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Volume 6 Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog 26th Ed. 2016

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DETENTION AND
CORRECTIONS
CASELAW CATALOG

26th Edition
2015-2016

Volume Six: Sec. 39-50
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 39: SAFETY AND SECURITY
Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog All "Righlll B.eaeroed
CRS, Inc. 925 Johnson Drive, Gettysburg PA 17325 (71'7) 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 of this edition of the
Catalog. Prior t.o publication., the citation. for each case was verified, and the case was researched in Shepard's
Citations to determine jf it had been altered upon appeal (reversed. or modmed), 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 t.o identify related topics of interest. The
text in the section en.titled "How to Use The Catalog• at the beginning of the Catalog 1;1rovides an. overnew which
may also be helpful t.o some readers,
The case summaries which follow are organized by year; with the earliest case presented first. Within each
year, cases are organized alphabeti.cally by the name of the plamtiff. The left margin offers a quick reference,
highlighting the type of court involved and identifying appropriate subtopics addressed by each case.

1964:

U.S. District Court
JEWELRY

Bllllks v. Havener, 284 F.Supp. 27 (E.D. Vir. 1964). An inmate is allowed to wear a
religious medal even though jewelry has been banned from prisoners in other cases for
security reasons. (Youth Center, Lort.on, Virginia)
1967

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Lee v. Crouse, 284 F.Supp. 541 (D. Kan. 1967), aff'd. 396 F.2d. 952 (10th Cir. 1968).
The size of groups at religious services may be restricted. (I.ansing, Kansas)
1968

U.S. District CO'Ul't
Konigsberg v. Ciccone, 285 F.Supp. 585 (W,D. Mo. 1968), aff"d, 417 F.2d. 161
RELIGIOUS SERVICES (8th Cir. 1969), cert. denied. 397 U.S. 968 (1969). The right to attend religious
services can. be prohibited in such cases only when. it can. be shown. that institution.al
security is threatened. (Medical Center For Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri)
U.S. Appeals CO'Ul't
SAFETY

REGULATIONS
DISCRETION
U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Long v. Parker, 890 F.2d. 816 (3rd Cir. 1968). Correction.al personnel, not the courts,
are responsU,le for promulgating regulations for the safety of the prison population. and
public as well as for the main.tenam:e and proper :func:tiol:img of the institation. ·
Correction.al officers must be grant.eel wide discretion. in the exercise of such authority.
(United States Penitentiary;Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)

W'tlson v. Kelley, 294 F.Supp. 1006 (N.D. Ga. 1968), aff'd, 898 U.S. 266
(1968). State statut.es requiring the segregation. of races in county jails are
UJJCOllStitutional, and although prison authorities may take racial tensions in.to account in
maintaining order and secarity, such consideration. should be made aft.er a danger to
security, discipline, and good order has become apparent, and not before. (Georgia)
1969

U.S. Appeals Court
REIJGION

Walker v. Blackwell, 411 F.2d 23 (5th Cir. 1969). Services must be permitt.ed equally
for all religions, although the time and frequency may be con.trolled. Security concems
justified refusal of Ma$lims' request to ·have a meal after sumiet. (Atlanta, Georgia)
1971

U.S. Appeals CO'Ul't
HAlRLENGTH
FACIALHAIR

U.S. District Court
MEDIA ACCESS

DISl'URBANCE

Blake v. Pryse, 444 F.2d. 218 (8th Cir. 1971). Regalations covering hair length and
facial hair have been held not to raise constitution.al issues. Administrators can justify
such·rerulations t.o achieve purposes of identi:fication., hygiene, discipline andpreven.tion.
of concealment of contraband. (Federal Correctional Institute, San.dst.one, Minnesota)
Burnham v. Oswald, 333 F,Supp. 1128 (W.D. N.Y., 1971). Newsmen brought suit
seeking an. order permitting press interviews of in.mates in certain state correctional
:facilities. The district court held that guidelines applied by corrections officials which
resulted in forbidding interviews of inmates aft.er a riot took place was not an.
b:ifringemen.t of newsmen's first amendmen+. rights. A federal court will not substitate its
judgment as to restrictions requjred for safety and secarity of an. mstitation. for that of
prism, admrnistnt.ors unless a violation of constitation.al rights is clear. (Attica

