkins v. County of Orange, 372 F.Supp.2d 377 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). Jail inmates brought a § 1983
action against a county and corrections officers, alleging indifference to their mental health needs
and mistreatment. The defendants moved to preclude expert witness testimony and for partial
summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in part and denied it in part.
The court found that the alleged act of serving food to a jail inmate on a napkin or paper towel on
one occasion did not amount to a constitutional deprivation. (Orange County Correctional Facility
and County Commissioner of Mental Health, New York)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Baird v. Alameida, 407 F.Supp.2d 1134 (C.D.Cal. 2005). A insulin-dependent diabetic inmate
brought a civil rights action against state prison officials claiming they acted with deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs by requiring the prison to serve a “Heart Healthy” diet
to all inmates and failing to make provisions for therapeutic outpatient diets. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the officials. The court held that the inmate was provided
with a diet that was medically appropriate for diabetics and that the diet had not been shown to
be the cause of the inmate’s diabetic complications. (Wasco State Prison, California Men’s Colony,
and Avenal State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Rodriguez v. Briley, 403 F.3d 952 (7th Cir. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Shaheed-Muhammad v. Dipaolo, 393 F.Supp.2d 80 (D.Mass. 2005). A prisoner brought a civil
rights action against employees of a state corrections department alleging violation of his right to
practice his Muslim religion. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that the defendant failed to establish
that the prisoner’s religious beliefs were not sincerely held, noting that although the prisoner had
a long history of pro se litigation, he might have been both litigious and religiously observant.
According to the court, the fact that the prisoner first sought a pork-free diet and four months
later sought a vegetarian diet could have suggested an evolution of his beliefs, and not
“backsliding” or nonobservance of religious tenets. According to the court, summary judgment
was barred by genuine issues of material fact concerning whether the denial of the prisoner’s
request for a vegetarian diet was reasonably related to legitimate penological concerns. The court
also denied qualified immunity for the officials who provided a pork-free diet but allegedly
refused his request for the vegetarian diet. (Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Cedar
Junction)

against corrections officials, alleging that they refused to let him out of his cell for meals and
showers because he refused to comply with a rule that required prisoners to stow certain items
while outside of their cells. The rule requires inmates to store certain of their belongings in a
storage box in their cells, to enhance fire safety, facilitate cell searches, and otherwise promote
safety and security. The inmate missed meals because he refused to comply with the rule. The
district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed, finding that enforcing the stowage rule by forbidding exit from the cell was not
cruel and unusual punishment, since the inmate had the option of simply complying with the
rule. According to the court, the rule was a valid means of promoting the safety and security of
the prison. (Illinois)

2006
U.S. District Court
SANITATION
SERVING

XX

Carr v. Whittenburg, 462 F.Supp.2d 925 (S.D.Ill. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action

against prison officials, alleging retaliation for filing a prison grievance regarding food handling
by the security staff and the inmate cell house workers. The court held that genuine issues of
material fact as to the intent and motive of the prison officials precluded summary judgment. The
grievance alleged that the Unit Superintendent allowed his security staff and the inmate cell
house workers to act as food handlers in the absence of required medical staff approval and
appropriate sanitation apparel, in violation of Illinois Department of Corrections policies.

18.21

(Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
FOOD QUALITY

Dickens v. Taylor, 464 F.Supp.2d 341 (D.Del. 2006). A prisoner filed a civil rights action against

U.S. Appeals Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Gillis v. Litscher, 468 F.3d 488 (7th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 claim against

various corrections defendants, alleging unlawful conditions of confinement and excessive force.
The district court dismissed the claims. The court held that: (1) placement of the prisoner in
isolation for not more than two months at a time did not implicate a liberty interest; (2) neither
Delaware law nor Department of Corrections regulations created a due process liberty interest in
a prisoner’s classification within an institution, and the prisoner had no property or liberty
interest in the prison classification program or his housing assignment; (3) the prisoner failed to
state an equal protection claim based on the allegation that a majority of the inmates in the
special housing unit were black; (4) the denial of the disciplined prisoner’s television privilege did
not give rise to an Eighth Amendment claim since television privileges did not constitute
necessities; and (5) the failure to serve brand name cereals and cold fresh water during meal time
were not an Eighth Amendment violation. (Delaware Correctional Center)
prison officials, alleging that a behavioral modification program imposed on him violated his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding
that fact issues precluded summary judgment. According to the court, there were fact issues as to
whether the prisoner, who was subjected to a behavioral modification program, was denied the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and whether prison officials acted with disregard of
a substantial risk of serious harm to the prisoner. The appeals court opinion opened with the
following statement. “Stripped naked in a small prison cell with nothing except a toilet; forced to

sleep on a concrete floor or slab; denied any human contact; fed nothing but ‘nutri-loaf’; and given
just a modicum of toilet paper-four squares-only a few times. Although this might sound like a
stay at a Soviet gulag in the 1930s, it is, according to the claims in this case, Wisconsin in 2002.
Whether these conditions are, as a matter of law, only “uncomfortable, but not unconstitutional”
as the State contends, is the issue we consider in this case.” The facility is an all-segregation

facility, designed to house recalcitrant inmates. At the time at issue in this case, the facility used
a five-level system of inmate classification, with Level One being the most restrictive. All inmates
were placed in Level One upon their arrival at the prison. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility at
Boscobel)
U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Madison v. Riter, 411 F.Supp.2d 645 (W.D.Va. 2006). A state prisoner brought an action against

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Omar v. Casterline, 414 F.Supp.2d 582 (W.D.La. 2006). A detainee brought an action pursuant to
Bivens and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), alleging that federal prison officials

XX

prison officials and others under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA), challenging the denial of his requests for kosher meals. The district court found that
the applicable RLUIPA section increasing the level of protection of prisoners' religious rights
violated the Establishment Clause and the prisoner appealed. The court of appeals reversed and
remanded. On remand, the defendants brought a motion to dismiss which was dismissed by the
court. The district court held that RLUIPA was a valid exercise of Congress' Spending Clause
authority and that Congress' use of its Spending Clause authority was in pursuit of “the general
Welfare.” The court held that the RLUIPA conditions were related to federal interests and that
conditioning the award of federal corrections funds on a state's compliance with RLUIPA was not
coercive. According to the court, the federal corrections funding conditions imposed upon states
through RLUIPA did not violate the Tenth Amendment and the state waived its Eleventh
Amendment immunity to the prisoner's claims for damages under RLUIPA. The court also held
that the “common fare diet” available to prison inmates upon approval from the appropriate
prison authorities would satisfy the inmate’s religious dietary needs and allow him to celebrate
Passover. (Bland Correction Center, Virginia)

subjected him to an unconstitutional search and failed to accommodate his religious needs. The
defendants moved for summary judgment and the court granted the motion. The district court
held that: the warden of the federal penitentiary at which the detainee was held was not liable for
alleged violations of the detainee's right to free exercise of religion; the detainee failed to show
that officials served him pork in violation of his right to free exercise of religion; qualified
immunity shielded the officials from liability to the extent that their alleged failure to inform the
detainee that he was being served pork substitutes violated his right to free exercise of religion;
prison officials did not violate the detainee's free exercise rights by not informing him of the time
so that he could pray at appropriate times of day; officials' refusal to hold three of the detainee's
meals during Ramadan did not violate his free exercise rights; allegations that prison officials
mocked the detainee's religion at most asserted a de minimis violation of the detainee's free
exercise rights; and, the detainee did not establish a violation of his rights under RFRA.
According to the court, allegations that the Muslim detainee asked his case manager at the
federal penitentiary for a clock so that the he would know when to say his prayers, and that the
case manager said “You think this is going to work?” after the detainee was praying, sufficiently
alleged the case manager's personal participation in alleged violations of the detainee's right to

18.22

free exercise of religion. (United States Penitentiary, Pollock, Louisiana)
U.S. District Court
RELIGION DIET

Porter v. Caruso, 431 F.Supp.2d 768 (W.D.Mich. 2006). A state inmate filed an action alleging that prison
officials violated his First Amendment free exercise rights by refusing to refer to him by his new legal name, and
by denying his request to be placed on a kosher meal plan. The officials moved to dismiss and the district court
held that dismissal of the inmate's exhausted claims was not warranted. The inmate asserted that he was an
adherent of an ancient Egyptian religion known as Kemetic Spiritual Science, and that as part of his religious
faith he legally changed his name. The inmate alleged that corrections officials repeatedly failed to comply with
their own policy directives and forced him to refer to himself by his former name. The inmate also asserted that
the dietary requirements of his religion are comparable to those observed in the Jewish faith and he requested to
be placed on the kosher meal plan, but the officials denied his request. (Michigan Department of Corrections)
2007

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Baranowski v. Hart, 486 F.3d 112 (5th Cir. 2007). A Jewish inmate incarcerated in a Texas prison brought a
cause of action under § 1983, challenging prison policies that affected his ability to participate in Sabbath and
Jewish holiday services and to eat a kosher diet. He alleged that these policies violated his free exercise and
equal protection rights, as well as rights accorded to him under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court entered an order granting summary judgment in favor of the
defendants, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, holding that: (1) prison policies on the
availability of religious services to the less than 1% of the prison population practicing the Jewish faith, which
resulted in the inmate’s being denied weekly Sabbath and other holy day services when a rabbi or approved
volunteer was not present, did not violate the inmate’s free exercise rights; (2) prison officials’ failure to provide
kosher meals did not violate the inmate’s free exercise rights; (3) it was not a violation of the inmate’s equal
protection rights for prison officials to consider the demand and needs of groups requesting access to the prison
chapel; (4) refusal to allow the Jewish inmates to congregate for religious services when a rabbi or outside
volunteer was not available did not place a “substantial burden” on the inmate’s free exercise of religion; and (5)
“compelling governmental interests” supported the decision by prison officials not to provide the kosher meals.
According to the court, the inmate retained the ability to participate in alternative means of exercising his
religious beliefs, including the ability to worship in his cell using religious materials and the ability to access the
chapel and the lockers containing religious materials on certain days and times. The inmate had the option of
receiving vegetarian or pork-free meals and prison officials had a legitimate governmental interest in running a
simplified food service rather than a full-scale restaurant. The court found that it was not a violation of the
Jewish inmate’s equal protection rights for prison officials to consider demand and need of groups requesting
access to the prison chapel, along with space and staffing limitations, in deciding where religious groups would
be allowed to conduct their services, and the mere fact that other religious groups may have enjoyed greater
access to the chapel than the Jewish inmates, who constituted less than 1% of the prison population, was not
constitutionally impermissible. The court noted that there were “compelling governmental interests” within the
meaning of RLUIPA, that supported the decision of the prison officials not to provide kosher meals to its Jewish
inmates and to require them to chose vegetarian or pork-free meals instead; the administrative and budgetary
interests at stake could not be achieved by any different or lesser means. (Huntsville Unit, Texas Department of
Criminal Justice)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Foster v. Elyea, 496 F.Supp.2d 951 (N.D.Ill. 2007). A special administrator, on behalf of a deceased inmate,
brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, alleging their failure to provide the inmate with prescribed
medication, treatment, diet, or exercise opportunities hastened his death or caused him great emotional distress.
The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held
that the allegations of the special administrator stated an Eighth Amendment claim that employees were
deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s serious medical needs. The administrator alleged that the employees
knew that the inmate faced a risk of death if he did not receive his prescribed medication, treatment, diet, and
exercise for his type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure, but that department of
corrections employees personally involved in delivering medical services to the inmate failed to provide those
things to him. (Statesville Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION

George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007). A state prisoner sued prison officials under § 1983, alleging
deprivations of his speech rights and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The district court
dismissed some of the claims and granted summary judgment for the defendants on the remaining claims. The
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner's allegation that his health was
placed at risk by an allegedly malfunctioning dishwasher that left particles of food on his plate at dinner failed to
state an Eighth Amendment claim. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that a prison employee had
failed to provide a purported atlas that he had ordered, on security grounds, were insufficient to state a First
Amendment violation where the prisoner did not provide a description, title or other identifying information for
the book. The court held that the prisoner's allegation that the prison refused to allow him to speak to the public
at large by placing advertisements in newspapers was insufficient to state a claim for violation of his First
Amendment free speech rights where the prisoner did not provide the content of the advertisements. (Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Guzzi v. Thompson, 470 F.Supp.2d 17 (D.Mass. 2007). A state prisoner brought a suit challenging the denial of
his request for a kosher diet. The court held that the prisoner failed to show the likelihood of success on the
merits of his claim that keeping kosher was a protected religious exercise under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) for an Orthodox Catholic, precluding preliminary injunctive relief.
According to the court, the prisoner was not likely to succeed in demonstrating that a kosher diet, separate from

XXII

18.23

the practice of Judaism, was a protected religious activity under RLUIPA. On appeal (2008 WL 2059321) the
appeals court reversed and remanded. (MCI-Shirley, Massachusetts)
U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
NUTRITION

Harrison v. Moketa/Motycka, 485 F.Supp.2d 652 (D.S.C. 2007). A pretrial detainee sued various prison officials
and medical care providers under § 1983, claiming violations of a variety of his constitutional rights. The district
court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the detainee did not suffer a violation of
his Fourteenth Amendment rights when he was allegedly served cold food and two nutritionally deficient
breakfasts. According to the court, merely serving food cold did not present a serious risk of harm or an
immediate danger to the health of the detainee, and while he had significant pre-existing health problems, there
was no indication that those conditions were caused or exacerbated by the diet provided. (Alvin S. Glenn
Detention Center, South Carolina)
2008

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Bey v. Douglas County Correctional Facility, 540 F.Supp.2d 1194 (D.Kan. 2008). A prisoner brought an action
against prison officials for violation of his constitutional rights. Following denial of his prior motion the prisoner
filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction. The district court granted the motion, finding that the prisoner
was entitled to a preliminary injunction requiring prison officials to provide him with Kosher food in accordance
with his sincerely held Jewish faith. The court found that irreparable harm was shown because the prisoner's
claim was for violation of his First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. According to the court, the harm
to prison officials if the injunction was issued was de minimus, and there was no hardship to the public in view
of the fact that the prison was under an agreement with a food supplier that carried Kosher foods. (Douglas
County Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Campbell v. Cornell Corrections of Rhode Island, Inc., 564 F.Supp.2d 99 (D.R.I. 2008). A former inmate
brought a § 1983 action against a privately-owned correction facility and corrections employees, alleging
violations of his rights under the First and Eighth Amendments. The district court denied summary judgment in
part. The court held that failure to serve the inmate a vegetarian diet consistent with his religious beliefs did not
constitute an Eighth Amendment violation, absent an allegation that the prison failed to provide the inmate with
food that was adequate in quantity, nutritional value or in any other respect. The court held that summary
judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prison's refusal to provide the
inmate a vegetarian diet consistent with his religious beliefs was reasonably related to legitimate penological
interests. (Wyatt Detention Facility, Rhode Island)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Dean v. Corrections Corp. of America, 540 F.Supp.2d 691 (N.D.Miss. 2008). An Hawai’i inmate housed in a
private correctional facility in Mississippi brought a pro se suit claiming violation of the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The inmate alleged that he was deprived of a diet that conformed with
his religion and a magistrate had recommended that an injunction be entered ordering the facility to provide a
religious diet to the inmate. The district court held that the Hawai’I Department of Public Safety was responsible
for a program or activity that placed a burden on the inmate's exercise of his religion, and the court thus had
jurisdiction to hear the inmate's RLUIPA claims because the state received federal financial assistance. The court
noted that the Hawai’i Department of Public Safety entered into a contract with a private corrections corporation
to take custody of various Hawai'i inmates, such that the corporation was an instrumentality of the Department.
The court held that the inmate alleged and proved no more than a de minimis injury from violations of his right
to free exercise of religion, and thus, was only entitled to nominal damages in his action. (Tallahatchie County
Correctional Facility, Corrections Corp. of America, Mississippi)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Fegans v. Norris, 537 F.3d 897 (8th Cir. 2008). A state inmate sued prison officials, alleging that they violated
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), as well as his free exercise and equal
protection rights, by enforcing a grooming policy and denying him Kosher meals. The district court entered
judgment for the inmate with respect to the Kosher meals, but entered judgment for the prison officials with
respect to the grooming policy. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the
district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding nominal damages, as limited by PLRA, of $1,500 for the
prison officials' constitutional violation of failing to provide Kosher meals, which amounted to $1.44 for each
constitutional violation. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to
award punitive damages for the prison officials' constitutional violation of failing to provide Kosher meals. The
district court accurately stated the legal standard for the award of punitive damages, but found that prison
officials did not act with malice, and that punitive damages were not warranted to deter future unlawful conduct,
because the officials already had instituted a policy for providing Kosher meals. (East Arkansas Regional Unit of
the Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Holloway v. Bizzaro, 571 F.Supp.2d 1270 (S.D.Fla. 2008). A prisoner brought a pro se civil rights complaint
pursuant to § 1983 on the claim that prison officials denied his requests for pork-free meals. The district court
dismissed the case finding that the prisoner failed to allege any physical injury as a result of the alleged free
exercise violation, as required to seek compensatory damages against the prison officials. (Miami-Dade County,
Florida)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Hudson v. Dennehy, 538 F.Supp.2d 400 (D.Mass. 2008). Inmates in a state prison, who adhered to the religious
teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, filed a civil rights action against the commissioner of
the state department of correction, alleging violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendments and Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and Massachusetts laws. Following a non-jury trial, the
commissioner moved for judgment on partial findings. The court held that refusal to provide a daily Halal menu

XXII

18.24

to Muslim inmates substantially burdened the Muslim inmates' exercise of their religious beliefs and that the
refusal did not further a compelling state interest. The court found that the use of a towel provided by the
department of corrections for daily prayer did not substantially burden the Muslim inmates' ability to perform
daily prayer. According to the court, a ban on the Muslim inmates' participation in obligatory weekly group
prayer services while in a separate confined housing unit substantially burdened the inmates' practice of a core
tenet of their faith. The court held that a ban on participation by the Muslim inmates confined in a separate
housing unit in obligatory weekly group prayer services by closed-circuit television was not the least restrictive
means of furthering a compelling State interest. (Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Koger v. Bryan, 523 F.3d 789 (7th Cir. 2008). A prisoner, who was a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis
(OTO) group, which was associated with the Thelema religion, sued prison officials, alleging that they violated
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by denying him a non-meat diet. The
district court entered summary judgment for the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed
and remanded. The court held that the request for a non-meat diet was a request rooted in sincerely held beliefs,
even though OTO had no general dietary restrictions. According to the court, to the extent that officials denied
the prisoner's requests because OTO had no general dietary restrictions, such denials violated RLUIPA. The
court found that the requirement, that an OTO clergy member submit written verification of the prisoner's
membership in OTO and its tenets, imposed a substantial burden on the prisoner's religious exercise, where OTO
lacked clergy members as traditionally understood, and had no universal requirements that could be verified by
its leaders, at least when it came to dietary restrictions. The court held that the orderly administration of the
prison dietary system did not constitute a compelling governmental interest and that such a requirement was not
the least restrictive means of achieving the officials' ends. According to the court, the prisoner's right to a nonmeat diet was clearly established, as required for the prisoner to overcome the officials' qualified immunity
defense. The court noted that the prison already served two diets that would have satisfied the prisoner's request,
and they failed to show what effort would have been involved in providing him a meatless diet or how it would
have hampered prison administration. (Pontiac Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
COMMISSARY
RELIGIOUS DIET