Correctional Facility. New York)

39.1

U.S. District Court
LOCKS

Jones v. Wittenberg, 330 F.Supp. 707 (N,D. Oh. 1971), aff'd. 456 F.2d 854 (6th Cir.
1972), Cell-locking syst.em must be placed in good working order. (Lucas Co., O}O

U.S. District Court

Seale v. Mason, 326 F.Supp. 1875 (D. Conn. 1971). Arguments for hair restriction are
based on health reasons and the need for identification of inmat.es. Where a prison
reculation limit.eel the jewelry women prisoners might wear t.o a wristwatch, earrings, a
ring and a necklace with a religious medal on it, the court held no infringement of aey
constitutional ~ht existed. ~ontville Correctional Cent.er, C.onnecticut)

HAlR
JEWELRY

1972

U.S. District Court
LOCKS

Baker v. Hamilton, 845 F.Supp. 845 (W,D. ~- 1972}. Broken locks con.tribute t.o a
finding of cruel and unusual pu:cisbrnent u t.o juveniles. (Jefferson County Jail,
Kentucky)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Christma:c v. Skinner. 468 F.2d 728 (2d Cir. 1972). Puttin.g detainee in ''isolation for
three days did not constitute punishment, but only :maintenance of order and discipline,"
thus no minimal due process was necessary. (Monroe County Jail, New York)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL

Collins v. Schoonfield, 844 F.Supp. 257 (D, Md. 1972). A detainee can be deprived of
constitutional rights "only t.o the ext.ent such denial is required t.o insure that he
appears at trial and t.o restrain him from endangering or c:lisrupting the security of the
institution in which he is detained, or t.o deter him, if his conduct has already caused such
danger or c:lisruption. from repeating such conduct. Imna.tes may' not be punished for
conduct if innocuous or trivial nature under vague and uncertain standards and ·
reculatio:cs because such conduct may offend the sensibilities of individual corrections
officers where such conduct poses no threat t.o the security and order of the institlltion.
(Baltimore City Jail. Maryland)

DETAINEES

U.S. District Court
ACCESS TO
ATrORNEY

Elie v. Hepdersop. 840 F.Supp. 958 (E,D, La. 1972), Banning: qf lawyers who seem
int.ent on "instigating trouble" is approved. Att.orneya do not have a right t.o visit
inmat.es who have not sought their advice. (Louisiana Stat.e Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
LaReau v. MacDougall. 473 F.2d 974 (2nd Cir. 1972}, cert denied. 414 U.S.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES 878. Prisoners with a hist.ory of disruptive activity may be denied att.endance at
religious services. (Connecticut Correctional Institut.e, Somers)
1973

U.S. Appeals Court
Fallis v. United States. 476 F,2d 619 (5th Cir. 1978), Security and visiting rules are
RELIGIOUS SERVICES safficient grounds for refusing t.o allow Mormon "Family Home Evening:n contact visits.
CONTACT VISITS
(Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, Georgia)
.

1974
U.S. Supreme Court
MEDIA ACCESS

Pell v. Procum.er. 417 U.S. 817 (1974). Pell, a journalist, together with two other
journalists and f~ California Stat.e Pt-iscm. inmates, sought in.junctive and declaratoey
relief in a 42 U.S.C~ Section 1983 action challenging a California Department of
Corrections rule promulgated by- PL-ocunier, Direc:tor of the Department. The rule provided
that press and other media interviews with specific individual imnat.es would not be
permitt.ed. The U.S. District Court for the Southern. Division of California granted the
requested relief, holding +.hat the rule um:onstitutionally infringed their first and
fourteen.th amendment freedoms. The court dismissed +he journalists' claims on the
ground .that other sources of information were available t.o them. The prison officials and
joumalists appealed directly t.o the U.S. Supreme Court.
lffll:l2: 1 [S]ince [the rule prohibiting media interviews with specific individual
inmates] does not den:y the press access t.o
of information available t.o members of
the general public, we hold that it does not abridge the prot.ec:tion. that the first and
fourt.eentb. amendments guarantee," 417 U.S. at 885.
REASONING:
a. 1 [L]awful incarceration brmgs about the necessary withdrawal or limitation of.
m.any privileges and rights, a retraction justified by- the considerations underlying our
penal &yBt.em [Cite omitt.ed]. • 417 U.S. at 822.
b. 8 [A] prison mmate retains those first amendment rights that are not mconsist:ent
with his status as a prison.er or with the legitimate pen.ological objectives of the corrective
system. Th.us, challenges t.o prison restrktions that are assert.ed t.o mhibit first
amendment interest.a must be analyzed in terms of the legitimate policies and goals of the
cor.reetioDS syst.em. t.o whose ~ and C82'8 the prisoner has been. committ.ed in
accordam:e with due pl'OCeSS of law." 417 U.S. at 822.
c. "It is m. light of these legitimat.e penal objectives [deterrence, rehabilitation. and
sec:arili,y] that a court must assess cba])enges t.o prison regulations based on asseried
co.nsl:itatiomu rights of prisoners.• 417 U.S. at 823.

sources

39.2

d. "When the question involves the entry of people into the priso:a.s for face-to-face
communication with inmat.es, it is obvious that institati.onal considerations such as
secarity and related administrative problems, as well as the accepted and legitimat.e policy
objectives of the corrections system itself, require that some limitation be placed on such
visitations." 417 U.S. at 826.
e. ''In the judgment of the state corrections officials, this visitation policy will permit
inmates to have personal contact with those persons who will aid in their rehabilitation,
while keeping visitatio:a.s at a manageable level that will not compromise institutional
secarity. Such considerations are peculiarly within. the province and professional
expertise of corrections officials and, in the absence of substantial evidence in the record t.o .
indicate that the officials have exaggerated their respo:a.se to these consideratio:a.s, c:ourts
should ordinarily defer to their expert judgment. 11
f. "[W]hen the issue involves a regulation limiting one of several means of
communication by an inmate, the institutional objectives furthered by that regulation, and
the measure of judicial deference owed to corrections officials in their att.empt to serve
those interests are relevant in judging the validity of the regulation." 417 U.S. at 827.
g. "[N]ewsmen have no constitati.onal right of access to prisons or their inmates
beyond that afforded the general public.• 417 U.S. at 834.
h. 'The right t.o speak and publish does not carry with it the unrestrained right to
gather information." 417 U.S. at 834 at 9, ~ Zemel v. Rusk, 381 U.S. AT 16-17.
NOTE: Important t.o the Court's holding that the rule did not violate the inmates'
rights was its finding that adequate alternatives (mail and visitation) existed to provide
inmates with access t.o the outside world.· (Department of Corrections, California)
1975

U.S. Distdct Court
STAFFING

Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris Co., 406 F.Supp. 649 (S.D. Tex. 1975). Sufficient jail
staff shall be hired t.o provide one jailer for every twenty inmates. The number of jail
guards must be in.creased when additional guards are required for the safekeeping of
prisoners and the security of the jail. (Harris County Jail, Texas)

U.S. Distdct Court

Rhem v. Malcolm, 396 F.Supp. 1195 (S.D. N.Y. 1975), afrd, 527 F.2d 1041
(2nd Cir. 1975). Institution allowed to lock in inmates, consistent with least restrictive
alternative theory, during following times: 1) Post-breakfast lock-in to provide services for
inmates going t.o court. 2) Lock-in of one side of cell block while other side is eating. 8)
N"1ght time lock-in. Using proper classif'lcation procedures, the institution may impose a
more restrictive lock-in schedule for inmates determined t.o be security risks, (Manhattan
House of Detention, New York)

"LOCK-INB

1978
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Bell v. Manson, 427 F.Supp. 450 (D, Conn. 1976). Strip and rectal searching aft.er
court appearances is upheld. (Community Correctional Center, Bridgeport)