Kole v. Lappin, 551 F.Supp.2d 149 (D.Conn. 2008). A Jewish inmate filed a complaint against federal prison
officials alleging that a reduction in the number of kosher-for-Passover food items available to inmates for
purchase for the Passover holiday violated her First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court
entered judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the prison's limitation on the number of
supplemental kosher-for-Passover foods available for purchase by Jewish inmates did not substantially burden
the plaintiff's religious practice in violation of the First Amendment, where the prison provided her with two
Seder dinners during Passover, and otherwise provided her with three kosher-for-Passover meals and a box of
Matzoh each day during the eight days of the holiday. The court found that the differences between food
available for inmate purchase on a special holiday list available between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the
more limited list of kosher-for-Passover food available for purchase did not violate the plaintiff's right to equal
protection. The court noted that the prison's stated penological interests in limiting a small group of inmates'
access to special goods to avoid hoarding and illegal trade, and in the efficient financial operation of the prison
commissary, were logically advanced by offering a smaller number of “best sellers” for sale on Passover.
(Federal Correction Institution, Danbury, Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Murphy v. Gilman, 551 F.Supp.2d 677 (W.D.Mich. 2008). A civil rights action was brought against state prison
officials, raising claims arising from the death of a prisoner, who died from dehydration after a four-day period
during which he received no medical care and little water and food. A jury found that certain defendants were
deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical needs, the defendants were grossly negligent, and one
defendant was liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury awarded $250,000 in actual
damages, and $2,500,000 in punitive damages. The defendants moved for judgment as a matter of law, and to
stay enforcement of the judgment. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial. The district court denied the
motions, finding that evidence supported the finding that an official knew of the obvious risks to the prisoner.
The court held that punitive damages of $1,250,000 per prison official defendant was not constitutionally
excessive for the dehydration death of a physically vulnerable prisoner, who was trapped without physical
necessities or medical care for five days during a heat wave and who was awarded $250,000 in actual damages.
The court noted that evidence established that prison officials kept the prisoner's water turned off, knew that the
prisoner was not drinking, and knew the prison was on a heat alert. (Bellamy Creek Corr. Facility, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Patel v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.3d 807 (8th Cir. 2008). A federal prisoner sued the Bureau of Prisons
(BOP) and prison officials alleging that they violated his right to practice his Muslim religion in violation of the
Equal Protection Clause, the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act (RFRA), and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The prisoner alleged that
prison officials failed to provide him with appropriate meals. The district court entered summary judgment for
the BOP and the officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court held that the prisoner's ability to practice his
religion was not substantially burdened in violation of the Free Exercise Clause, RFRA or RLUIPA. The court
found that the officials did not violate the prisoner's equal protection rights. According to the court, limitations in
dietary accommodations did not substantially burden the Muslim prisoner's ability to practice his religion, where
the prisoner had an option of purchasing halal vegetarian entrees on days that allegedly inadequate kosher meat
entrees were served. The court noted that the prisoner received money from work and family members and had
not pursued alternatives such as requesting to be first in line at the food bar to avoid cross-contamination.
(Federal Correctional Institution in Forrest City, Arkansas)

XXII

18.25

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Shakur v. Schriro, 514 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2008). A Muslim inmate brought a pro se civil rights action against
state prison officials alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA),
the Free Exercise Clause and the Equal Protection Clause after he was denied a requested religious dietary
accommodation. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The inmate appealed. The
appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that factual issues precluded summary judgment on the
inmate's free exercise, RLUIPA and Equal Protection claims. The fact issues included the impact of
accommodating the inmate's request for kosher meat diet and the availability of ready alternatives, the extent of
the burden imposed on the inmate's religious activities by the prison's refusal to serve him the requested kosher
meat diet, the extent of the burden that would be created by accommodating the inmate's request, and the
existence of less restrictive alternatives. The court also found that material issues of fact existed as to whether
the costs of providing a kosher meat diet to Muslim inmates in the prison justified different treatment of the
Muslim inmate whose request for a kosher diet was denied, and that of Jewish inmates who received kosher or
orthodox kosher meals. The court held that the prison's refusal to provide the inmate with a kosher meat diet
implicated the Free Exercise Clause, given the inmate's sincere belief that he was personally required to consume
kosher meat to maintain his spirituality. (Arizona Department of Corrections, Florence)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Smith v. Bruce, 568 F.Supp.2d 1277 (D.Kan. 2008). A Muslim prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a prison
food supplier, alleging that the supplier violated his First Amendment freedom of religion rights by serving
gelatin with an animal byproduct in a religious vegetarian diet. The district court denied the supplier’s motion for
summary judgment. The court held that summary judgment was denied by genuine issues of material fact as to
the sincerity of the prisoner's religious beliefs and whether the supplier personally participated in the alleged
First Amendment violation through policy or custom. The court noted that the Muslim prisoner was not required
to show deliberate indifference on the part of the prison food supplier in order to establish a violation of his First
Amendment freedom of religion rights via the supplier's alleged custom or policy of providing nonvegetarian
gelatin to prisoners with religious diets, but rather that the alleged violation was an affirmative act rather than a
failure to act. (Aramark Correctional Services, Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Stanko v. Patton, 568 F.Supp.2d 1061 (D.Neb. 2008). A pretrial detainee brought two actions against jail
personnel alleging a number of constitutional violations. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The court noted that the detainee “…is a white supremacist. He is also a prolific pro se litigator who
makes a habit of suing jail and prison officials when he is charged with a crime. Those facts are central to
understanding these related civil cases.” The court held that the detainee's alleged belief in the Church of the
Creator and “White Man's Bible” was not protected and the jail had valid reasons for denying the detainee's
alleged religious dietary requests. (Douglas County Correctional Center, Nebraska)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL
RELIGIOUS DIET

Thomas v. Northern, 574 F.Supp.2d 1029 (E.D.Mo. 2008). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action against
correctional officers alleging that they violated his constitutional rights. The district court granted summary
judgment for the officers and denied in part. The court held that the correctional officers did not violate the
inmate's Eighth Amendment rights by refusing to provide him with a replacement meal after he refused the meal
initially offered to him. The inmate had refused the meal because it contained pork. The court noted that there
was no evidence that the inmate ever told officials that he had a religious preference. (Southeast Correctional
Center, Missouri)
2009

U.S. District Court
INVOLUNTARY
NOURISHMENT

Al-Adahi v. Obama, 596 F.Supp.2d 111 (D.D.C. 2009). Aliens who were alleged enemy combatants engaging in
voluntary hunger strikes while detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, moved to enjoin
measures taken as part of a forced-feeding program. The district court denied the motion. The court found that
the detainees failed to show a likelihood that they would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an order
enjoining the government from using a restraint-chair in order to facilitate force-feeding them. The court noted
that pursuant to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider
the complaints of detained alleged enemy combatants. According to the court, the government officials who
imposed various restraints on the detained alleged enemy combatants, including the use of a restraint chair, in
order to facilitate force-feeding them in response to their hunger strikes, were not thereby deliberately indifferent
to their Eighth Amendment rights. The court found that evidence that the detained alleged enemy combatants
had assaulted medical staff and guards during attempts to force-feed them after the detainees engaged in hunger
strikes, demonstrated that the government might suffer a substantial injury if the detainees' request for a
preliminary injunction against the use of a restraint-chair to facilitate such feedings were granted. (U.S. Naval
Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Cardinal v. Metrish, 564 F.3d 794 (6th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought an action against a warden seeking
monetary damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. The prisoner asserted violations of the Eighth
Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) based on the failure to
provide him with kosher food which resulted in his not eating for eight days. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the warden. The prisoner appealed. The court held that the warden was entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity on the prisoner's claim seeking monetary damages for the alleged violation of the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) for not providing him with kosher meals.
According to the court, even though the state accepted federal funds for its prisons, RLUIPA did not contain a
clear indication that receipt of federal prison funds was unambiguously conditioned on a state's consent to be
sued for monetary damages. The court held that there was no evidence that the warden knew of and disregarded
an excessive risk to the prisoner's health or safety, as required to support the prisoner's claim against the warden
for deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment based on failure to provide
him with kosher food. (Hiawatha Correctional Facility, Michigan)

XXII

18.26

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET
COSTS

Dawson v. Burnett, 631 F.Supp.2d 878 (W.D.Mich. 2009). A state prisoner, who was a practicing Buddhist,
brought an action against prison officials arising out of the alleged denial of the prisoner's request to eat a strict
vegetarian (vegan) diet. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact
as to whether the prisoner's desire to eat a vegan diet was based upon or required by his Buddhist religious
belief. According to the court, the prison officials' argument that a strict vegan menu was more costly than the
vegetarian menu already available to the prisoner was irrelevant to demonstrating a legitimate penological
interest, since prison officials already provided a vegan menu to those prisoners whose religious beliefs
compelled such a diet. The court held that the State of Michigan, by accepting federal prison funds, did not
waive Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity from a monetary suit brought by the prisoner under the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), arising out of his alleged denial of a strict
vegan diet as a practicing Buddhist. The court found that the prisoner could not recover monetary damages
against individual prison officials in their personal capacity under RLUIPA, since neither were recipients of
federal prison funds and RLUIPA did not provide for the recovery. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Foster v. Runnels, 554 F.3d 807 (9th Cir. 2009). A female inmate brought a civil rights action against a prison
official, alleging the official deprived her of 16 meals over a 23-day period in violation of the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The district court entered summary judgment
for the official, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the
official's conduct in allegedly depriving the inmate of 16 meals over a 23-day period for the inmate’s failure to
remove a paper from the rear window of her cell was a sufficiently serious deprivation of a life necessity, as
required to establish violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The
court noted that the official's argument-- that the alleged deprivation was due to the inmate's personal choice not
to comply with a prison policy-- failed to demonstrate how the inmate's failure to remove a paper from a window
jeopardized her safety or security during in-cell feeding. The court found that the official was not entitled to
qualified immunity because the inmate's right to adequate meals was clearly established, and the case law
alerting prison officials to their obligations to provide inmates with adequate meals should have put the official
on notice of her Eighth Amendment rights. (High Desert State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Gallagher v. Shelton, 587 F.3d 1063 (10th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against various prison
officials alleging his right to free exercise of religion and equal treatment were violated. The district court
dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and
remanded. The court held that isolated acts of negligence, in which prison officials failed to approve the state
prisoner's requests for religious accommodations in a timely fashion, did not amount to a violation of the
prisoner's right to free exercise of religion. The court noted that on one occasion the prisoner requested fried
food on a religious holiday and the request was approved one month after the holiday, and on another occasion
the prisoner requested two sack lunch meal accommodations for days of religious fasting and the requests were
approved two days after the days of fasting had already passed. The court found that prison officials' improper
cleaning of serving utensils reserved for kosher food, by washing those utensils with non-kosher utensils, did not
amount to a violation of the state prisoner's right to free exercise of religion. According to the court, the act
amounted to a single violation of a kosher diet, not a prison policy, and the allegation showed only that the
prison imperfectly implemented kosher requirements or were negligent in implementing a kosher diet, not that
prison officials deliberately contaminated the kosher utensils. (Norton Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Gay v. Chandra, 652 F.Supp.2d 959 (S.D.Ill. 2009). A state prisoner, who suffered from antisocial and
narcissistic personality disorders, brought a § 1983 action against a psychiatrist who treated him in prison,
alleging that conditions of confinement to which the psychiatrist subjected him violated the Eighth Amendment.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the psychiatrist in part, and denied in part. The court
held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the cell where the
prisoner was restrained naked was excessively cold, and as to whether the psychiatrist knew that the prisoner
would in fact be restrained naked in excessively low temperatures. Similarly, the court found fact issues as to
whether the psychiatrist's decision not to allow the prisoner to wear any clothing while he was restrained denied
the prisoner a “civilized measure” of life's necessities, and as to whether the psychiatrist was deliberately
indifferent to the fact that the prisoner was restrained without clothes. According to the court, summary
judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the psychiatrist's denial of food to the
prisoner while the prisoner was restrained for 32 hours constituted an Eighth Amendment violation. (Tamms
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Goodvine v. Swiekatowski, 594 F.Supp.2d 1049 (W.D.Wis. 2009). A state inmate brought an action against a
state, its department of corrections, and various prison officials, alleging that interference with the practice of his
Muslim faith violated § 1983, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and state law.
A screening of the complaint for frivolous claims was required under the provisions of the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA). The court held that the inmate's allegations stated a claim against prison officials under
RLUIPA. The court found that a rule that limited religious materials he could own to one soft cover text and that
he was unable to practice his faith without his tariqah materials and additional religious texts did not violate the
Free Exercise Clause. The court held that the denial of the inmate's request to purchase a Qur'an while in
segregation, and the denial of the inmate's request for a halal diet did not violate the Free Exercise Clause.
According to the court, refusal to provide sandwiches to the inmate to break fast did not violate RLUIPA, and
prison officials' failure to “establish the Qiblah” for the inmate did not violate the Free Exercise Clause or
RLUIPA. The court found that the inmate's allegations, that a prison chaplain discriminated against him by
providing Christian inmates with free copies of the Bible and denied him an available free copy of the Qur'an,
stated a claim against the chaplain under the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause, The court held

XXII

18.27

that the inmate's allegations that prison officials modified meal schedules for Christians wishing to fast for
religious purposes but not for Muslims, stated a claim against prison officials under the Establishment Clause
and the Equal Protection Clause. (Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Jova v. Smith, 582 F.3d 410 (2nd Cir. 2009). Prisoners brought a pro se action against prison officials alleging
violation of their rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of officials. The prisoners appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the prison's restrictions on the prisoners' practice
of the Tulukeesh religion, which limited the practice to the privacy of the prisoner's cell and keeping a holy book
with the prison chaplain from whom the prisoners' could seek permission to read it, served prison officials'
compelling security and administrative interests, for the purposes of the prisoners' action alleging violation of
their rights under RLUIPA. The court found that prison officials' refusal to comply with some of the prisoners'
dietary demands, which were allegedly required by the prisoners' Tulukeesh religion, was the least restrictive
means of satisfying the officials' compelling administrative burden, where the dietary requests were highly
detailed and required specific foods (and portions thereof) on individual days of the week, and that such foods be
prepared by Tulukeesh adherents. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether prison officials could provide a less restrictive substitute for the religious
alternative menu. Officials' refused to comply with their request for a vegan diet that did not include soybeans, as
required by their Tulukeesh religion. (Shawangunk Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
SPECIAL DIET

Marquez v. Quarterman, 652 F.Supp.2d 785 (E.D.Tex. 2009). A prisoner, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, brought a § 1983 action complaining about the prison system's refusal to provide him with dentures.
The district held that the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment “deliberate
indifference to medical needs” claim under § 1983, where the prisoner complained about an inability to chew
food, stomach cramps, gas, and spastic colon, which resulted in a loss of weight of 13 pounds since his arrival at
the prison system. The court allowed the prisoner to proceed with his deliberate indifference claims against a
food services officer, who purportedly denied him a soft food diet, despite the prescription for it. (Polunsky Unit,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Mastroianni v. Reilly, 602 F.Supp.2d 425 (E.D.N.Y. 2009). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff
and medical personnel at a county correctional center, alleging a violation of his Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in part, and denied
in part. According to the court, jail staff was not, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, deliberately indifferent
to a known or obvious risk that the inmate would develop diabetes from an allegedly high starch diet, and staff
was not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's medical needs when he developed diabetes while incarcerated.
Prior to his incarceration, the inmate's physicians had advised him to observe a low-salt, low-fat diet. The inmate
did not recall his physicians advising him that starches and sugars could increase his blood sugar. Upon
discovery of the inmate's elevated blood sugar levels, he was placed on a diabetic diet, received daily blood
glucose tests, and was prescribed diabetic medications. (Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Mays v. Springborn, 575 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials, asserting
claims based on strip searches at prisons and alleged retaliation for his complaints about the searches, denial of
his request for dietary supplements which he considered to be religious necessities, alleged inadequacy of his
diet, failure to issue certain winter clothing items, and censorship of pages in a magazine mailed to him. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials on the claims about prison food and clothing
and granted the officials judgment as a matter of law on the claims about strip searches, retaliation, and
censorship. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The
appeals court held that the prisoner failed to meet the burden of proving that the prison's asserted penological
reason for denying dietary supplements was not legitimate. The prison had asserted that the supplements either
posed security threats or were not part of the prison's procurement program. The court held that there was no
evidence that the officials knew of and ignored any risk to the prisoner posed by his diet, as required to support
his claim that the officials violated the Eighth Amendment because the food given to the prisoner lacked
adequate nutrition. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868 (7th Cir. 2009). A Roman Catholic prisoner sued a prison chaplain in his official
and individual capacities for alleged violations of his rights under the free exercise and establishment clauses of
the First Amendment, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), and the Illinois
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (IRFRA). The district court entered partial summary judgment in favor of
the chaplain, and, after a bench trial on the remaining issues, found against the prisoner on all counts. The
prisoner appealed. The appeals court held that the Roman Catholic prisoner's practice of his religion, which
compelled him to abstain from all meat on all Fridays and during Lent and to avoid the meat of four-legged
animals, was substantially burdened under the First Amendment, RLUIPA, and IRFRA by the requirement that
he document that his preferred diet was compelled by his religion. The court found that denial of the prisoner's
request that he not be given the meat of four-legged animals did not constitute a substantial burden on his
religious exercise for the purposes of the First Amendment, RLUIPA, and IRFRA since a regular diet would still
be nutritionally adequate if all meat of four-legged animals were skipped, and thus the prisoner was not put to a
choice between his religious beliefs and adequate nutrition. But the denial of a non-meat diet on Fridays and
during Lent substantially burdened the prisoner's practice of his religion. According to the court, since the
prisoner currently received a non-meat diet and there was no evidence that the prison intended to revoke the
prisoner's religious diet, the prisoner's claim for injunctive relief was moot. The court noted that RLUIPA, which
was enacted pursuant to the Spending Clause, could not subject state officials to suit in their individual
capacities. (Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois)

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18.28

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Owens-Ali v. Pennell, 672 F.Supp.2d 647 (D.Del. 2009). A pro se state prisoner, a Moorish American National
adherent, brought an action pursuant to § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA) against prison officials, in their individual and official capacities, alleging that the officials violated
his constitutional rights when they denied his request for a religious diet, and that the officials retaliated against
him for his attempts to exercise his religious beliefs. The prisoner requested counsel. The court held that the
prisoner's claims under § 1983 and RLUIPA for monetary damages against prison officials in their official
capacities were essentially claims against the state, and thus those claims were barred by the state’s Eleventh
Amendment immunity. The court held that prison supervisory officials could not be held liable under § 1983 for
alleged violations of the prisoner's constitutional rights in connection with his request for a religious diet absent a
showing that those officials were aware of his allegations and remained “deliberately indifferent” to his plight.
(James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Ramsey v. Goord, 661 F.Supp.2d 370 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
employees of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), alleging due process violations
in connection with a disciplinary hearing and violations of his constitutional rights relative to his temporary
removal from a kosher cold alternative diet (CAD) program. The employees moved for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded
by genuine issues of material fact as to whether a state prison correction officers' captain, correction officer,
and/or prison counselor were personally involved in the temporary removal of the Jewish prisoner from a kosher
cold alternative diet (CAD) program. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue
of material fact as to whether the Jewish prisoner's missing of more than 30 days of kosher meals during his
temporary removal from a kosher cold alternative diet (CAD) program constituted more than a de minimus
injury to the prisoner. The court also held that DOCS employees were not entitled to qualified immunity from
the Jewish prisoner's § 1983 claim that his temporary removal from a kosher cold alternative diet (CAD)
program violated his rights under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause, where it was clearly established
that a prisoner was entitled to a diet consistent with his religious beliefs, and that such beliefs were protected
under the Free Exercise Clause. (Southport Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Rendelman v. Rouse, 569 F.3d 182 (4th Cir. 2009). A state prisoner brought an action against state prison
officials in their official and individual capacities, seeking injunctive relief and damages under the Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and § 1983 based on the officials' refusal to make any
accommodation for his kosher dietary restrictions. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court dismissed in part and affirmed in part. The appeals court
held that RLUIPA did not authorize a claim for money damages against an official sued in her individual
capacity when invoked as a spending clause statute. The court held that the prisoner's claim for injunctive relief
under RLUIPA based on the state prison officials' refusal to make accommodations for his kosher dietary
restrictions was rendered moot by his transfer to a federal prison. The court noted that even if the prisoner's
claim was capable of repetition because there was a possibility that he could return to state prison if his appeal of
a federal conviction was successful, the claim would not likely persist in evading judicial review, as the prisoner
would have sufficient opportunity to re-initiate an action seeking injunctive relief if he returned to state prison.
(Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Shepard v. Peryam, 657 F.Supp.2d 1331 (S.D.Fla. 2009). A pro se inmate at a county jail, who professed to
follow the Muslim faith, brought a § 1983 action against a former county sheriff, the jail's director of program
services, and the jail's former and current directors of food services, alleging that the defendants' acts or
omissions abridged his First Amendment religious rights. The inmate sought preliminary injunctive relief. The
district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the revocation of the
inmate's Kosher diet due to his non-compliance with that diet did not constitute a violation of his First
Amendment rights, and the inmate was not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief. (Monroe County Detention
Center, Florida)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET
COSTS

Yaacov v. Collins, 649 F.Supp.2d 679 (N.D.Ohio 2009). A Jewish inmate brought a § 1983 suit alleging that his
First Amendment rights to free exercise were violated when he was denied a Kosher meal plan for three years.
The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that the decision to restrict
Kosher meals to prisoners registered as Orthodox Jews had a reasonable relationship to the legitimate
penological interest of cost control for budgetary reasons. The officials asserted that to properly prepare Kosher
meals would require expensive kitchens and that purchasing pre-packaged Kosher meals would cost $7.00 per
meal as compared to $0.80 per main-line meal. The court noted that the policy did not exclude all available
means for free exercise, but afforded the alternative of eating cereal, peanut butter, and fresh fruits and
vegetables. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Mansfield Correctional Institution)
2010

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Abdulhaseeb v. Calbone, 600 F.3d 1301 (10th Cir. 2010). A state prisoner who followed the Islamic faith
brought an action against prison employees and prison canteen workers under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and § 1983. The prisoner asserted claims challenging his conditions of
incarceration. The district court dismissed several of the prisoner's claims for failure to exhaust administrative
remedies and granted summary judgment in favor of workers and employees on the remaining claims. The
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that
the Islamic prisoner's claims against prison employees in their official capacities for violations of RLUIPA based
on their denial of his dietary requests were not moot, even though the prisoner had been transferred away from

XXIII

18.29

the prisons where some of the employees worked. The court noted that the reasons given for denying the
prisoner's requests involved Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) policies, the director of ODOC had
final policymaking authority for ODOC and remained a party to the litigation, the prisoner was still incarcerated
in ODOC's custody and was subject to its policies, and a judgment in his favor could have required ODOC to
modify those policies. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact
as to whether the denial of the prisoner's requests for a lawful Islamic diet substantially burdened his religious
exercise. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the denial of the prisoner's request
for meat for a religious feast that complied with Islamic dietary laws substantially burdened his religious
exercise. According to the court, forcing the Islamic prisoner to accept pudding and gelatin on his food tray on
one occasion, which allegedly rendered all food on the tray contaminated and inedible for him, did not amount to
a substantial burden on the prisoner's religious exercise in violation of RLUIPA. The court held that the state
department of corrections' policy of spending money on nonreligious items but not on religious ones did not
violate the Islamic prisoner's right to equal protection. (Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Great Plains Correctional
Facility, Oklahoma Department of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
NUTRITION
QUALITY
RELIGIOUS DIET

Antonetti v. Skolnik, 748 F.Supp.2d 1201 (D.Nev. 2010). A prisoner, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action
against various prison officials, alleging various constitutional claims, including violations of the First, Fifth,
Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court dismissed in part. The court held that the prisoner's
allegations were factually sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 claim that prison officials violated the Eighth
Amendment by depriving him of needed medical care. The court held that the prisoner's allegations were
sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 claim that he was deprived of personal hygienic items and sanitary
conditions in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the prisoner alleged he was regularly deprived of toilet
paper and soap, that he was only allowed to shower twice a week, that he was made to strip in dirty showers full
of filth and insects, that the unit in which he resided was littered with food and urine and contained open sewers,
and that he suffered illness as a result. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that the food he was
provided lacked nutritional value and was of lesser quality than food provided to other inmates, that officers
made trays of food from dirty food carts located next to inmate showers and that birds picked at the inmate's
food while the carts were outside were factually sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 Eighth Amendment
conditions of confinement claim. (High Desert State Prison, Nevada)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Ciempa v. Jones, 745 F.Supp.2d 1171 (N.D.Okla. 2010). An inmate brought claims against state prison officials
under § 1983 for alleged violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that prison officials did not violate the inmate's First
Amendment right to free exercise of religion, RLUIPA, the inmate’s due process rights, or equal protection, by
denying him access to particular issues of a religious publication based on guidelines prohibiting publications
that advocate terrorism, criminal behavior, racial, religious, or national hatred. According to the court, prison
officials' failure to provide the inmate with a Halal diet did not violate his rights under First Amendment or
RLUIPA, where the inmate failed to establish that such failure imposed a substantial burden on his religious
exercise, since the inmate stated that his religious needs could be satisfied by the provision of a Kosher diet.
(Dick Conner Correctional Center, Jess Dunn Correctional Center, Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282 (6th Cir. 2010). A state prisoner brought pro se action against prison officials,
asserting that the prison's 16–day denial of kosher meals, multiple mistakes in administering the kosher-meal
program, and the lack of Jewish services and literature at the prison, violated his constitutional rights and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court denied the prisoner's motion
for a preliminary injunction, and subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of the officials. The prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that the prisoner's
pro se claims for injunctive and declaratory relief under RLUIPA, challenging a particular prison's kosher meal
program and the alleged denial of Jewish services and literature at the prison, were rendered moot by the
prisoner’s transfer to another prison. The court noted that the claims were directed specifically at the particular
prison's policies and procedures, not at the state prison system's programs as a whole. The court found that the
prison chaplain was entitled to qualified immunity from liability, where, consistent with his job function, he
received the prisoner's request for kosher meals, checked the prisoner's eligibility, and was informed that the
prisoner was a Muslim and therefore not eligible for kosher meals. Once the mistake was discovered, the
chaplain and other prison officials worked as quickly as possible to ensure that the prisoner began receiving
kosher meals. The appeals court held that the prisoner's pro se claims for injunctive and declaratory relief under
RLUIPA, challenging his removal from a kosher meal program and his failure to be reinstated into the kosher
meal program, were not rendered moot by his transfer to another prison, noting that the prisoner's non-kosher
status traveled with him to the transferee prison. The court held that the prisoner’s amended claims against
prison officials, challenging his removal from a kosher meal program and his failure to be reinstated into the
kosher meal program following his transfer to a different prison, were not futile, for the purpose of the prisoner's
motion to amend. The court noted that the prisoner consistently stated his religious preference as Jewish
throughout his incarceration, and he submitted numerous grievances concerning alleged violations of kosher
practice by prison kitchen staff. (Michigan Department of Corrections, Alger Maximum Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Florer v. Bales-Johnson, 752 F.Supp.2d 1185 (W.D.Wash. 2010). A state prisoner brought an action under §
1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) against former and current food
program managers for a Department of Corrections (DOC) and a registered dietician employed by a prison,
alleging that the defendants violated his First and Eighth Amendment rights and his rights under RLUIPA in
their creation of kosher and mainline diets. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted summary judgment. The court held that: (1) the kosher diet menus did not deprive the prisoner of

XXIII

18.30

sufficient calories and nutrients to sustain him and maintain his health; (2) a Passover menu did not deprive the
prisoner of sufficient calories and nutrients to sustain him and maintain his health; (3) provision of kosher food
to the prisoner did not substantially interfere with his ability to freely exercise his religion, as would violate the
First Amendment and RLUIPA; and (4) the use of a fortified fruit drink in lieu of milk did not violate the Eighth
Amendment. (Washington State Department of Corrections)
U.S. Appeals Court
NUTRITION
FOOD QUALITY

Graves v. Arpaio, 623 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir, 2010). Pretrial detainees in a county jail system brought a class action
against a county sheriff and the county supervisors board, alleging violation of the detainees' civil rights. The
parties entered into a consent decree which was superseded by an amended judgment entered by stipulation of
the parties. The defendants moved to terminate the amended judgment. The district court entered a second
amended judgment which ordered prospective relief for the pretrial detainees. The district court awarded
attorney fees to the detainees. The sheriff appealed the second amended judgment. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by ordering prospective relief requiring the
sheriff to house all detainees taking psychotropic medications in temperatures not exceeding 85 degrees and
requiring the sheriff to provide food to pretrial detainees that met or exceeded the United States Department of
Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (Maricopa County Sheriff, Jail, Maricopa County Supervisors,
Arizona)

U.S. District Court
EQUAL PROTECTION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Green v. Tudor, 685 F.Supp.2d 678 (W.D.Mich. 2010). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against four
employees at a prison for claims arising from his access to a prison law library and the adequacy of the prison's
food service. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court
held that the inmate failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to bringing his claim against an assistant
librarian alleging denial of access to courts through a denied “call-out” request. The court found that the assistant
librarian did not engage in retaliatory conduct against the inmate and did not deny the inmate equal protection.
According to the court, the failure of the prison's assistant food service director to provide hot meals during a
religious holiday observed by the inmate did not violate the inmate's right to equal protection, absent evidence
that the director supplied prisoners of other faiths with hot meals during non-daylight hours. The court held that
the assistant food service director did not coerce the inmate, an Orthodox Muslim, into participating in Jewish
religious practices, and did not take any actions establishing a state religion, so as to violate the Establishment
Clause of the First Amendment. The court held that the alleged denial by the prison's assistant food service
director of adequate advance notice of meal substitutions, hot meals during non-daylight hours during a religious
holiday, and adequate nutritional calories to the Muslim inmate was rationally related to legitimate governmental
and penological interests of prison security and fiscal budgetary discipline, and thus the denials did not violate
the inmate's First Amendment free exercise rights. The court noted that the inmate retained alternative means for
practicing his Muslim faith, and granting requests for specialized diets would be expensive and would divert
resources from other penological goals. (Muskegon Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
DISCIPLINE
NUTRITION
SEGREGATION
SPECIAL DIET

Greene v. Esgrow, 686 F.Supp.2d 240 (W.D.N.Y. 2010). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that
prison officials improperly executed a restricted-diet disciplinary sentence. The district court granted the
officials’ motion to dismiss. The court held that imposition of a forty-two meal restricted-diet disciplinary
sentence did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, absent a
showing that the food that inmate was given was nutritionally inadequate, or that his health was adversely
affected or jeopardized by his being placed on the restricted diet. (New York State Department of Correctional
Services, Southport Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
SPECIAL DIET

Little v. Jones, 607 F.3d 1245 (10th Cir. 2010). A state prisoner, who was a Seventh Day Adventist, brought a §
1983 action against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) employees, alleging that employees
violated his constitutional rights in denying him a vegan diet. The district court granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss the complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and denied the prisoner's motion for
preliminary injunction. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded. The court held that, under the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) grievance procedures,
the Administrative Reviewing Authority (ARA) exceeded its authority when it rejected the prisoner's grievance
appeal regarding his claim to a vegan diet as part of his religious practices because it contained multiple issues,
thereby preventing the prisoner from completing the grievance process. According to the court, the prisoner's
failure to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to the vegan diet claim, in accordance with PLRA’s
exhaustion requirement, would be excused, and the prisoner could pursue that claim in his § 1983 action against
ODOC employees. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Mack Alford Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
KITCHEN SANITATION
PRIVATE PROVIDER

Smith-Bey v. CCA/CTF, 703 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2010). A District of Columbia inmate brought a § 1983 action
against a prison, the private corporation that ran the prison, and a food services company, alleging the prison's
kitchen was so poorly maintained and infested with vermin that being forced to eat food prepared there
amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved to
dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the two instances in
which the inmate discovered cockroaches in his food, "while certainly unpleasant," did establish an Eighth
Amendment violation. (Correctional Treatment Facility, Washington, D.C.)

U.S. District Court
SANITATION

Varricchio v. County of Nassau, 702 F.Supp.2d 40 (E.D.N.Y. 2010). A detainee brought a § 1983 action against
a county and officials, alleging civil rights violations. The defendants moved for dismissal. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee adequately alleged that he was
denied his right to a speedy trial and that he was presumptively prejudiced by the delay, as required to state a §
1983 claim for a Sixth Amendment violation. The detainee alleged he was held for two years in prison prior to

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18.31

receiving trial for the charge of violating a protective order, and that he was subsequently found not guilty.
The court held that the detainee adequately alleged that his conditions of confinement constituted cruel and
unusual punishment, as required to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The detainee alleged that he received
tainted food that contained bodily waste, soap, metal pins, and staples, and that, when he went on a hunger strike
to protest his legal situation, deputy sheriffs were taking bets on when he would start eating again. (Nassau
County Sheriff's Department, New York)
U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Ward v. Rabideau, 732 F.Supp.2d 162 (W.D.N.Y. 2010). Jewish prison inmates at a state correctional facility
brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, alleging their First Amendment rights were violated by the
defendants' failure to properly accommodate their religious needs. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by
genuine issues of material fact as to whether “special circumstances” existed so as to excuse the two inmates'
failure to exhaust administrative remedies, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), prior to
bringing a § 1983 action against prison officials. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by
genuine issues of material fact as to whether a correctional officer treated Jewish prison inmates differently on
account of their religion. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether cold alternative
meals available in a state correctional institution violated the Jewish inmates' constitutional right to a kosher diet,
pursuant to the inmates' rights to religious liberty under First Amendment. According to the court, summary
judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether prison officials prevented Jewish
inmates from having materials necessary to their worship, on the inmates' claim that the officials failed to make
reasonable accommodation to their religious beliefs in violation of the First Amendment, by not providing a
rabbi or religious materials in the correctional facility. (Groveland Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Willis v. Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of Correction, 753 F.Supp.2d 768 (S.D.Ind. 2010). A Jewish inmate
brought a class action against a Department of Corrections (DOC), alleging denial of kosher meals in violation
of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and his First Amendment free exercise of
religion rights. Cross motions for summary judgment were filed. The motions were granted in part and denied in
part. The district court held that: (1) the denial of a kosher diet substantially burdened the inmate's religious
exercise; (2) the increased costs of providing kosher meals to inmates was not a compelling interest; (3) the DOC
did not establish that providing vegan meals to Jewish inmates was the least restrictive means of furthering a
compelling government interest; (4) enforcement of a prison policy violated the First Amendment as applied to
the Jewish inmate; and (5) the chaplain knowingly applied the policy in violation of the Jewish inmate's First
Amendment rights. According to the court, requiring inmates with religious diet cards to eat 75% of their meals
using the card or have the card suspended violated the First Amendment as applied to the Jewish inmate who
could only eat kosher meals pursuant to his beliefs. The court noted that the inmate used his card for all available
meals, which was only two-thirds of mealtimes as the prison did not provide kosher breakfasts, and the inmate
had no alternative to the kosher diet once the prison suspended his card. (New Castle Corr’l Facility, Indiana)
2011

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Barnes v. Fedele, 760 F.Supp.2d 296 (W.D.N.Y. 2011). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
officials or employees of New York's Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), alleging that the defendants
violated his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to
dismiss in part and denied in part. The court held that the state prisoner failed to allege that he was treated
differently on account of his religion, as would support his equal protection claim, where nothing in the
prisoner's complaint suggested that any similarly situated inmates of a different faith were treated more
favorably than him, or that he was singled out for discriminatory treatment on account of his religion. The
prisoner had alleged that Rastafarian, but not Jewish, inmates were permitted to wear crowns. The court also
found that the prisoner failed to assert any factual allegations to support his claim under § 1983 that a prison
employee denied him a Kosher diet. According to the court, a prison rabbi did not violate the prisoner's
constitutional rights, and thus was not liable under § 1983, by allegedly failing to respond to one of the
prisoner’s letters, and by responding to the prisoner's complaints regarding religion rules in a way in which the
prisoner was unhappy. (Southport Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Roberts v. Klein, 770 F.Supp.2d 1102 (D.Nev. 2011). A Black state prisoner filed a civil rights action against
prison administrators and employees alleging violation of his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion,
his statutory rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), and the Equal
Protection Clause. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in
part. The court held that the prisoner stated a claim that prison officials and employees violated his religious
rights under the First Amendment, RLUIPA, and the Equal Protection Clause on allegations that they
implemented and enforced a policy that denied him kosher meals because his Jewish faith had not been verified
by an outside entity, and the prison did not show that there was valid rational connection between the prison
regulation and a legitimate government interest. (Southern Desert Correctional Center, Nevada)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Vinning-El v. Evans, 657 F.3d 591 (7th Cir. 2011). A state inmate brought an action against correctional facility
officials, alleging violations of § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)
based on their denial of his request for a vegan diet, which he claimed was required by his religious practices.
The district court entered an order granting in part and denying in part the officials' motion for summary
judgment, and they appealed. The appeals court held that the inmate could not recover monetary damages
against officials under RLUIPA. According to the court, the inmate's action against the officials was treated as
an action against the state, and monetary damages were not available against a state under RLUIPA.
(Pinckneyville Correctional Center, Illinois)