U.S. District Court
VISITS

WoJfish v. Levi, 406 F.Supp. 1243 (S.D. N.Y. 1976). Restrictions on visitation of
pretdal in.mat.es must be justified by compelling necessity. Prison officials have the
ultimate burden of proof on this issue. Due process reqwres that the least restraint
necessary to assure institutional security and adminiP-ative manageability be
employed. (Metropolitan Correctional Facility, New York)

PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

1977
U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND

Goldsby v. Carnes, 429 F.Supp. 370 (W.D. Mo. 1977). All living units should be
checked for contraband at least once a month. (Jackson County Jail, Missouri)

1978
U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Bono v. Saxbe, 450 F.Supp. 934 (E.D. ID., 1978). Prisoners conf"med in the control imit
of the Marion Federal Penitentiary brought an action challenging the conditions of
their conf'mement. The district court held that: (1) prisoners did not have a fundamen:tal
liberty interest in remaining 1n. the general prison population but did have an interest
prot.ected by due process as a result of the prison's own. rules; (2) placement of prisoners in.
the control unit, which was done for preventative and not punitive reasons, could not be
based on the crime for which the prisoner was convicted or on the poSSl'bilii;y of escape
since every inmate in the Marion institution was a potential candidate for escape; (3)
prisoners placed in the control unit were entitled to written notice of hearing, written
reason, impartial decision rnaking, and immediate and later periodic review; (4) prisoners

were entitled to be told what affirmative actions they could take to expedite their release
from the control unit, and (5) conditions of confinement in. the control unit were not cruel
and unusual J:"Misbmen.t acept for the use of closed-front cells. (Federal Penitentiary,
Marion, Illinois)

39.3

U.S. District Court

FIRE SAFETY
U.S. Supreme Court
MEDIA ACCESS

Hamilt.on v. Covipgt.cm. 445 F.Supp. 195 (W.D. Ark. 1978). A duty is owed by the
sheriff to provide adequate security. Liability ~ emt for deaths and iajuries
oc:curring from a fire in an unattended jail. (Nevada County Jail, Arkansas)
Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 488 U.S. l (1978). This is a 42 U.S.C. Section 1988
action brought by KQED Broadcasting Coi:npany apinst Houchins, the sheriff of
Alameda County, Colorado, clairning deprivation of first am.en.drnen.t rights. KQED was
refased permission to inspect and photograph areas of a county jail where an inmate
suicide had taken place. Shortly after the initiation of this action, the -sheriff conduct.eel
monthly tours, open to the public, of certain. areas of the jail. KQED maintained this was
inadequate because once the tours were fwl media representatives might not have access,
and photographic and sound equipment were not allowed on the tours.
The U.S. district court granted a preliminary iD,jun.ction enjoining Houchins from
denying KQED and respollSl'ble representatives of the news media access to the jail, and
from prohibiting the use of photographic and sound equipment. On interloeutory appeal,
the circuit court of appeals affirmed the district court's order, concluding the media had a
first amendment and fourteenth amendment right of access to prisons and jails. Houchms
sought certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court. (Reversed and Remanded).
l-JEJ.D: Neither the First Amendment nor the Fourteenth Amendment mandat.es a
right of access to government information or sources of information within the
government's control. Under... [the] ...holdings in Pell v. Procanier... [Cite Omitted] ... and
Saxbe v. Wss:bingbm Post. .. [Cite Omitted] ... , until the political branches decree
otherwise...the media have no special right of access to the Alameda County Jail different
from or greater than that accorded the public generally. 488 U.S. at 15, 16. (Alameda
County Jail, Colorado)