XXIII

18.32

2012
U.S. District Court
SPECIAL DIET

Bektic-Marrero v. Goldberg, 850 F.Supp.2d 418 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). The wife of an inmate who died of cancerrelated causes while in the custody of a county department of correction (DOC) brought an action against the
county, DOC officials, and entities that contracted with the county to provide medical care and treatment to
DOC inmates and employees of those entitles. The wife alleged under § 1983 that the inmate received
inadequate medical care, and asserted related state-law claims for wrongful death and medical malpractice. The
defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim and/or for summary judgment. The district court granted
summary judgment for the defendants in part, and denied in part. The court held that the physicians who were
under contract with the county to provide medical services to inmates at the county jail on a part-time basis acted
under the color of state law, within the meaning of § 1983, when they treated the inmate, and thus the physicians
were subject to liability under § 1983. The court held that the allegations that the health care coordinator for the
DOC denied or delayed responding to the wife's request for the inmate's medical records, which she hoped to use
to have the inmate's parole restored and to seek a second medical opinion, and that the coordinator expressly
denied the wife's request to provide the inmate with a liquid dietary supplement which wife would supply at her
own cost, sufficiently pled the coordinator's personal involvement in the alleged deprivation of necessary
medical care to the inmate, so as to subject the coordinator to liability under § 1983. (Westchester County
Department of Correction, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Colvin v. Caruso, 852 F.Supp.2d 862 (W.D.Mich. 2012). A state prisoner filed a § 1983 action against prison
officials, asserting that the prison's 16-day denial of kosher meals, mistakes in administering the kosher-meal
program, and lack of Jewish services and literature at the prison violated his constitutional rights and Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court denied the prisoner's motion for a
preliminary injunction, and subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of the officials, and denied
prisoner's motion to amend and second motion for preliminary injunction. The prisoner appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. On remand, the district court held that the prison's “zero
tolerance” policy for possession of even one non-kosher food item violated the Free Exercise Clause and
RLUIPA. But the court determined that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity where there had not
been any determination that the regulation was in any way deficient at the time of the officials' actions. The court
held that the prison's use of questionnaire about the inmate's knowledge of his designated religion was proper.
According to the court, the officials' failure to reinstate the inmate to his kosher diet regimen violated the
inmate's rights but punitive damages were not warranted. The court awarded $1 in nominal damages where the
inmate did not look like he missed many meals as a result of the officials' actions, and there was no evidence of
physical injury. The court noted that even though the prison had economic interest in restricting kosher diet to
prisoners who had a sincere belief that the diet was necessary to practice their religion, where the inmate had no
other means of eating, there was no evidence that providing a modicum of flexibility would have a ripple effect
on prison staff or inmates or would escalate the cost of providing kosher meals. (Michigan Department of
Corrections, Alger Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
HEALTH STANDARDS
SEGREGATION

Henderson v. Thomas, 913 F.Supp.2d 1267 (M.D.Ala. 2012). Seven HIV-positive inmates brought an action on
behalf of themselves and class of all current and future HIV-positive inmates incarcerated in Alabama
Department of Corrections (ADOC) facilities, alleging that ADOC's HIV segregation policy discriminated
against them on the basis of their disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and
Rehabilitation Act. After a non-jury trial, the district court held that: (1) the class representatives had standing to
sue; (2) the claims were not moot even though one inmate had been transferred, where it was reasonable to
believe that the challenged practices would continue; (3) inmates housed in a special housing unit were
“otherwise qualified,” or reasonable accommodation would render them “otherwise qualified;” (4) the blanket
policy of categorically segregating all HIV-positive inmates in a special housing unit violated ADA and the
Rehabilitation Act; (5) housing HIV-positive inmates at other facilities would not impose an undue burden on
the state; and (6) food-service policies that excluded HIV-positive inmates from kitchen jobs within prisons and
prohibited HIV-positive inmates from holding food-service jobs in the work-release program irrationally
excluded HIV-positive inmates from programs for which they were unquestionably qualified and therefore
violated ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. (Alabama Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Jones v. Hobbs, 864 F.Supp.2d 808 (E.D.Ark. 2012). A prisoner brought an action against various state
department of correction (DOC) officials, alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) whether officials impeded the prisoner's efforts to
secure a diet which comported with the dictates of his religion; (2) whether fiscal and security concerns were
rationally connected to the denial of a religious diet; (3) whether the prisoner had a sufficient alternative means
to practice his religion; (4) whether there was an alternative way to accommodate the prisoner's request for a
vegan meal at de minimis cost to valid penological interests; and (5) whether the prisoner's right to a diet suiting
his religious beliefs was clearly established. (Arkansas Department of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET
EQUAL PROTECTION

Moussazadeh v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, 703 F.3d 781 (5th Cir. 2012). A Jewish state prisoner brought
an action against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, alleging that the defendant denied his grievances
and requests for kosher meals in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA) and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The district court entered summary judgment for
the defendant and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the state
Jewish prisoner exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to his claim that a prison's failure to provide
him with kosher meals violated RLUIPA, where the prisoner went through the state's entire grievance process

18.33

before filing suit. The court found that sufficient evidence established that the prisoner's religious beliefs were
sincere, as required to support a claim against state's department of criminal justice for violation of RLUIPA,
where the prisoner stated that he was born and raised Jewish and had always kept a kosher household, the
prisoner offered evidence that he requested kosher meals from the chaplain, kitchen staff, and the department,
and while at another prison, he ate kosher meals provided to him from the dining hall. The court noted that the
prisoner was harassed for his adherence to his religious beliefs and for his demands for kosher food, and that the
department transferred the prisoner for a time so he could receive kosher food. The court held that the prisoner
was denied a generally available benefit because of his religious beliefs, and thus, the state's department of
criminal justice imposed a substantial burden on the prisoner's religious exercise under RLUIPA, where every
prisoner in the department's custody received a nutritionally sufficient diet, every observant Jewish prisoner at
the designated prison received a kosher diet free of charge, and the Jewish prisoner at issue was forced to pay for
his kosher meals. The court found that there was no evidence of a compelling government interest in forcing the
Jewish prisoner to pay for all of his kosher meals. The court also found that summary judgment was precluded
by a general dispute of material fact as to whether the state's department of criminal justice employed the least
restrictive means of minimizing costs and maintaining security by forcing the Jewish prisoner to pay for all of
his kosher meals. (Eastham Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division)
U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE
NUTRITION
SPECIAL DIET

Prude v. Clarke, 675 F.3d 732 (7th Cir. 2012). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff and jail
personnel, alleging that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment
as a result of his exclusive diet of nutriloaf, a bad-tasting food given to prisoners as a form of punishment. The
parties moved for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants and the
inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that summary
judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether jail officials were aware that the
inmate was being sickened by his exclusive diet of nutriloaf, yet did nothing about it. According to the court,
deliberate withholding of nutritious food from a prison inmate, or substitution of a tainted or otherwise sickening
food, with the effect of causing substantial weight loss, vomiting, stomach pains, and maybe an anal fissure, or
other severe hardship, violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
(Milwaukee County Jail, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Schwartz v. Lassen County ex rel. Lassen County Jail (Detention Facility), 838 F.Supp.2d 1045 (E.D.Cal. 2012).
The mother of a deceased pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action on behalf of herself and as successor in interest against a county, sheriff, city, police department, and several officers, alleging violations of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied
in part. The court held that allegations that: (1) the undersheriff knew the pretrial detainee from various encounters with the county, including his diverticulitis and congenital heart condition that required a restricted diet; (2)
the undersheriff gave testimony to set bail for the detainee at $150,000 on a misdemeanor offense; (3) the detainee's doctor sent a letter explaining the detainee should be put on house arrest as opposed to detention because
of his medical condition; (4) the detainee had to be admitted to a hospital for emergency surgery during a previous confinement; (5) the detainee's mother requested he be released for medical attention; (6) the detainee lost
over 40 pounds during two weeks of detention; (7) the detainee requested to see a doctor but was told to “quit
complaining;” and (8) the undersheriff personally knew the detainee was critically ill, were sufficient to plead
that the undersheriff knew of and failed to respond to the detainee's serious medical condition, as would be deliberate indifference required to state a § 1983 claim alleging violations of Fourteenth Amendment due process
after the detainee died. The court found that allegations that the undersheriff owed the pretrial detainee an affirmative duty to keep the jail and prisoners in it, and that he was answerable for their safekeeping, were sufficient to plead a duty, as required to state a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) under California law against the undersheriff after the detainee died. (Lassen County Adult Detention Facility, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Sisney v. Reisch, 674 F.3d 839 (8th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action against prison
officials, alleging that the officials violated his First Amendment free exercise rights when they denied his
requests to erect, and eat his meals in, a temporary structure during a Jewish festival. The district court entered
judgment in favor of the officials, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held
that prison officials did not violate the prisoner's clearly established First Amendment free exercise rights when
they denied his requests to erect and eat his meals in a temporary structure or “succah” during a Jewish festival,
entitling them to qualified immunity. According to the court, it was not apparent that the contours of a prisoner's
right to reasonable dietary and meal accommodations extended to the use of a succah. (South Dakota State
Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
SPECIAL DIET

Starr v. Moore, 849 F.Supp.2d 205 (D.N.H. 2012). A state prisoner brought an action against a prison employee
and others, alleging First Amendment retaliation and violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, in connection
with employee's alleged conduct of telling other inmates that they were no longer receiving special meals on
holidays as a result of a prior lawsuit filed by prisoner. The prisoner moved to exclude evidence of his prior
lawsuits and grievances. The district court held that evidence of the prisoner's subsequent grievances and
lawsuits against prison employees was relevant and that alleged prior statements by the employee, blaming the
prisoner for a prison policy of no longer providing special meals to prisoners on holidays, were admissible as
prior bad acts. (Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Taylor v. Dormire, 690 F.3d 898 (8th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials,
alleging that the officials refused to feed the prisoner for several days while he was restrained in connection with
his removal from his cell, based on his declaration of his cellmate as an enemy. The district court entered
judgment on the jury's verdict for the officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded.
The appeals court held that the district court’s error was not harmless as to its failure to give the prisoner's

18.34

requested instruction on nominal damages. The court noted that the jury had been instructed that damages
constituted a required element of a verdict in favor of the prisoner and that if any element was not proven then
the verdict had to be in favor of prison officials. According to the court, the jury must have considered the
damages issue, since it wrote a symbol for “zero” in the space on the verdict form for damages. (Jefferson City
Correctional Center, Missouri)
2013
U.S. District Court
COMMISSARY
RELIGIOUS DIET

Borkholder v. Lemmon, 983 F.Supp.2d 1013 (N.D.Ind. 2013). A prisoner brought an action against state prison
officials seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the officials' decision to revoke his vegan diet.
Both parties moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the officials’ motion, granted the prisoner’s
motion, and entered an injunction. The court held that the fact that the prisoner's vegan diet had been restored did
not render moot his declaratory judgment action against state prison officials, in which he alleged that they
violated his religious rights by revoking his vegan diet for purchasing chicken-flavored ramen noodles, because
no vegetarian noodles were available to him, and his vegan diet was subject to revocation anytime he ordered
ramen noodles, regardless of whether he consumed the seasoning packet containing chicken. The court found
that the prisoner demonstrated a substantial burden to his religious practice, satisfying his initial burden under
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), where the prisoner held a religious belief
that required him to adhere to a vegan diet, he purchased chicken-flavored ramen noodles from the state prison
commissary, the commissary did not carry a vegetarian noodle option, the prisoner did not eat the meat flavoring
packet but instead discarded it, and the prisoner's vegan diet was revoked solely due to his noodle purchase.
According to the court, prison officials' revocation of the prisoner's vegan diet was not the least restrictive means
to further a compelling governmental interest, and thus the officials did not meet their burden under RLUIPA to
justify such action,. The court noted that although the state prison policy dictated that personal preference diet
cards could be confiscated if a prisoner abused or misused the privilege by voluntarily consuming self-prohibited
foods, and such policy was legitimately geared toward weeding out insincere requests, the prisoner's purchase of
noodles with a meat seasoning packet did not mean that his beliefs were insincere. The district court decision
opened by stating: “It is not every day that someone makes a federal case out of ramen noodles. But
unfortunately that's what Joshus Borkholder had to do.” (Miami Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Conway v. Purves, 963 F.Supp.2d 708 (E.D.Mich. 2013). State prisoners brought an action against a state
department of corrections (DOC) and its officials challenging the nutritional adequacy of the meals provided to
the prisoners during the Islamic month of Ramadan, and asserting claims for violation of the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and constitutional violations. The plaintiffs moved for a preliminary
injunction or a temporary restraining order (TRO) to require the department of corrections and its officials to
provide nutritionally balanced meals containing between 2600 and 2900 calories on any given day during
Ramadan. The district court denied the motion, finding that the prisoners failed to show certain and immediate
irreparable harm, as required for a preliminary injunction. The court noted that Ramadan had recently concluded,
that any harm that the prisoners could suffer approximately one year in the future was speculative, and the action
would likely be resolved prior to the next Ramadan observance. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
FOOD
SANITATION

Duran v. Merline, 923 F.Supp.2d 702 (D.N.J. 2013). A former pretrial detainee at a county detention facility
brought a pro se § 1983 action against various facility officials and employees, the company which provided
food and sanitation services to the facility, and the medical services provider, alleging various constitutional torts
related to his pretrial detention. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motions in part and denied in part. The district court held that fact issues precluded summary judgment on: (1)
the conditions of confinement claim against a former warden in his official capacity; (2) an interference with
legal mail claim against a correctional officer that alleged that the facility deliberately withheld the detainee's
legal mail during a two-week period; (3) a First Amendment retaliation claim based on interference with legal
mail; and (4) a claim for inadequate medical care as to whether the detainee's Hepatitis C condition was a serious
medical condition that required treatment and whether the provider denied such treatment because it was too
costly. The detainee asserted that overcrowding at the county detention facility, which allegedly led to the
detainee being forced to sleep and eat his meals next to open toilet, and led to inmate-on-inmate violence,
contributed to his assault by another inmate. According to the court, the long-standing conditions of confinement
whereby the county detention facility was overcrowded for at least 24 years and facility officials “triple-celled”
inmates, allegedly leading to unsanitary conditions, amounted to a “custom” for the purposes of the former
detainee's § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against a former warden in his
official capacity.
The court held that the food service provider's serving the detainee cold meals for a 45-day period while the
kitchen in the county detention facility was being renovated, was not “punishment,” as would support the
inmate's § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against the provider, absent evidence
that the food served to the detainee was spoiled or contaminated, that a significant portion of the detainee's diet
consisted of such food, or that the food service caused more than a temporary discomfort. The court also held
that the alleged actions of the food service provider in serving the detainee one food item when another ran out,
failing to serve bread with the inmate's meal, serving the inmate leftovers from days before, serving juice in a
dirty container on one occasion, serving milk after its expiration date, and serving meals on cracked trays that
caused the detainee to contract food poisoning, did not amount to a substantial deprivation of food sufficient to
amount to unconstitutional conditions of confinement, as would violate the inmate's due process rights. (Atlantic
County Justice Facility, New Jersey)

18.35

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
UTENSILS

Earl v. Racine County Jail, 718 F.3d 689 (7th Cir. 2013). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a county jail
and various jail officers, asserting claims for denial of due process and deliberate indifference to his serious
medical condition. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the inmate's five days on suicide watch were
neither long enough nor harsh enough to deprive him of a due-process-protected liberty interest, where: (1) the
only changes to the inmate's meals were that trays upon which food was served were disposable foam rather than
plastic; (2) eating utensils were quickly removed after each meal; (3) the inmate was not denied bedding but was
given a mattress and a blanket; (4) the inmate was denied writing materials for only the first 48 hours; and (5)
rather than being prohibited human contact, deputies were assigned to closely and personally monitor the inmate
to ensure his safety. The court found that jail officers were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's allergic
reaction to suicide garments in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that after the inmate told an
officer about his allergic reaction to a suicide gown, the officer called a nurse who immediately examined the
inmate and gave him cream and medication, and the officers appropriately deferred to the nurse's medical
decision that the inmate did not need different garments because there was no sign of rash or bumps on the
inmate. (Racine County Jail, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET
EQUAL PROTECTION

Furnace v. Sullivan, 705 F.3d 1021 (9th Cir. 2013). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action against
correctional officers, alleging they used excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment by spraying him
with an excessive quantity of pepper spray, and that they violated his rights to equal protection under the
Fourteenth Amendment rights when they denied him a vegetarian breakfast as required by his religion. The
officers moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motions, and the inmate appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the inmate posed a threat to correctional officers, and
as to whether the officers' discharge of pepper spray on the inmate was required to gain his compliance. The
court found that correctional officers who refused to provide the inmate with a vegetarian meal required by his
religion did not treat the inmate any differently than others who were similarly situated, and thus the officers did
not violate the inmate's Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection. The court noted that although other
prisoners were provided with vegetarian meals for religious reasons, they were not similarly situated to the
inmate because the officers did not know the inmate had also been approved for a vegetarian meal. (Salinas
Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET
FOOD QUALITY

Garnica v. Washington Dept. of Corrections, 965 F.Supp.2d 1250 (W.D. Wash. 2013). A state prisoner brought
an action in state court against the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) and DOC personnel, alleging
violations of First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The action was removed to federal court, and the defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that even if the ailments that the Muslim prisoner
experienced during a Ramadan fast were related to meals provided to him by prison personnel during the fast,
those ailments were not sufficiently serious to constitute a serious medical need, as required to establish prison
personnel's deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court
found that prison personnel did not act with deliberate indifference to the Muslim prisoner's health and safety
with respect to the meals provided to the prisoner during his Ramadan fast, and thus, there was no violation of
the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. The court noted that prison personnel acted with the intent to provide
the prisoner and other Ramadan participants with proper nutrition and calories during Ramadan, and when they
learned the caloric value of the prison's Ramadan meals had been miscalculated, they corrected the caloric values
and added supplements to the meals to ensure that the goal of 2700 average calories was met. When the prisoner
complained of diarrhea, constipation, and headaches during Ramadan, he was seen by a DOC medical
professional and was treated for his complaints.
The court held that the prisoner's right to practice his Muslim religion was not substantially burdened, within
the meaning of RLUIPA, by the nature or quantity of food provided to him by prison personnel during the
Ramadan fast. According to the court, although the prisoner was not satisfied with the quality or quantity of the
food provided, he and other Ramadan participants were given a daily meal and supplements. The court found
that meals contained an average of 2700 calories and he and other vegetarian participants received additional
snacks to compensate for meat items they could not consume. The court noted that even though one meal that
was provided contained only approximately 1900 calories due to a mistake in packaging the Ramadan meals, the
mistake was corrected the next day and thereafter the prisoner was given calorically and nutritionally adequate
meals throughout the Ramadan fast. (Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Washington Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Hahn v. Walsh, 915 F.Supp.2d 925 (C.D.Ill. 2013). The estate of a diabetic pretrial detainee brought an action
against a city, police officers, a county, the county sheriff, and a jail medical provider, alleging under § 1983 that
the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the detainee's serious medical needs. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that a city
police officer at the scene of the arrest who had no involvement with the diabetic detainee could not be held
liable under § 1983 for being deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of detainee, who died from
diabetic ketoacidosis after she was taken to a county jail. The court also found that city police officers who
transported the detainee to the county jail, rather than a hospital, were not deliberately indifferent to the serious
medical needs of the detainee, where the officers were entitled to defer to the judgment of the paramedics on the
scene. According to the court, there was no evidence that the county sheriff knew of a serious risk to the health
of the diabetic pretrial detainee and consciously disregarded that risk, that any prior deaths at the jail involved
medical care provided to an inmate, much less that medical care involved an inmate with diabetes, or that the
sheriff's decisions about certification of the jail's medical contractor had any adverse effect on the detainee, as
would subject the sheriff to liability under § 1983, in his individual capacity, for his alleged deliberate
indifference to the detainee's serious medical needs. The court found that the county's actions in shutting off

18.36

water to the mentally ill, diabetic pretrial detainee's cell when the inmate was stuffing clothing into the cell's
toilet did not violate the detainee's Fourteenth Amendment rights.
According to the court, the estate's claim against the county that the detainee, who died of diabetic
ketoacidosis after allegedly refusing diabetic treatment and food while incarcerated, was not properly treated for
her mental illness and diabetes was not actionable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the
Rehabilitation Act. (Champaign County Jail, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
COMMISSARY
DENIAL OF FOOD
RELIGIOUS DIET

Johns v. Lemmon, 980 F.Supp.2d 1055 (N.D.Ind. 2013). An inmate, who was an Observant Jew, brought an
action against a prison superintendent and a commissioner of the department of corrections (DOC), alleging that
denial of food on Friday to consume on the Sabbath violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
plaintiff’s motion and denied the defendants’ motion. The court held that the prison's failure to provide food on
Friday to the inmate was a substantial burden on his religious exercise, and that the practice did not serve a
compelling governmental interest of food safety. The inmate sought to have food provided on Friday to consume
on the Sabbath, and the prison’s refusal required him to buy his Sabbath food from the commissary. The court
noted that the inmate's preferred practice was permitted for a period of about five months and during that time
the inmate stored meals in a cooler for a day, which other prisoners were permitted to do. (Miami Correctional
Facility, Indiana Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Lewis v. Zon, 920 F.Supp.2d 379 (W.D.N.Y. 2013). A Jewish inmate brought an action against a state's
department of corrections and approximately 50 of its officials and employees pursuant to § 1983 and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), alleging denial of religious accommodations in
violation of the First Amendment and RLUIPA. The inmate moved for summary judgment and the defendants
cross moved to dismiss and/or for summary judgment. The district court denied the plaintiff’s motion, and
granted in part and denied in part the defendant’s motion. The court held that: (1) there was no evidence that the
prison's practice of inspecting the inmate's meals substantially burdened the prisoner's free exercise of his faith;
(2) the prison's policy of inspecting the prisoners' meals for dangerous items was objectively reasonable; (3) the
prison's offering of religious meal plans to inmates who demonstrated entitlement thereto preserved the inmates'
free exercise freedoms; (4) the prison's failure to provide the inmate with food during Jewish holy day fast days
was not cruel and unusual punishment; (5) there was no evidence that the defendants were deliberately
indifferent to the inmate's medical needs during his hunger strike; (6) a material fact dispute regarding whether
the inmate was denied medical treatment when he began experiencing pain after the culmination of his hunger
strike precluded summary judgment on the claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need; and (7)
the inmate's having to forego fresh bedding for a few hours after soiling his bedding was not a serious medical
situation requiring treatment.(New York State Department of Correctional Services, Upstate Correctional
Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility, Wende Correctional Facility, and Auburn Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Mays v. Springborn, 719 F.3d 631 (7th Cir. 2013). A former state prisoner brought an action against prison
officials, asserting claims based on strip searches at prisons and alleging retaliation for his complaints about the
searches, denial of his request for a dietary supplements which he considered to be religious necessities,
inadequacy of his diet, failure to issue certain winter clothing items, and censorship of pages in a magazine
mailed to him. The district granted summary judgment in favor of the officials on the claims about prison food
and clothing and granted the officials judgment as a matter of law on the claims about strip searches, retaliation,
and censorship. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated the judgment with respect to
the strip searches, and remanded. On remand, the district court entered judgment, upon a jury verdict, in favor of
the officials as to the strip search claims, and the prisoner again appealed. The appeals court reversed and
remanded. The appeals court held that: (1) even if there was a valid penological reason for the strip searches
conducted on a prisoner, the manner in which the searches were conducted was itself required to pass
constitutional muster, and (2) a jury instruction requiring the prisoner to negate the possibility that strip searches
would have occurred even if there had been no retaliatory motive was plain error. (Stateville Correctional
Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
NUTRITION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Munson v. Gaetz, 957 F.Supp.2d 951 (S.D.Ill. 2013). A Buddhist inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging failure to provide him with an adequate diet, deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs, and violations of his right to free exercise of religion. The officials moved for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the officials were not aware that
feeding the inmate a soy-rich diet posed a substantial risk of serious harm to the inmate, and therefore, the
officials were entitled to qualified immunity from the inmate's § 1983 claim alleging violations of the Eighth
Amendment. The court found that there was no evidence that a vegetarian diet containing soy was nutritionally
inadequate, as required for the Buddhist inmate's § 1983 claim alleging violations of his First Amendment free
exercise rights. The court held that the Buddhist inmate had administratively exhausted his claims that a highsoy diet fed to him violated the Eighth Amendment and his First Amendment free exercise rights, where he had
submitted grievances about the diet to the grievance office, he wrote to a warden and an assistant warden
regarding his grievances, and the prison officials did not respond to the grievances. (Menard Correctional Center,
Illinois)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Parkell v. Morgan, 917 F.Supp.2d 328 (D.Del. 2013). A pretrial detainee, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, brought a § 1983 action against a medical provider and various officials, alleging violations of the
Fourteenth Amendment. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court found that the detainee’s
allegations that he did not have adequate law library access were insufficient to state a § 1983 claim for violation
of the First Amendment right of access to the courts, where the detainee alleged he was provided access to a law
library, just not type he desired. The court held that the detainee's allegations that he adhered to a mystic branch

18.37

of Wicca and that the prison offered limited selection of diets to satisfy his religious needs were sufficient to
state a § 1983 claim for violation of his First Amendment religious rights. (Howard R. Young Correctional
Institution, Delaware)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Rich v. Secretary, Florida Dept. of Corrections, 716 F.3d 525 (11th Cir. 2013). A prisoner brought an action
against the Florida Department of Corrections and corrections officials for money damages and injunctive relief,
alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), based on their failure
to provide him with a strictly kosher diet. The district court entered summary judgment for the Department and
the officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that Florida's plan
to provide kosher meals to prisoners did not render the prisoner's claim moot because the new plan was not an
unambiguous termination of its policy which had deprived the prisoner of kosher meals. The court found that
summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether denial of kosher meals was in furtherance of a
compelling government interest, and as to whether denial of kosher meals was the least restrictive means to
further the cost and security interests that were asserted. (Union Correctional Institution, Florida)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD
RELIGIOUS DIET

Washington v. Afify, 968 F.Supp.2d 532 (W.D.N.Y. 2013). A Muslim inmate, proceeding pro se, brought an
action against the department of correctional services (DOCS) employees, alleging violations of the First,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The employees moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The district court held that: (1) ordering the inmate to clean up human waste did not
violate the Eighth Amendment; (2) housing the inmate with a cellmate who allegedly exposed the inmate to
pornographic images and prevented him from reciting his daily prayers with necessary humility and tranquility
did not violate the inmate's First Amendment free exercise right; (3) the inmate's allegations that he was denied
two religious breakfast meals and one evening meal during a Muslim holy month unless he signed up to work in
the mess hall were insufficient to state a claim; (4) the Muslim inmate's allegations that he was singled out in
being ordered to clean up feces, being transferred to a different cell, and transferred to new prison job were
insufficient to state a claim for violations of Fourteenth Amendment equal protection. (Southport Correctional
Facility, New York)
2014

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET
FREE EXERCISE

Banks v. Annucci, 48 F.Supp.3d 394 (N.D.N.Y. 2014). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that
correctional officers harassed him, tampered with his food and contaminated his Kosher meals, interfered with
his mail, mishandled his grievances, and interfered with his access to courts, and that prison medical employees
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and involuntarily administered psychotropic drugs to
him. The district court held that the inmate's allegation that correctional officers tampered with or contaminated
his meals was sufficient to state a claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment right to nutritionally adequate
food prepared and served under conditions that did not present an immediate danger to his health and well-being.
The court found that the Jewish inmate's allegation that prison employees tampered with his sealed Kosher meals
on several occasions by unsealing items and/or contaminating them was sufficient to state a claim against an
employee for violation of his rights under the Free Exercise Clause. (Upstate Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Dean v. Corrections Corporation of America, 108 F.Supp.3d 702 (D. Ariz. 2014). A state prisoner, who was an
adherent of the Essene faith, brought a § 1983 action against a private prison management company, warden, and
the State of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety, alleging that, following his assignment to a prison in Arizona,
he was denied a raw-food, vegetarian diet that had been requested, consistent with his religious beliefs, in
violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The
district court granted the defendants’ motion for a change of venue to the District of Arizona. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, finding that: (1) material fact issues existed
as to the sincerity of the prisoner’s beliefs and whether those beliefs were substantially burdened; (2) the
potential perception of preferential treatment was not a compelling interest to justify a burden on the prisoner’s
religious practice under RLUIPA; (3) an inconsistency with simplified food service and additional costs
presented a compelling interest to justify the burden on the prisoner’s religious practice under RLUIPA; (4)
rejecting the prisoner’s requested diet was the least restrictive means to further a compelling government
interest; and (5) refusing the prisoner’s requested diet did not violate his First Amendment rights. (Saguaro
Correctional Center, operated by Corrections Corporation of America, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Houston v. Cotter, 7 F.Supp.3d 283 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against corrections
officers and a county, alleging a due process violation in connection with his placement on a suicide watch while
incarcerated at a county correctional facility. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district
court denied the motions, finding that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether a protected
liberty interest was implicated. The inmate alleged that the county had a policy or custom permitting
classification officers to keep an inmate on suicide watch as a form of punishment, after mental health personnel
had deemed a continued suicide watch unnecessary. The inmate remained on suicide watch for eight days after a
psychiatrist and a social worker recommended his removal from the suicide watch. The court also found a
genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the inmate's conditions of confinement while he was placed on
suicide watch imposed an atypical and significant hardship on him in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life, such that it implicated a protected liberty interest. While on suicide watch, officials took away the inmate’s
clothing and required him to wear a suicide-safe garment-- a sleeveless smock made of a coarse, tear-resistant
material and Velcro. He was not allowed to wear underwear, socks, or any other undergarment with the smock.
He was housed in a stripped cell in the Behavioral Modification Housing Unit. The cell contained a bare
mattress and a blanket made out of the same coarse material as the smock. Corrections officers situated
immediately in front of the Plexiglass cell window constantly supervised the inmate. According to the county,

18.38

suicide watch inmates have access to the yard, a plastic spoon, a rubberized pen, the law library, showers, razors,
and medical and mental health services, but the inmate claimed that he had no showers, telephone calls,
prescription medications, food, or access to the law library while in the BMHU. (Suffolk County Correctional
Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Little v. Municipal Corp., 51 F.Supp3d 473 (S.D.N.Y. 2014). State inmates brought a § 1983 action against a
city and city department of correction officials, alleging Eighth Amendment and due process violations related
to conditions of their confinement and incidents that occurred while they were confined. The defendants moved
to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion, finding that: (1) the inmates failed to
state a municipal liability claim; (2) locking the inmates in cells that were flooding with sewage was not a
sufficiently serious deprivation so as to violate the Eighth Amendment; (3) the inmates failed to state an Eighth
Amendment claim based on the deprivation of laundry services; (4) the inmates failed to state that officials were
deliberately indifferent to their conditions of confinement; (5) the inmates’ administrative classification did not
implicate their liberty interests protected by due process; and (6) cell searches did not rise to the level of an
Eighth Amendment violation. The court noted that the cells flooded with sewage for up to eight-and-a-half
hours, during which they periodically lacked outdoor recreation and food, was undeniably unpleasant, but it was
not a significantly serious deprivation so as to violate the inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights. According to the
court, there was no constitutional right to outdoor recreation, and the inmates were not denied food entirely, but
rather, were not allowed to eat during periods of lock-down. (N.Y. City Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET

Noble v. Three Forks Regional Jail Authority, 995 F.Supp.2d 736 (E.D.Ky. 2014). A diabetic former inmate
brought an action against a regional county jail and a number of its employees, individually and in their official
capacities, alleging both constitutional claims under § 1983 and state claims stemming from his incarceration.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that there
was no evidence that the county jail maintained an official policy or custom to deprive inmates of medical care
to save money, thus precluding the former inmate's § 1983 Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim
against jail arising from his alleged receipt of daily diabetes medication that was contrary to his doctor's advice,
and food that exacerbated his diabetic condition. The court found that the diabetic inmate was not at an excessive
risk of serious harm, nor did county jail employees fail to take adequate precautions to protect the inmate from
harm, and thus the employees were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious medical condition, in
violation of Eighth Amendment. The court noted that the inmate received substantial medical attention while
incarcerated, and he was allowed special accommodations based on his diabetic condition, including taking his
medication and blood sugar test kit to his cell. He was granted a specialized menu from the cafeteria, and his
daily medication administration schedule was modified after consultation with a physician. (Three Forks
Regional Jail Authority, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
FOOD HANDLERS
PORTION
SERVICE

Taylor v. Swift, 21 F.Supp.3d 237 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). A pro se prisoner brought a § 1983 action against city jail
officials, alleging that officials failed to protect him from an assault from other inmates, and that officials used
excessive force in uncuffing the prisoner after escorting him from showers to his cell. The officials moved to
dismiss based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and the motion was converted to a motion for
summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The prisoner claimed indifferent supervision of jail
officers, when members of the Crips gang served him and other non-gang members “tiny food portions while
serving gang members large food portions.” The prisoner complained to officials and this resulted in the Crips
gang members being admonished and chided. The day after this chiding, the prisoner alleged that he and two
other non-Crips-affiliated inmates “were victims of gang assault where [plaintiff] & [another inmate] got cut &
stabbed.” According to the inmate, while the attack was occurring, a corrections officer allowed the Crips to act
with impunity and waited 20 to 30 minutes to press an alarm, and another officer failed to open a door that
would lead the prisoner to safety, and failed to use mace to break up the alleged gang assault. (New York City
Department of Correction, Riker’s Island)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Thompson v. Smeal, 54 F.Supp.3d 339 (M.D.Pa. 2014). A state prisoner brought a case against prison officials,
alleging that denial of his request that Christian inmates be granted communal feasts on Christmas and Easter
violated his religious and equal protection rights, and violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted the officials’ motion for summary judgment and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. On remand, the officials again moved for summary
judgment, and the inmate moved for partial summary judgment. The district court denied the motions. The court
held that summary judgment on the prisoner’s First Amendment claim was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to: (1) whether the prison’s policy of refusing to provide Christmas and Easter communal meals
for Christians only, with a group prayer over the food, was legitimately and neutrally applied; (2) whether the
prison’s penological interests were served by allowing some religious meals and not others; and (3) whether
there were alternative means of exercising the prisoner’s right to free religious expression. According to the
court, summary judgment on the RLUIPA claim was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
denying communal meals to Christian inmates at the state prison was the least restrictive means to achieve the
prison’s alleged compelling interests of security, space limitations, and food safety concerns. (State Correctional
Institution in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Wall v. Wade, 741 F.3d 492 (4th Cir. 2014). A Muslim state inmate filed an action under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and § 1983 alleging that prison officials interfered with his
Ramadan observance. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the officials, and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court held that state prison officials' decision to
abandon the policy of requiring inmates to provide some physical indicia of the Islamic faith, such as a Quran,
Kufi, prayer rug, or written religious material obtained from the prison Chaplain's office, in order to receive

18.39

accommodations for a Ramadan observance did not moot the inmate's challenge to the policy as violative of his
rights under the Free Exercise Clause and RLUIPA, where the officials retained the authority and the capacity to
reinstate the policy. The court found that the policy violated the inmate's rights under the Free Exercise Clause,
where the inmate provided a reasonable explanation for the fact that he lacked physical manifestations of his
faith, officials ignored numerous signs that he was a practicing Muslim, and there was no evidence that the
requested accommodation would have been unduly burdensome. The inmate provided a state court judgment
against the Commonwealth as proof that the VDOC had lost his possessions, and also produced documents
showing that he was receiving common fare meals in accordance with his faith, and he informed officers that he
had observed Ramadan in 2008 and 2009. Despite this, an official responded, “that don't mean anything.” The
court held that the officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from liability in the inmate's action under
RLUIPA and § 1983. (Red Onion State Prison, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
COMMISSARY
EQUAL PROTECTION
RELIGIOUS DIET

Winder v. Maynard, 2 F.Supp.3d 709 (D.Md. 2014). An inmate, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action
against a prison official, asserting that the official hindered his religious practice. The official filed a motion to
dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The district court
held that denial of the inmate's request for pork products for a Wiccan ceremonial meal did not substantially
impede the inmate’s ability to practice his religious beliefs in violation of the Free Exercise Clause or the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court noted that the inmate's request for a
religious ceremonial meal had been approved and he was directed that while the requested pork products could
not be provided through the dietary department or prepared in Department of Corrections (DOC) kitchen
facilities, pork products could nevertheless be purchased through the commissary and consumed at the
ceremonial meal. According to the court, the prison's accommodation of other religious prisoners through the
adoption of a religious diet while allegedly refusing to provide pork products for Wiccan practitioners did not
violate the equal protection rights of the inmate because: (1) the kosher Jewish diet demanded certain food
preparation and food choices not required for Wiccan inmates; (2) neither Jewish nor Muslim inmates received
ritually slaughtered meat; (3) no pork was prepared in Department of Corrections (DOC) kitchens in order to
respect the religious dietary requirements of Jewish and Muslim inmates; (4) the prison was unable to provide
pork through dietary services due to legitimate penological goals regarding budget and security; (5) the prisoner
was free to purchase pork products through the commissary; and (6) prison meal plans were created in order to
see that the needs of all religious groups are accommodated. (Jessup Correctional Institution, Maryland)
2015

U.S. District Court
NUTRITION

Brown v. Moore, 93 F.Supp.3d 1032 (W.D. Ark. 2015). An inmate, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff and jail officials, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in
part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of fact as to whether the inmate’s being
housed with a prisoner who had a staph infection constituted deliberate indifference. The court found that the
inmate’s assertion that his diet was not approved on a yearly basis by a dietician in compliance with Arkansas
Jail Standards did not equate to a constitutional violation under the Eighth Amendment. (Boone County
Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET
FOOD QUALITY

Byrd v. Stirling, 144 F.Supp.3d 803 (D.S.C. 2015). A state inmate filed a civil action against prison officials,
alleging that the prison served him meals incompatible with his diabetes and that much of the food was expired,
rotten, or full of preservatives. The district court dismissed the action, finding that the inmate failed to exhaust
his administrative remedies before bringing the civil action in district court, and thus dismissal was warranted
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). According to the court, the inmate did not complete all three
levels of internal review at the prison before he filed suit. (Manning Correctional Institution, South Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
FOOD HANDLERS
RELIGION