1979
U.S. Supreme Court
SECURITY

RESTRICTIONS
SEARCHES
VISITS
CELL 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 practic:es in a writ of habeas corpus, alleging such
conditions and practices violate their constitutional rights.
MCC is a federally operated, short-term detention facility construct.eel in 1975.
Eighty-five percent of all in.mat.es are released within sixty days of .,dmission. 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 in.mates 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 statllt.ory grounds, m&IJY of which were not
appealed. See. United States Ex Rel Wolfish v. Levi, 489 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
circaits. 11 441 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 after contact visits constitute pllnisbment in violation of the rights of pretrial
detainees under the due process clause of the fifth arnen.dm.ent?
liEl,I>. "Nor do we think that the four MCC security restrictions and
practices...constitute 'punisbrnent' in violation of the rights of pretrial detainees under the
due process clause of the fifth amendment.• 441 U.S. at 560, 561.
REASONING: L (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, convict.ed inmates, or both... [W]e
tbhik that these particalar restrictions and practices were reasonable responses by MCC
officials t.o legitimate security concems. [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.
CLOSING COMMENTS OF MAJORITY OPINION: "[T]he inquiry of federal courts
into prison l1l8llagement must be limited to the issue of whether a particular syst;em
violat.es any prohibition of the constitution, or in the case of a federal prison., a statute.
The wide ranp of 'judgment calls' that meet constitational and statutory requirements are
confided to officials outside of the judicial branch of government.• 441 U.S. at 562.

39.4:

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 iive-four decision indicates there was no
general consensus as to what that role is, !!!'. how it should be applied. No less than three
possible standards of review are contained in the majority and dissenting opmions: 1) A
"ration.al basis", subjective test; 2) A balancing of interests test; 3) 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 ocly to facilities where:
a) Inmates are locked in their cells a maximum of eight hrs. a day and have access
t.o 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
SEGREGATION

Brown v. Neagle, 486 F.Supp. 364 (S,D. W.V. 1979). Placement in administrative
detention as an escape risk on the basis of escapes •from other institations by
acquaintances of the plaintiff is irrational. Return to general population and credit for the
good time which would have been earned in general population is ordered. The plaintiff is
to be treated as any other inmate. (Federal Correctional Institution, Alderson, West
Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
VISITS
CROWDING

MAIL
CLASSIFICATION
PROTECTION

Jones v. Diamond, 594 F.2d 997 (5th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 102 S.Ct. 27
(1980). In. this opinion, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed Mississippi
Distt'ict Court Judge William Cox's ruling on. what the Fifth Circuit termed a
"challenge to nearly every conceivable facet of the Jackson County Jail at Pascagoula,
Mississippi. 0 The court first noted that the conditions at the Jackson County Jail were
not "un.civilized" 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
bemg held in the jail while the state penitentiary was being brought up to constitutional
standards. Consequently, there were convict.ad 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 pretrial detainee or
a convicted. felon or misdemeanant. The court then reviewed the hist.ory 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 erectmg a new jail. After notmg these facts, the court made rulings in the
following areas,
VISITATION. The Court noted that convicted criminals do not have a constitutional
right t.o visitation ex:cept for legal counsel, whereas pretrial detainees rights are limited in
that they must yield, where necessary, to the needs of institutional seeurity. In. the Fifth
Circuit, the courts have held that a pretrial detainee also does not have constitutional
right to contact visitation. At the jail, visitation was officially limited to a brief period on
Sundays, although jail officials often. allowed visitation at other than regular hours.
However, there had been a serious smuggling problem at the jail. When the officials
ordered that visitors be searched before being allowed visitation to prevent smuggling, the
inmat.es riot.eel, causing $30,000 damage. The appellate court upheld the lower court's
ruling that the ex:isting visitation regUlations were constitaticmally adequate. The court
specifically point.eel· out that depriving inmates of contact visitation. was unconstitutional.
OVERCROWDING. Although there had been a serious overcrowding problem at the
jail, the construction of the new jail elimiuat«l any further problem. The court ruled,
however, that overcrowcihJg at the old jail was prohibited.
MAIL. The court clearly spelled out the rights of inmates with regard to mail:
[PJrison officials may constitutionally censor incoming and outgoinB general
correspondence. No numerical limitations may be placed upon prison
correspondence, but jail officials may employ a 'negative mail list' to eUminat.e any
prisoner correspondence with those on the outside who affirmatively indicate that
they do not wish to receive correspondence from a particular prisoner. Officials
may not require prior approval of the names of individuals with whom prisoners
may correspond. Finally, letters which concern plans for violations of prison rules
or which contain a graphic presentation. of sexual behavior in violation. of the law
may be withheld.
Outgoing mail to licensed att.orneys, courts, and court officials must be sent
unopened, and inron,ing mail from such sources may be opened only in the
presence of the inmate recipient, if considered necessary to determine authen:ticity
or to inspect for con.traband. Prisoners may be N.qUired to submit the names of
att.orneys reasonably in advance of proposed mailinp so that officials can
ascertain whet.her the named att.orney is licensed. Prisoners have the same
general rights as to media mail.
39.5