Jones v. Williams, 791 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2015). A Muslim former inmate brought civil rights claims against
prison officials under § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), seeking
monetary and injunctive relief. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the officials and the
former inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated, and remanded in part. The court held that
the inmate’s claims for injunctive relief, arising from an alleged requirement that he handle pork while working
in a kitchen, were moot because he had been released from custody. The court found that unsworn statements of
an inmate cook who told the Muslim inmate that the food service coordinator had directed the inmate cook to
mix pork in with meat used in a tamale pie were hearsay, and thus could not properly be considered in
opposition to the prison officials’ motion for summary judgment as to the Muslim inmate’s claim that his free
exercise rights were violated when he was served and ate the pie without notice that it contained pork. But the
court held that prison officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from the Muslim inmate’s § 1983 claim
that he was ordered in 2007 to cook pork loins as part of his job duties in a kitchen, in violation of his religious
beliefs. The court noted that the penitentiary implemented a policy prior to the incident in question, providing
that an inmate could opt out of handling pork on religious grounds, the inmate alleged that he told the officers in
charge that he had the right to not handle pork, and the fact that some officers claimed they were not personally
aware of the policy change was not sufficient to show that the inmate’s right to avoid handling pork was not
clearly established. (Oregon State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL DIET
COMMISSARY
NUTRITION

Montalvo v. Lamy, 139 F.Supp.3d 597 (W.D.N.Y. 2015). An inmate brought an action against a sheriff, prison
officials and a commissary, alleging that he was a diabetic and that, while incarcerated, he was not provided with
a medically appropriate diet, was not permitted to purchase food items from the prison commissary, and was the
subject of false misbehavior reports when he complained about his dietary issues. The defendants moved to
dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate failed to

18.40

allege that the prison commissary, operated by a private company, was acting under the color of state law, as
required to state constitutional claims against the commissary. The court noted that the inmate did not allege that
the commissary had a policy of denying commissary access to diabetic prisoners or had the authority to override
the prison's policy with respect to inmates with dietary restrictions, and instead, alleged that the prison
maintained a policy of limiting commissary access for prisoners with dietary restrictions. The court found that
the inmate did not state a First Amendment retaliation claim against a sergeant who allegedly would not process
the inmate's grievance related to his inability to purchase snacks from the prison commissary, where the sergeant
was acting in compliance with a state regulation, which required him, as the Grievance Coordinator, to return
grievances regarding issues outside the authority of the chief administrative officer to control, such as medical
decisions made by health care professionals.
The court held that the inmate adequately alleged that the food provided to him by the prison was not
nutritionally adequate with respect to his status as a diabetic and that the diet he was provided presented an
immediate danger to his health and well-being, and thus, the inmate met the objective component of an Eighth
Amendment claim for medical indifference. (Erie County Holding Center, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Schlemm v. Wall, 784 F.3d 362 (7th Cir. 2015). A prisoner, a Navajo Tribe member, brought an action under the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) against the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections, seeking an order requiring the state prison system to accommodate some of his religious practices.
The district court granted the prison’s summary judgment motion. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court
affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the prisoner’s inability to eat game meat for a religious feast substantially burdened
his religious exercise, and as to whether the prisoner’s inability to wear a multicolored headband while praying
in his cell and during group religious ceremonies substantially burdened his religious exercise, and whether
prison had a compelling justification for prohibiting multicolored headbands. (Wisconsin Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Shorter v. Baca, 101 F.Supp.3d 876 (C.D. Cal. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a county,
sheriff, and deputies, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants denied her medical care, subjected her to
unsanitary living conditions, deprived her of food, clean clothes, and access to exercise, and conducted overly
invasive searches. The detainee had been classified as mentally ill and housed in a mental health unit at the
detention facility. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part
and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as
to what policies governed classification of pretrial detainees who were mentally ill. The court found that
summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether jail conditions imposed on
the detainee, including permitting the detainee, who was incarcerated for 32 days, to shower only three times,
only permitting the detainee outside of her cell for recreation on one occasion, failing to clean her cell, failing to
provide the detainee with clean clothing, and depriving the detainee of food, amounted to punishment. (Century
Regional Detention Facility, Los Angeles County, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
NUTRITION

Smith v. Dart, 803 F.3d 304 (7th Cir. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought action under § 1983 against a county
alleging deliberate indifference to his health in violation of the right to the provision of adequate medical
treatment under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as failure to pay adequate wages
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for his job in the jail’s laundry room. The district court dismissed the
case and the detainee appealed. The appeals court held that the detainee sufficiently alleged that the food he
received was “well below nutritional value,” as required to state a claim under § 1983 for deliberate indifference
to his health in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
DENIAL OF FOOD

Smith v. Eovaldi, 112 F.Supp.3d 779 (S.D. Ill. 2015). A state inmate, proceeding in forma pauperis, brought a §
1983 action against several prison officers, alleging use of excessive force and exposure to inhumane conditions
in his cell. The prisoner alleged that after he had a “negative outburst” and was “maced” by a lieutenant and
removed from his cell by a corrections officer, he was taken to an infirmary bullpen, where he was forced to lie
on the floor. While he was on the floor, the prisoner alleged that officers kicked and punched him for ten
minutes, causing him to defecate upon himself. He alleged that after the incident, he was stripped of his prison
clothes and “inadequately seen” by “medical” personnel. At the screening stage of the case, the district court
dismissed the complaint in part against some defendants, but declined to dismiss with regard to the others. The
court held that the inmate sufficiently alleged § 1983 claims against several prison officers for use of excessive
force by alleging that the officers engaged in prolonged attacks against him and that one officer subsequently
attacked him again. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
DENIAL OF FOOD
FOOD QUALITY
NUTRITION

Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51 (2d Cir. 2015). A state prisoner brought an action under § 1983 against a
prison superintendent, a corrections sergeant, and corrections officers, alleging unsanitary conditions, theft of
legal documents, harassment, malicious prosecution, and false imprisonment. The district court granted summary
judgment to the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated the district court’s decision and
remanded the case for further proceedings. The court held that remand was required for the district court to
address issue in first instance of whether the prisoner had a right under the First, Fifth, Eighth, or Fourteenth
Amendments to refuse to provide false information to a corrections officer. The court held that the prisoner
adequately pleaded an Eighth Amendment claim against prison officials by alleging that his restricted diet was
unusually unhealthy, where his diet consisted of bread that was usually stale and cabbage that usually was rotten.
(Wende Correctional Facility, New York)

18.41

2016
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS DIET

Thompson v. Holm, 809 F.3d 376 (7th Cir. 2016). A Wisconsin state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
prison staff, alleging violations of his First Amendment right to exercise his religion freely, specifically by
preventing him from fasting properly during a Muslim holy month. The district court granted the staff’s motion
for summary judgment. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court held
that: (1) denial of meal bags substantially burdened the prisoner’s free exercise rights; (2) fact issues existed as
to whether staff members were personally involved; (3) fact issues existed as to whether staff members acted
intentionally; and (4) qualified immunity did not shield the staff members, where the prisoner had a clearly
established right to a diet consistent with his religious beliefs. The court noted that the denial of meal bags to the
Muslim prisoner substantially burdened his First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion, where, without
meal bags, the prisoner was forced to choose between foregoing adequate nutrition or violating a central tenant
of his religion, i.e., fasting properly during holy month. According to the court, the prisoner was thereby denied a
proper meal for a 55–hour period, which left him weak and tired, unsure if he would ever be put back on the
appropriate list to receive meal bags, and pressured to use the cafeteria during daylight hours, contrary to his
religious beliefs. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

18.42

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XIX

XIX

XIX

XIX

XIX

the hands of other inmates who were not homosexual, and they could be subjected to assaults by
homophobic fellow inmates. The court found that the rule was not void for vagueness under the
First Amendment. (Westville Correctional Facility, Indiana)
2006
U.S. District Court
RELIGION

Americans United For Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries, 432

U.S. District Court
RETALIATION

Bacon v. Taylor, 414 F.Supp.2d 475 (D.Del. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS LITERATURE
BOOKS

Borzych v. Frank, 439 F.3d 388 (7th Cir. 2006). An inmate sued state prison officials under § 1983
and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), challenging a ban on
books the inmate deemed necessary for the practice of his Odinist religion. The district court
entered summary judgment for the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court held that,
even if the state substantially burdened the inmate's religious exercise by banning books he
deemed necessary to practice his Odinist religion, the ban on such books was the least restrictive
means to promote a compelling state interest in safety, and thus did not violate the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court noted that the books promoted violence
to exalt the status of whites and demean other races, and that redaction of offensive material was
not a realistic option. According to the court, a state prison procedure that prohibited activities and
literature that advocate racial or ethnic supremacy or purity was not overbroad, in violation of free
speech guarantees or RLUIPA, where the overbreadth of the regulation was not substantial in
relation to its proper applications. Officials had refused to allow the inmate to possess the books

XX

F.Supp.2d 862 (S.D.Iowa 2006). A separation of church and state advocacy group, and affected
state prison inmates, sued the State of Iowa, claiming that funding of a contract under which an
organization providing pre-release rehabilitation services to inmates through a program based on
Evangelical Christianity violated the Establishment Clause. The plaintiffs moved for declarative
and injunctive relief. The district court held that: (1) the service provider was operating under color
of state law, for purposes of a suit under § 1983; (2) the program was pervasively sectarian; (3) the
program did not involve payments made at the direction of inmates, which would not violate
Establishment Clause; (4) the program fostered excessive entanglement of government with
religion; (5) the contract violated the Establishment Clause. The service provider was enjoined
from further contract performance, would not be paid amounts due under its contract, and would
be forced to return all payments received. The court noted that the plaintiffs had standing to sue
the State of Iowa and corrections officials and the prison ministries organization, even though they
were not Iowa taxpayers, because the inmate plaintiffs had made contributions to the telephone
fund, designed to finance telephone use by inmates, from which withdrawals had been allegedly
made to pay for the prison ministry in question. The court noted that if secular activities of a
pervasively sectarian organization may be separated from sectarian activities, the secular
activities may be funded by the government without violating the Establishment Clause. The
court found that all instruction, regardless of subject, with exception of computer science, was
presented as an aspect of Evangelical Christianity, and participants were required to participate in
single and group devotional activities. According to the court, state prison inmates were not given
true freedom of choice, there was no secular alternative to participation in the program, which
offered superior living quarters and some relaxation of prison rules. The program provider was
required to return the $1,529,182 paid by the state. (Iowa Department of Corrections and
InnerChange Freedom Initiative, Newton Correctional Facility)

three correctional officers, alleging denial of his First Amendment right of access to courts,
retaliation for exercising his First Amendment free speech rights, and cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment
for the defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that the prisoner's allegations that
a correctional officer, on one occasion, smoked a cigarette on the tier by another inmate's cell and
blew smoke into that inmate's cell, and that on several occasions the correctional officer smoked in
the isolated control pod, did not sufficiently allege that the prisoner was exposed to unreasonably
high levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) to the degree necessary to state claim a under §
1983 for violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court found that the prisoner's allegation that a
correctional officer opened and read the draft of his lawsuit against her and then refused to return
it to him did not sufficiently allege an actual injury as required to state a claim under § 1983 for
violation of First Amendment constitutional right of access to the courts. The prisoner alleged only
that as a result of not receiving his original draft back he had forgotten the exact dates he saw the
officer smoking in the prison, but the prisoner did not allege that his inability to remember specific
dates had unduly prejudiced his case against the officer. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether prison authorities could have
reasonably interpreted the prisoner's draft of a § 1983 lawsuit against a correctional officer as a
threat to the security and safety of the prison, or that a reasonable person would have known that
the document was the draft of a legal complaint against the officer, justifying his placement in
administrative segregation rather than constituting retaliation for the prisoner having exercised
his First Amendment free speech rights by drafting the lawsuit against the officer. (Howard R.
Young Correctional Institution, Delaware)

19.67

Creed of Iron, Temple of Wotan, and The NPKA Book of Blotar, which he said were necessary to

practice his religion. The inmate identified his religion as Odinism (or Odinic Rite), which like
Asatru and Wotanism entails the worship of Norse gods. The inmate maintained that the books
were religious texts. The officials conceded that Odinism is a religion. (Wisconsin Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS
NEWSPAPERS

Calia v. Werholtz, 426 F.Supp.2d 1210 (D.Kan. 2006). A former state prison inmate, proceeding pro

U.S. District Court
RETALIATION

Crenshaw v. Herbert, 445 F.Supp.2d 301 (W.D.N.Y. 2006). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

George v. Smith, 467 F.Supp.2d 906 (W.D.Wis. 2006). A state prisoner sued prison officials under §

se, brought a § 1983 action against corrections officials, alleging that their enforcement against
him of rules restricting certain inmates' ability to subscribe to newspaper, magazine, and
newsletter publications violated his First Amendment rights. The court granted summary
judgment for the officials. The court held that the inmate’s\l claims for injunctive relief were moot
and that the officials were entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity insofar as the inmate's
action sought monetary damages and was brought against the officials in their official capacities.
The court found that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity because enforcement of the
rules did not violate a clearly established constitutional right. (Lansing Correctional Facility,
Kansas)
alleging that corrections employees violated his First Amendment rights when they removed him
from certain jobs, allegedly in retaliation for filing a grievance against a corrections officer with
whom he had an altercation. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants,
finding that there was no evidence of a causal connection between the inmate's protected activity
and the adverse actions. The court noted that the inmate was initially removed from his nurse's
aide position because of his own fears for his safety there, and his removal from a laundry job was
allegedly for poor performance. (Attica Correctional Facility, New York)

1983, alleging deprivation of his free speech rights and deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. The officials moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the
motion in part and stayed in part. The court held that: (1) the officials’ ban on the prisoner’s receipt
of a newsletter on the ground that the newsletter solicited gifts did not violate the prisoner’s free
speech rights; (2) a prohibition against the prisoner possessing an atlas did not violate his free
speech rights; (3) the officials did not violate the prisoner’s speech rights in concluding that a
magazine advocated behavior consistent with a gang and thus was prohibited by regulation; and
(4) the prisoner was not exposed to unreasonably high levels of environmental tobacco smoke. The
court found that the prison officials’ ban on the prisoner’s receipt of a newsletter that advocated for
healthcare improvements in the prison and encouraged readers to “(s)end donations” and to urge
their families to “join in the fight,” did not violate the prisoner’s free speech rights, in that it was a
reasonable application of the prison policy prohibiting delivery of correspondence soliciting gifts.
Similarly, the court held that the prohibition against the prisoner possessing an atlas had a
reasonable relationship to a legitimate penological interest, and thus did not violate his free speech
rights, in that the possession of an atlas might allow the prisoner to plot escape routes. The court
held that prison officials did not violate the prisoner’s speech rights in concluding that a magazine
advocated behavior consistent with a gang, and thus was prohibited by a prison regulation, in as
much as it was neither arbitrary nor irrational for the prison officials to conclude that a picture in
the magazine portrayed gang-related hand signs. (Oshkosh Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
FOIA- Freedom of
Information Act

Giarratano v. Johnson, 456 F.Supp.2d 747 (W.D.Va. 2006). An inmate brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
RELIGION

Gray v. Johnson, 436 F.Supp.2d 795 (W.D.Va. 2006). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against

XX

against the director of a state corrections department, challenging the constitutionality of a
statutory exclusion of prisoners from making requests for public records under the Virginia
Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). The district court dismissed the action. The court held that
the statutory exclusion of prisoners from making requests for public records under the Virginia
Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) was rationally related to a legitimate state interest, and thus,
it did not violate the inmate's right to equal protection. The court noted that the Virginia General
Assembly, in passing the exclusion, could have believed that inmates were intrinsically prone to
abusing VFOIA request provisions and that such frivolous requests would unduly burden state
resources, or that inmates had less need to access public records because their confinement greatly
limited the amount of contact they had with state government. (Red Onion State Prison, Virginia)
prison officials claiming that he was compelled to participate in a residential substance abuse
program that allegedly contained religious elements, in violation of the Establishment Clause of
First Amendment. The Therapeutic Community Program (TCP) was operated for inmates with a
history of substance abuse who have twelve to eighteen months left to serve. Those who qualify for
the TCP either have to participate or forfeit the right to accrue good conduct time. Members of the
TCP live together in a dorm and they are required to actively participate, and to encourage other
members to do the same. If an inmate fails to participate satisfactorily, he loses his good conduct
time, and prison officials may transfer him to a dorm with other inmates who either refuse to
participate or who have refused to cooperate once in the program. The TCP offers therapeutic

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group meetings, educational seminars, group talent shows, and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and
Narcotics Anonymous meetings (NA). The program consists of five “phases,” each of which
requires the completion of a variety of tasks, ranging from demonstrating certain behavioral
modifications to completing a written test. The goal of each participant is to “phase out” of the
program by completing the requisite activities for each phase. To that end, participants have at
their disposal a library of self-help materials.
The district court entered judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that prison
officials had an objectively reasonable belief that the prisoner's participation in the residential
substance abuse program did not violate his rights, and therefore were entitled to qualified
immunity in prisoner's § 1983 action claiming that he was compelled to participate in the program
in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Prison officials had previously
taken actions in order to bring the program into compliance with Establishment Clause, including
making Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) participation optional,
removing any religious references from inspirational readings, separating religious library
materials from secular ones, making the use of any religious library materials completely optional,
and enacting a rule prohibiting participants from proselytizing but allowing them to discuss the
role of religion in their personal recovery. According to the court, these steps created an objectively
reasonable belief that the program complied with Establishment Clause.
The court held that the program did not have a non-secular legislative purpose in violation of
the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, where the program's dominant purpose was
rehabilitation of inmates with a history of substance abuse, and prison officials demonstrated that
rehabilitation was the true goal of program, not a sham secular purpose. According to the court,
the program did not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion in violation of the
Establishment Clause, where a reasonable observer would not construe religious activities which
took place in program, including a single historical discussion of the Essene community, the
performance of a single gospel song at a talent show, the availability of non-mandatory Alcoholics
Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, and the availability of spiritual
materials in the community library, as advancement of religion by the state, since all activities
involved free expression of other participants in program. The court found that the program did not
impermissibly entangle religion and government in violation of the Establishment Clause, where
staff members were required to intervene to prevent proselytizing when individuals expressed
their faith during the program. (Therapeutic Community Program, Botetourt Corr’l Ctr., Virginia)
U.S. Appeals Court
VOTING

Hayden v. Pataki, 449 F.3d 305 (2nd Cir. 2006). Black and Latino inmates and parolees brought an
action against the New York Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Elections, and Commissioner
of Corrections to challenge, as a violation of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a statute
disenfranchising incarcerated and paroled felons. The district court dismissed the claim. The
inmates and parolees appealed and en banc review was granted. The appeals court affirmed and
remanded, finding that the VRA prohibition against voting qualifications or prerequisites that
resulted in a denial or abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color did not apply to
vote denial and dilution claims. (Shawangunk Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION
PUBLICATIONS

Jesus Christ Prison Ministry v. California Department of Corrections, 456 F.Supp.2d 1188
(E.D.Cal. 2006). A prison ministry program and state prisoners brought an action against the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), alleging that a correctional
facility's policy prohibiting the sending of free softbound Christian literature, compact discs, and
tapes to prisoners who have requested those materials violated the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and their First Amendment rights. The court held that the
policy violated prisoners' free exercise and free speech rights under First Amendment. According to
the court, the asserted penological goals of preventing the receipt of contraband, reducing fire
hazards, increasing the efficiency of random cell inspections or enhancing prison security did not
justify the policy, and the distinction between approved vendors and unapproved vendors was
arbitrary and not reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. The court also found that
the policy violated prisoners' rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act (RLUIPA) where the approved vendor policy placed a “substantial burden” on the exercise of
the prisoners' religious beliefs because prisoners were unable to engage in conduct that is
motivated by their sincere religious beliefs without access to the materials provided by the
unapproved vendor at no cost, and the unique study and worship materials provided by the
unapproved vendor were unavailable through any of the approved vendors. (California State
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility)

U.S. District Court
MOVIES

Jewell v. Gonzales, 420 F.Supp.2d 406 (W.D.Pa. 2006). A class of inmates brought an action

XX

against the U.S. Attorney General, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a warden,
challenging the constitutionality of a program statement and institutional supplement prohibiting
the showing of unedited R-rated movies to inmates. The parties cross-moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The district
court held that the class of inmates had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the program
statement and institutional supplement. According to the court, the prohibition lacked a rational
connection to the legitimate governmental interest of advancing punishment and deterrence, as

19.69

required for the prohibition to pass muster under the First Amendment. The court also found that
the prohibition lacked a rational connection to the legitimate governmental interest of providing a
safe and non-hostile work environment to prison employees, where the government failed to
establish that individuals who had chosen corrections work would have been strongly offended by
the showing of R-rated films. But the court held that the prohibition did have a rational connection
to the legitimate governmental interest of ensuring efficient allocation of prison resources, as
required for the prohibition to pass muster under the First Amendment, because the rule
amendment authorizing the prohibition was aimed at ensuring that taxpayers' money was spent
on reasonable measures to maintain and secure prisoners rather than on unnecessary luxuries.
The court also found that the prohibition had a rational connection to a legitimate governmental
interest of promoting the rehabilitation of federal inmates, where the government reasonably
viewed R-rated films as a medium which often contained types of negative messages, references or
stimuli that reinforced criminogenic risk factors. The court noted that the prohibition preserved an
alternative means for prisoners to exercise their First Amendment rights because inmates retained
access to films rated G, PG, and PG-13 as well as cable television programming and R-rated films
edited for standard television, and that such an accommodation would not have had an
impermissible ripple effect upon prison resources. (Federal Correctional Institution, McKean,
Pennsylvania)
U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL

Jones v. Brown, 461 F.3d 353 (3d Cir. 2006). State prisoners brought an action against prison

U.S. District Court
CRITICISM
CONVERSATION

King v. Ditter, 432 F.Supp.2d 813 (W.D.Wis. 2006). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL

Koutnik v. Brown, 456 F.3d 777 (7th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action,

U.S. Appeals Court
VOTING

XX

officials, claiming that a policy of opening and inspecting their legal mail outside of their presence
violated their First Amendment rights. The district court granted judgment for the prisoners and
the officials appealed. Another district court on similar claims granted judgment for the officials
and the prisoners in that case also appealed. The cases were consolidated on appeal. The court
entered judgment for the prisoner, finding that the policy of opening legal mail outside the
presence of the addressee prisoner impinged upon the prisoner's right to freedom of speech under
the First Amendment, and that the legal mail policy was not reasonably related to the prison's
legitimate penological interest in protecting the health and safety of prisoners and staff. The court
held that reasonable prison administrators would not have realized that they were violating the
prisoners' First Amendment free speech rights by opening prisoners' legal mail outside of the
prisoners' presence, entitling them to qualified immunity. The court noted that although the
administrators maintained the policy after three relatively uneventful years had passed after the
September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax concerns, the policy was reasonable when
it was established. (New Jersey Department of Corrections)
a prison job supervisor, alleging that the supervisor lowered his pay and ultimately fired him for
criticizing the supervisor's managerial practices. The supervisor moved for dismissal and the
district court dismissed in part, and denied dismissal in part. The court held that the inmate
stated a First Amendment retaliation claim, when the complaint alleged that the inmate engaged
in the protected activities of writing letter to warden and complaining to others about supervisor's
racism and changes in work schedule, and that the inmate experienced adverse actions in
response. (Columbia Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

challenging the confiscation of his outgoing letter, which contained a swastika and a reference to
the Ku Klux Klan. The prisoner alleged violations of his First Amendment free speech rights, and
his due process rights. The district court dismissed the due process claim, and granted summary
judgment in favor of defendants on remaining claim. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that the prison regulation, prohibiting prisoners from possessing
symbolism that could be associated with any inmate group not approved by the warden, was not
impermissibly vague, for the purpose of determining whether the regulation was facially violative
of the prisoner's First Amendment free speech rights. According to the court, although the
regulation gave some discretion and flexibility to prison officials, the prison setting required it to
ensure order and safety. The appeals court deferred to state prison officials' assessment of whether
a swastika and a reference to the Ku Klux Klan in the prisoner's outgoing letter were gang-related
symbols, for the purpose of the prisoner's claim that seizure of the letter by prison officials violated
his First Amendment right to free speech, where knowledge of gang symbolism was acquired
primarily through interaction with and observation of prisoners, and the symbolism was constantly
changing. According to the court, the confiscation of the prisoner's outgoing letter furthered the
substantial governmental interest in prisoner rehabilitation, and thus, it did not violate the
prisoner's First Amendment free speech rights. The court noted that the letter was an attempt to
express the prisoner's affiliation with racially intolerant groups, which thwarted the state's goals of
encouraging the prisoner to live crime-free when released from custody, and fostering the
prisoner's ability to resolve conflicts without violence. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

Muntaqim v. Coombe, 449 F.3d 371 (2nd Cir. 2006). A felon filed an action alleging that New

York's felon disenfranchisement statute violated the Voting Rights Act. The district court granted
the prison officials' motion for summary judgment, and the felon appealed. The appeals court held

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that felon was not a resident of New York and thus did not have standing to challenge New York's
felon disenfranchisement statute as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The court noted that even
though the felon had been incarcerated in New York prisons for the past 30 years, the inmate was
a California resident before he was incarcerated in New York, he was never resident of New York,
and he disavowed any intention to become a resident of New York in future. (Shawangunk
Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
PRISONER PUBLICATIONS

Myron v. Terhune, 457 F.3d 996 (9th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
several correctional officers and medical personnel at a prison. The district court dismissed the
action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court found that a state
regulation governing prison publications did not give the prisoner a liberty interest, protected by
the due process clause, in participating in the publication and distribution of an inmate
publication, where the regulation granted unfettered discretion to prison officials to restrict
prisoner publications. (Salinas Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RETALIATION

Pearson v. Welborn, 471 F.3d 732 (7th Cir. 2006). An inmate brought an action against prison

U.S. District Court
MAIL
PUBLICATIONS

Pepper v. Carroll, 423 F.Supp.2d 442 (D.Del. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging
that prison officials violated his constitutional rights. The court granted the officials’ motion for
summary judgment. The court also held that the officials did not violate the inmate’s First
Amendment free speech rights by refusing the word puzzles sent by the inmate’s family through
regular mail and by disallowing catalogs for magazines or books, where there was no allegation
that the inmate had been denied actual magazines or books, and word puzzles were not permitted
under prison regulations. According to the court, the prison officials' denials of several privileges
while the inmate was voluntarily housed in a security housing unit, including extra visits, reading
material, exercise, television, cleaning tools, boiling water, ice, razors, and additional writing
utensils, were not a sufficiently serious deprivation to support the inmate's claim that the denials
constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. (Delaware Correctional
Center)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION

Perez v. Frank, 433 F.Supp.2d 955 (W.D.Wis. 2006). A Sunni Muslim inmate sued a state prison,
claiming violation of his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA) and the First Amendment. The inmate petitioned for permission to proceed in forma
pauperis. The district court held that: (1) the prison did not violate RLUIPA by refusing to leave a
dayroom open all hours, to allow for ritual washing (Wudu) at any time; (2) the inmate could
proceed with his claim that he was barred from participating in named religious ceremonies and
from joining in a group prayer, in violation of RLUIPA; (3) the inmate could proceed with his claim
that he was denied prayer oil, in violation of RLUIPA; (4) the inmate could proceed with his claim
that his exercise of religion rights under First Amendment were violated; (5) the denial of desired
quantities of prayer oil and the opportunity for inmate-led services was not an Establishment
Clause violation; (6) the inmate could proceed with his claim that the disparity of treatment for
feast days, for various religions, was an Establishment Clause violation; and (7) the inmate could
proceed with his claim that denial of access to Muslim lectures was a freedom of speech violation.
(New Lisbon Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
NAME

Porter v. Caruso, 431 F.Supp.2d 768 (W.D.Mich. 2006). A state inmate filed an action alleging that
prison officials violated his First Amendment free exercise rights by refusing to refer to him by his
new legal name, and by denying his request to be placed on a kosher meal plan. The officials moved
to dismiss and the district court held that dismissal of the inmate's exhausted claims was not
warranted. The inmate asserted that he was an adherent of an ancient Egyptian religion known as
Kemetic Spiritual Science, and that as part of his religious faith he legally changed his name. The
inmate alleged that corrections officials repeatedly failed to comply with their own policy directives
and forced him to refer to himself by his former name. (Mich. Dept. of Corrections)

XX

personnel, alleging retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. The district court entered
judgment upon jury verdict in favor of the inmate. Inmate appealed the court’s refusal to award
attorney fees and declaratory relief, and a prison warden and social worker cross-appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the inmate's oral complaints to prison
personnel about prison conditions, including the use of shackles in group therapy and denial of
yard time to prisoners in a pre-transfer unit, related to matters of public concern and were
designed to effect a change in prison policy, and thus, they were protected by the First
Amendment. The court held that the inmate, who was awarded only nominal damages under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) in his action against prison personnel, was not entitled to an
attorney fee award greater than 150% of the nominal damages based on his claim for declaratory
judgment, that his punishment by personnel was illegal. The court noted that the only relief the
inmate secured was nominal damages, and since the inmate had already been transferred to
another facility, a declaratory judgment would have been largely duplicative of the jury's verdict
concluding that personnel had retaliated against inmate. (Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois)

19.71

U.S. District Court
FOIA- Freedom of
Information Act

Prison Legal News v. Lappin, 436 F.Supp.2d 17 (D.D.C. 2006). A prison legal journal, Prison Legal
News (PLN), brought an action against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), challenging the
agency's refusal to grant a waiver of search and duplication fees associated with a Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) document request. The district court granted summary judgment for the
plaintiff, finding that the BOP was the proper defendant in the action, and the BOP improperly
denied the fee waiver request. According to the court, PLN demonstrated that the disclosure of
records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would contribute to the understanding
of government operations or activities, as required to qualify for a fee waiver, since the information
at issue had not reached the threshold level of dissemination, and where the request sought
information regarding specific events that occurred within BOP facilities that would provide
insight to the public about how its federal prisons were being managed and operated, and how its
tax dollars were being expended. PLN had submitted a FOIA request to the BOP seeking “a copy of
all documents showing all money paid by the [BOP] for lawsuits and claims against it” between
January 1, 1996 and July 31, 2003. Specifically, the plaintiff sought “a copy of the verdict,
settlement or claim in each case showing the dollar amount paid, the identity of the
plaintiff/claimant and the legal identifying information for each lawsuit or claim or attorney fee
award” and “a copy of the complaint ... or the claim ... in each incident which describes the facts
underlying each lawsuit and claim.” Under FOIA, fees will be waived if “disclosure of the
information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public
understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the
commercial interest of the requester.” To support its request for a fee waiver, PLN provided the
following information in its letter to the BOP: “PLN is a § 501[c](3) non-profit organization. We
are a serious legal and political journal that reports on news and litigation involving detention
facilities. We have published monthly since 1990 and currently have around 3,400 subscribers in
all 50 states. We [e]stimate our actual readership to [be] in the range of 18,000 people. We believe
that the requested documents will shed light on the operations of the BOP and help provide the
public with a better understanding of how the nation's prison system is run and managed since
damage verdicts and settlements are an important means of measuring respect for constitutional
rights within penal facilities. Moreover, the payout of government money is a strong indicator to
tax payers of how government facilities are operated. The information requested is plainly related
to the operations and activities of the BOP.” (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
HAIR

Ragland v. Angelone, 420 F.Supp.2d 507 (W.D.Va. 2006). A state prisoner challenged a prison's

U.S. Appeals Court
RETALIATION
SEX OFFENDERS

Senty-Haugen v. Goodno, 462 F.3d 876 (8th Cir. 2006). A civilly-committed sex offender brought an
action against the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, other
Department officials, and sex offender program employees, alleging violations of federal and state
law for being placed in isolation, receiving inadequate medical attention, and being retaliated
against. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the offender
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that placement of the civilly-committed sex
offender in isolation because of rule infractions did not infringe on his procedural due process
rights, given that his commitment was indefinite, that he received notice and had the right to be
heard, that the decision to use isolation was a discretionary decision by state officials, and that the
State had a vital interest in maintaining a secure environment. The court found that the
offender's transfer was not in retaliation for his alleged advocacy for another patient, so as to
violate the offender's speech rights, where the sex offender program officials indicated that they
transferred the offender to lessen his contact with the patient, whom the offender was suspected of
exploiting, and where the offender failed to present any evidence that the transfer took place for
any other reason. (Minnesota Sex Offender Program, Minnesota Department of Human Services)

U.S. District Court
NAME

Shidler v. Moore, 409 F.Supp.2d 1060 (N.D.Ind. 2006). A prisoner brought a pro se action against

XX

grooming policy as violative of his constitutional rights and the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The Rastafarian prisoner sought to wear his hair and
beard uncut but he was punished under the prison’s policy. The state moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion, holding that the policy was constitutional, that
RLUIPA was constitutional, that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity, and that the
policy did not violate RLUIPA. According to the court, the inmate grooming policy was rationally
related to legitimate penological interests and thus did not violate the Rastafarian prisoner's rights
under the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause, the Eighth Amendment, or the Fourteenth
Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The court found that the policy furthered
compelling penological interests in security, staff safety, inmate identification, and inmate health,
and that a proposed religious exception to the policy was unworkable. (Virginia Department of
Corrections)

prison officials under § 1983 and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA),
alleging denial of his rights to worship, to petition for redress of grievances, and to have access to
courts. The prisoner requested a preliminary injunction and the district court denied the request.
The court held that the prisoner stated cause of action against prison officials under § 1983 seeking
monetary damages for First Amendment and RLUIPA violations by alleging that all inmates in his
housing unit were denied communal worship. The court noted that the statute prohibiting

19.72

prisoners from bringing federal civil actions for mental or emotional injury absent a showing of
physical injury does not restrict damages in a First Amendment constitutional claim. The court
found that the prisoner stated cause of action for First Amendment violations in § 1983 complaint
against a prison chaplain and administrative assistant, in connection with alleged denial of
communal worship, in that it was reasonable to infer from the prisoner's factual allegations that
such officials might have implemented or enforced, or could have lifted, the restrictions at issue
while the prisoner was in certain housing units. According to the court, the alleged failure of state
prison officials to quickly correct records that listed the prisoner's religion, with the result that the
prisoner was prevented from engaging in communal worship for 39 days, if proven, did not violate
the prisoner's First Amendment rights where any such actions were the result of negligence, not an
intent to deny the prisoner access to worship. The court found that allegations of the prisoner's
complaint against prison officials, stating that he was not allowed to use his religious name to send
or receive mail, stated a cause of action under the First Amendment and RLUIPA for monetary
damages and injunctive relief. The court ruled that prison officials' alleged actions of denying the
prisoner access to a law library, denying him the ability to make copies, and confiscating his legal
materials, if proven, did not violate his constitutional right of access to courts, in that he could
write to the court and thus could file a complaint, he could send an original document and state
that he was unable to obtain copies, and he did not maintain that unreturned legal papers were
not replaceable. The court noted that there is no abstract, freestanding right to a law library, and
a prisoners' constitutional right of access to courts goes no further than access. The court found
that the confiscation of a prisoner's legal paperwork is merely a property loss, not a denial of the
constitutional right of access to courts, if the papers are replaceable. (Miami Correctional Facility,
Indiana)
U.S. District Court
NAME
RELIGION

Shidler v. Moore, 446 F.Supp.2d 942 (N.D.Ind. 2006). A Sunni Muslim inmate brought a civil

U.S. District Court
RETALIATION
CRITICISM

Siggers-El v. Barlow, 433 F.Supp.2d 811(E.D.Mich. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action
alleging that a prison official transferred him in retaliation for his exercising his First Amendment
rights. After a jury verdict in the inmate's favor, the official filed a motion for a new trial, and the
inmate moved for costs and attorney fees. The district court held that the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) that prohibited inmates from recovering mental or
emotional damages in the absence of a the physical injury, did not bar the inmate's claim for
emotional damages and that evidence supported the award of punitive damages. The court applied
only $1 of the inmate's damages award to his attorney fee award. The court noted that a jury may
be permitted to assess punitive damages in a § 1983 action when the defendant's conduct is shown
to be motivated by evil motive or intent, or when it involves reckless disregard or callous
indifference to the federally protected rights of others. According to the court, the jury's award of
punitive damages against the prison official was supported by evidence that the official transferred
the inmate in retaliation for the inmate's exercise of his First Amendment free speech rights in
complaining to the official's superiors about the official's misconduct, even though the official was
aware that the transfer would prevent the inmate from seeing his attorney, from paying his
attorney, and from seeing his emotionally-disabled daughter. (Michigan Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS
FREE SPEECH

Smith v. Miller, 423 F.Supp.2d 859 (N.D.Ind. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action

XX

rights action against prison officials who allegedly prevented him from practicing his religion. The
district court held that the inmate's allegations regarding the prison's prayer oil policy stated
claims for declaratory relief, monetary and punitive damages for a violation of the First and
Fourteenth Amendments, and for declaratory relief as well as nominal and punitive damages for a
violation of Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The inmate alleged
that a prison official created and enforced a policy prohibiting the use of prayer oil, that when the
policy was changed, only one type of oil was available and that he was allergic to it, and that the
official refused to permit him to purchase an alternative to which he was not allergic. The court
found that the inmate's allegation that he was denied communal worship even though Christians
were permitted communal worship, that he was denied the ability to participate in Ramadan
activities, and that he was classified as a Christian for the purpose of preventing him from
practicing his religion, also stated a claim. But the court found that the prison policy that
prevented the inmate from using his religious name on his mail did not violate his First
Amendment right to free exercise of religion, absent an allegation that the inmate had legally
changed his name in state court, or that members of other religious groups were able to change
their names more easily. (Miami Correctional Facility, Indiana)

challenging prison officials' decision to confiscate his anarchist materials. The officials moved for
summary judgment. The district court held that fact issues remained as to whether mere
possession of anarchist literature presented a clear and present danger to prison security. The
court opened its opinion by stating: “The issue of anarchism has raised its ugly face again, this
time in a prison context…The question here focuses on whether or not prison officials at the
Indiana State Prison are authorized to confiscate anarchist materials from inmates incarcerated
there…While the question presented here is a very close one, and it may be one on which the
prison authorities will later prevail….there needs to be a more extensive factual record.” The court

19.73

noted that if a trial were to be held, the court would attempt to appoint counsel for the plaintiff and
make every effort to keep the case as narrowly confined as possible. According to the court,
“Although it is a close case, there is enough here, if only barely enough, to keep the courthouse
doors open for this claim which necessarily involves overruling and denying the defendants'
motion.” (Indiana State Prison)
U.S. District Court
ASSOCIATION

Stewart v. Alameida, 418 F.Supp.2d 1154 (N.D.Cal. 2006). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983

U.S. District Court
FOIA- Freedom of
Information Act

Swope v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 439 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2006). A federal inmate brought a pro se
action under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking copies of recorded telephone
conversations between him and third parties in the possession of Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The
district court held that the third parties involved with the calls did not waive their privacy
interests, that the recordings were exempt from disclosure, and that the exempt and non-exempt
portions of the recordings were non-segregable. According to the court, the BOP recordings of
inmate telephone conversations are the functional equivalent of “law enforcement records” for the
purposes of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption from disclosure of law enforcement
records that would involve an invasion of a third party's privacy. (Medical Center for Federal
Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
MAIL
LEGAL MAIL

Wardell v. Duncan, 470 F.3d 954 (10th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action
against prison officials, alleging that a prison policy that required prisoners to purchase all hobby
materials, legal materials, books, and magazines from their prison accounts, and prohibiting gifts
to prisoners of such materials from unauthorized sources, violated his due process rights, his right
of access to the courts, and his First Amendment rights. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the officials. The prisoner appealed. According to the court, the confiscation of
documents mailed to the prisoner which were purchased by a person who was a visitor of another
inmate, did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights, where the ban was content neutral,
it was rationally related to the penological interest of preventing bartering, extortion, possession of
contraband, and other criminal activity by prisoners, the prisoner was still able to purchase the
same materials himself using funds from his prison account, and he had access to the same
materials in the prison law library. The court noted that permitting such third-party gifts and then
trying to control the resultant security problems through reactive efforts of prison officers would
impose an undue burden on prison staff and resources. The court held that the inmate’s proposed
accommodation, allowing third party gifts if third parties provided relevant information, such as
the source, amount, and manner of payment, would entail data collection, processing, and
substantial staff resources. The suit was prompted by prison officials' interception of three parcels
mailed to plaintiff. The first contained books from a “Mystery Guild” book club; the other two
contained legal documents from the Colorado State Archives and the Library of Congress which
had been purchased for the plaintiff by a third party who was listed as another inmate's visitor
and, thus, fell within a Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) prohibition on gifts from
unauthorized sources. The court also held that denial of the prisoner's access to courts claim that
challenged the prison policy restricting receipt of his legal mail, was warranted, absent a showing
that the prisoner's failure to receive his legal mail actually frustrated, impeded, or hindered his
efforts to pursue a legal claim. (Fremont Correctional Facility, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Weems v. Little Rock Police Dept,, 453 F.3d 1010 (8th Cir. 2006). A registered sex offender brought

XX

action against California corrections officials alleging violation of his First and Fourteenth
Amendment associational and due process rights, claiming that his validation as a gang associate
kept him in a secure housing unit. Officials moved for summary judgment and the district court
granted the motion. The court held that state regulations providing for gang validation based on
association bore a rational relation to a penological interest in institutional security and that the
full accommodation of inmate's associational rights would seriously hinder security and
compromise safety. According to the court, an interview after he was gang-validated afforded the
inmate an adequate procedural remedy consistent with due process. The court found that any of
three photographs of the inmate posing with inmates, some of whom were validated gang
associates and one of whom was a validated gang member, supported the inmate's gang validation
consistent with due process. (San Quentin Adjustment Center, California)

a civil rights suit challenging the provisions of the Arkansas Sex Offender Registration Act that
required sex offenders to register, and the provision of the statute that prohibited certain
registered sex offenders from living within two thousand feet of a school or a daycare center. The
district court denied the offenders’ motion for class certification and dismissed the suit for failure
to state a claim. The offender appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held: (1) the
residency restriction did not violate substantive due process; (2) the residency restriction did not
violate equal protection by treating the high-risk offenders who did not own property differently
from the property-owning high risk offenders or from low-risk offenders; (3) the restrictions did not
violate a constitutional right to travel; (4) the restriction did not constitute an unconstitutional ex
post facto law as applied to the offenders who sustained convictions prior to the enactment of the
statute; and (5) the offenders were not deprived of any liberty interest in avoiding a risk
assessment without procedural due process. The court held that the statute rationally advanced a

19.74

legitimate government purpose of protecting children from the most dangerous sex offenders by reducing their
proximity to the locations frequented by children, that the statute was intended to be regulatory and non-punitive, and
was not punitive in effect. (Arkansas General Assembly, Sex and Child Offender Registration Act)
2007
U.S. District Court
LANGUAGE

Allah v. Poole, 506 F.Supp.2d 174 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state inmate sued correctional officers under § 1983, alleging
various violations of his constitutional rights. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted
the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that a commissary supervisor's directive to the inmate and other
prisoners working at the commissary, that they speak to each other only in English, did not violate any constitutional
right the inmate may have had to converse with fellow prisoners in Spanish. According to the court, the stated rationale
for the directive, to ensure the supervisor's own safety, was indisputably legitimate and the restriction on the inmate's
use of Spanish applied only while he was working in the commissary. (Five Points Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
BOOKS
PUBLICATIONS

Daker v. Ferrero, 506 F.Supp.2d 1295 (N.D.Ga. 2007). A former prison inmate brought a § 1983 action against
corrections officials, challenging alleged denials of publications and mail, as well as alleged retaliatory acts by officials.
The district court granted summary judgment as to certain claims and the officials moved for reconsideration as to a
portion of that order and for summary judgment, and the inmate moved for summary judgment. The district court held
that reconsideration of summary judgment was warranted by genuine issues of fact that existed as to whether prison
officials violated the inmate's First Amendment rights by retaliating against him after he brought numerous grievances
and a civil rights action. The court found that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity as to books containing
sexually explicit materials, instructions on fighting techniques and military procedures and materials, criminal
investigatory techniques, and instructions on building electronic devices, but issues of fact existed as to whether prison
officials denied a book about revolution and four legal books based on their content. (Georgia Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
REGULATIONS

Daker v. Wetherington, 469 F.Supp.2d 1231 (N.D.Ga. 2007). A Muslim inmate brought a suit under § 1983 and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), alleging that his religious beliefs were not
accommodated adequately while he was incarcerated at several prison facilities. The defendants moved for summary
judgment, which the district court granted in part and denied in part. The Georgia Department of Corrections’ shaving
policy provides that goatees, beards, and similar facial adornments are prohibited unless medically indicated. The court
held that the Department’s shaving policy was not rendered constitutionally infirm by speculating that the Department
could, without undermining security, allow a very small percentage of its prisoners to grow facial hair. The inmate had
suggested that the prison accommodate his beliefs by transferring him out of the state prison system. The Muslim
inmate had challenged a requirement at one of the prisons that he recite the Prison’s Code of Ethics, but the court found
that he did not have standing to pursue that claim. The court noted that the inmate was no longer required to recite the
purportedly offensive Code, and that among the four prisons in which the inmate had been incarcerated, only one prison
warden required him to recite the Code of Ethics. The court held that the Muslim inmate was unlawfully denied a
weekly Ta’lim class, which was an Islamic educational class. Although the prison policy previously denying Muslim
prisoners access to Ta’lim had been revised, the Department provided no assurance that the inmate would not be
subjected to a similar policy should he be transferred to another prison facility in the future. The court allowed this
claim to go forward in view of the frequency of transfer of the inmate between the Department facilities in the previous
seven years, and the likelihood that he would be transferred to another facility in the future where there was little
assurance that he would not be denied Ta’lim. (Ray James State Prison, Arrendale State Prison, Hancock State Prison
and Spalding County Correctional Institution, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
NEWSPAPERS

George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007). A state prisoner sued prison officials under § 1983, alleging
deprivations of his speech rights and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The district court dismissed
some of the claims and granted summary judgment for the defendants on the remaining claims. The prisoner appealed.
The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner's allegation that his health was placed at risk by an
allegedly malfunctioning dishwasher that left particles of food on his plate at dinner failed to state an Eighth
Amendment claim. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that a prison employee had failed to provide a
purported atlas that he had ordered, on security grounds, were insufficient to state a First Amendment violation where
the prisoner did not provide a description, title or other identifying information for the book. The court held that the
prisoner's allegation that the prison refused to allow him to speak to the public at large by placing advertisements in
newspapers was insufficient to state a claim for violation of his First Amendment free speech rights where the prisoner
did not provide the content of the advertisements. (Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Greybuffalo v. Kingston, 581 F.Supp.2d 1034 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action for declaratory
and injunctive relief, challenging, on First Amendment grounds, prison officials' actions in confiscating two documents
as “gang literature” and disciplining him for possessing the documents. One document was a publication of the
“American Indian Movement” (AIM). The other was a code of conduct for a prisoner group that was created to enable
“self-protection of Native Americans.” The court held that interpreting the prison regulation to prohibit inmates from
possessing literature of any group that had not been sanctioned by prison officials was an exaggerated response to
legitimate security interests that violated the First Amendment. The court found that the history of the civil rights
organization referenced in the seized document did not permit the reasonable conclusion that the inmate's possession of
the document implicated a legitimate interest in preventing gang activity or prison security. The court ordered the
expungement from prison records of the finding that the inmate's possession of the document violated prison rules. The
court held that officials could reasonably conclude that the inmate's possession of a code of conduct for a prisoner
group that was created to enable “self-protection” of Native American prisoners could lead to future security problems
and that the officials did not violate the inmate's free speech rights when it prohibited and disciplined the inmate for

XXI

19.75

possessing the code of conduct. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
U.S. District Court
FREE SPEECH
RETALIATION

Gullick v. Ott, 517 F.Supp.2d 1063 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A plaintiff filed a § 1983 action alleging that a deputy sheriff
detained him and issued a citation because of his support for a candidate opposed by the deputy in a sheriff's race, in
violation of the First Amendment. The deputy moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The
court held that the plaintiff did not have to demonstrate an absence of probable cause in order to establish a First
Amendment retaliation claim. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the
deputy sheriff had probable cause to detain the plaintiff and issue him a citation, and whether the deputy's actions were
motivated by the plaintiff's support for the candidate. The court found that the plaintiff suffered sufficient injury to
support a retaliation claim and that the deputy was not entitled to qualified immunity because it was clearly established
at the time of the incident that law enforcement officers could not retaliate against citizens for exercising their First
Amendment rights. The court opened its decision by stating “The facts of this case sound like they came straight from a
bad movie on cable TV…” (Columbia County, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
PHOTOGRAPHS

Jackson v. Frank, 509 F.3d 389 (7th Cir. 2007). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, challenging
a prison's policy of preventing prisoners from possessing individual, commercially published photographs. The prisoner
had asked to display a picture of the actress Jennifer Aniston in his cell. The district court entered summary judgment
for the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the policy did not violate the
prisoner’s First Amendment right to receive information, where the policy rationally advanced the prison's interest in
saving staff resources, the prisoner had an alternative means of exercising his right through subscribing to magazines,
and the prisoner put forward no evidence of a cost savings of capping the volume of mail that inmates might receive
compared to the benefits of banning individual, commercial photographs. (Green Bay Correctional Institute,
Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
“PUBLISHER ONLY”
RULE

Jones v. Salt Lake County, 503 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 2007). County jail prisoners and a legal publication for prisoners
filed § 1983 suits against county jails, county officials, and a state Department of Corrections (DOC), challenging the
constitutionality of mail regulations in the jails and state prisons. The district court dismissed the actions and the
plaintiffs appealed. The two actions were consolidated for appeal. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part,
and remanded. The court held that: (1) a jail regulation banning prisoners' receipt of technical and sexually explicit
publications did not violate the First Amendment; (2) the jail regulation barring prisoners from ordering books from the
outside did not violate the First Amendment; and (3) the prison's refusal to accept legal publications did not amount to a
violation of prisoners' First Amendment or due process rights where the refusal to accept the magazines was not based
on any prison policy, but was due to a prison mailroom personnel's negligence. The court remanded the case to the
district court to conduct a four-part Turner analysis of the validity of the county jail's ban on prisoners' receipt of all
catalogs. The court held that the regulation banning ordering books from outside was reasonably related to the jail's
legitimate penological goal of security, as it prevented contraband from being smuggled into the jail, and that prisoners
had access to thousands of paperbacks through the jail library, prisoners could request permission to order books
directly from a publisher, prisoners could also obtain paperback books donated to them through a program at local
bookstore, prisoners had access to other reading materials such as newspapers and certain magazines. The court noted
that allowing prisoners to have unrestricted access to books from all outside sources would significantly impact jail
resources. (Utah State Prison, Salt Lake County Jail and San Juan County Jail, Utah)

U.S. District Court
MEDIA ACCESS
CORRESPONDENCE
MAIL
NEWSPAPERS
REGULATIONS

Jordan v. Pugh, 504 F.Supp.2d 1109 (D.Colo. 2007). A federal inmate brought an action alleging that a prison
regulation prohibiting inmates from acting as reporters or publishing under bylines violated the First Amendment. After
a bench trial was held, the district court entered judgment for the inmate. The court found that the inmate had
constitutional standing to raise the First Amendment challenge against the regulation, where the inmate had been
punished twice for publishing under a byline. The court held that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regulation
violated the First Amendment, despite the BOP's concerns of creating “big wheel” inmates who presented a security
risk, a chilling effect on the performance or speech of prison staff, or permitting inmates to conduct business. The court
noted that a myriad of similar publishing opportunities were available to inmates, there was no particular security risk
associated with an inmate publishing under a byline in the news media that was not present with other inmate
publications, the BOP had adequate authority to screen and exclude dangerous content coming into the prison, and there
was no evidence linking inmates' outgoing news media correspondence to inmates conducting business. (Federal
Bureau of Prisons, Administrative Maximum Unit [“ADX”], Florence, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION
RELIGIOUS
LITERATURE

Kaufman v. Schneiter, 474 F.Supp.2d 1014 (W.D.Wis. 2007). An inmate at a supermaximum security prison filed a §
1983 action alleging that prison officials violated his constitutional rights. The inmate filed a motion seeking leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the
inmate’s claim that he was transferred to a maximum security facility in retaliation for his decision to name a warden as
a defendant in a civil rights action was not frivolous, and thus the inmate was entitled to proceed in forma pauperis in
his § 1983 action, where fact issues remained as to whether the lawsuit motivated the warden’s decision to transfer the
inmate. The court found that the inmate’s claim that prison officials violated his First Amendment free speech and free
exercise rights, and violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) as a result of their
decision to prohibit the inmate from possessing any written materials was not frivolous, and thus the inmate was
entitled to proceed in forma pauperis. But the court held that the officials’ refusal to authorize a study group for inmates
who described themselves as atheists, freethinkers, humanists and “other,” and those who identified themselves to
prison officials as having no religious preference, did not violate the atheist inmate’s First Amendment free exercise
rights, absent a showing that reading books about atheism or meeting in study group with inmates of various
philosophical bents constituted observation of central religious beliefs or the practices of atheism. (Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility)

XXI

19.76

U.S. District Court
RETALIATION
MEDIA ACCESS

Montoya v. Board of County Com'rs, 506 F.Supp.2d 434 (D.Colo. 2007). A jail inmate brought civil rights and civil
rights conspiracy claims against sheriffs, a deputy sheriff, and officials of two counties alleging violation of his
constitutional rights when he was tasered by a correctional officer and later transferred and placed in segregation in
alleged retaliation for complaining to the press about the tasering incident. The defendants moved for summary
judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that a civil rights claim was not stated against
counties and sheriffs in their official capacities for the inmate's transfer and placement in segregated confinement in
alleged retaliation for his complaints to press, given the inmate's complete failure to allege any specific facts suggesting
that segregation was the result of a custom or policy, rather than being simply a single act of deprivation disconnected
from any wider scheme. According to the court, the county sheriffs were entitled to qualified immunity on individual
capacity claims involving conspiracy to transfer and place jail inmate in protective, segregated confinement in
retaliation for the exercise of his First Amendment rights, absent any indication that the sheriffs, who never
communicated with each other about the transfer, were personally involved in the decision, exercised discretionary
control over the decision, or failed to supervise jail administrators who actually made the transfer. (Chaffee and Park
Counties, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Moses v. Dennehy, 523 F.Supp.2d 57 (D.Mass. 2007). Prison inmates sued a department of corrections, claiming that a
regulation banning possession of sexually explicit materials violated their First Amendment rights. The department
moved for summary judgment. The district court entered judgment for the department. The court held that there was a
rational relationship between the regulation banning inmates' possession of sexually explicit materials and a legitimate
interest in prison security. According to the court, the regulation satisfied the First Amendment requirement that
alternative means of expression be provided because inmates were afforded an opportunity to receive materials on a
wide range of subjects, other than those involving sexuality or nudity, and there was even an exception allowing for
nude images having medical, educational, or anthropological content. According to the court, the possibility of harm to
other inmates supported the validity of the regulation. The court concluded that the administration of the regulation did
not violate the First Amendment, where publications known always to feature sexually explicit materials were banned
outright, and others were banned following prison staff inspection of individual issues. (Massachusetts Department of
Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRISONER
PUBLICATIONS

Myron v. Terhune, 476 F.3d 716 (9th Cir. 2007). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against several correctional
officers and medical personnel at a prison. The district court dismissed the claims and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court found that a California prison regulation, which provided that inmates could
participate in the publication and distribution of an inmate publication only with the institution head’s specific approval,
did not give the state prisoner a liberty interest protected by the due process clause, in participating in such a
publication. (Salinas Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS
OBSCENITY

Ramirez v. Pugh, 486 F.Supp.2d 421 (M.D.Pa. 2007). An inmate at a federal minimum security correctional facility
brought an action claiming that a federal statute banning the use of federal funds to distribute certain sexually explicit
material to prisoners violated his First Amendment right to free speech. The district court dismissed the action. The
inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded with instructions that an evidentiary hearing be held. Upon
remand, the district court entered judgment in favor of the prison. The court held that the statute and accompanying
regulations were reasonably related to the legitimate penological goals of rehabilitating sex offenders, rehabilitating
other inmates, and preserving institutional security. The court noted that the statute, interpreted to prohibit prison
inmates from receiving publicly available soft-core pornographic materials, satisfied the First Amendment requirement
that it be reasonably related to the penological goal of rehabilitating sex offenders, even though sex offenders
represented only 2.8% of the prison population. According to the court, the need to rehabilitate sex offenders was much
more important than the rights of other inmates to view the material in question. (Allenwood Low Security Correctional
Institution, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION
PRISONERS

Spratt v. Rhode Island Dept. Of Corrections, 482 F.3d 33 (1st.Cir. 2007). A state prison inmate sued a state corrections
department, alleging that the department's policy that prohibited inmates from preaching to fellow inmates violated the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment for the
department, and inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by fact questions as to whether the department's total ban on preaching by inmates promoted the
department's compelling interest in prison security, as applied to the inmate who was an ordained minister and who had
preached to fellow inmates without incident for several years. The court found that no substantial evidence was offered
in support of the theory that any inmate preacher would be seen as an inmate leader, and that inmate leaders threatened
security. The court also held that the department could not satisfy RLUIPA’s “ leas