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
imnat.es from homosexual attacks, violence and contagious diseases. The court ruled that
the policies in m:istence Ullder the Mississippi Code were adequate to protect the imnate.
SECURITY. While noting that an inmate is to be protected from assaults from other
imnat.es, the court also stated that relief could be provided only where there was a
showing of deliberate indif!erence to the inmates' security and protection. Here, there was
no such showing, and the court refused to issue mjunctive relief. · (Jackson County Jail,
Pascagoula, Mississippi)

1980
U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Brown v. Hilton, 492 F.Supp. 771 (D. N.J. 1980). The seizure of literature on the
making ~ bombs and weapons from an inmate does not violate the first amendment.
(New Jersey State Prison, Trenton)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Bukhari v. Hutto, 487 F.Supp. 1162 (E.D. Vir. 1980). While placement in segregation
based upon the political beliefs of an individual would violate the first amendment,
placement in segregation of an individual who is a member of an organization advocating
escape, who although a model prisoner, has already escaped once, and whose closest
associates have recently escaped from other institutions is a reasonable security measure.
Such placement in segregation does not require a Wolff type hearing, either before or
after, but the individual does have a due process base right to have any erroneous
information in the file which is considered in making the decision. (Vu-ginia Correctional
Center for Women, Goodland)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SEPARATION

Campbell v. Bergeron. 486 F.Supp, 1246 (M.D. La. 1980), aff'd. 654 F.2d 719 (5th Cir.,
1981). Jail inmates have a right of personal safety when incarcerated. However, there
is nothing inherent in a failure to separate sent.enc:ed and pretrial imnates which
violates this ~ht. (West Baton Rouge Parish Jail, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
TELEPHONE CALLS

Rodriguez v. Blaedow. 497 F.Supp. 558 (E.D, Wisc. 1980). Security considerations
permit the institution to monitor all telephone calls and justify a requirement that all
calls be made in English. (Correctional Institution, Waupun, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court

Sims v. Brierton. 500 F.Supp. 813 (N.D. Ill. 1980). Requiring inmates to submit to a
bod;y cavity search in order to consult with an attorney or to have a deposition taken
violates the right of access to the courts. There are no security considerations
demonstrated in this cont.ext which would support such a requirement. (Stateville
Correctional Cent.er, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
HATS

St. Claire v. Cuyler, 634 F,2d 109 (3rd Cir. 1980). Rejecting the lower court's
reuoning, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld regulations of the Grate:ford,
Pennsylvania prison, preventing inmates from wearing hats even for religious purposes
and from a1;t.,,ding religious ~ s while in segregation. The lower court ruled against
the prison, holding that while the prison officials imposing the rules were seeking +.o
protect substantial security interests, they had not chosen the "least restrictive
alternative• for doing so. Prison officials argued that hats would provide an additional
place for the concealment of weapons or contraband. They also stated that some prison
cliques use head gear as a means of identification. According to the prison officials, group
identification can cause security problems if separate groups exhibit hostility toward each
other. The ban on attendance at religious services by prisoners in segregation was based
upon the prison's inability to mobilize the manpower to move the prisoners to and from
services. The appeals court first noted that convicted prisoners do not forfeit all their
constitutional protections. The court stated, however, that first mnendrneut freedoms may
be curtailed when prison officials reasonably believe that exercise of such freedoms would
be likely to result in disruption to the prisoner's order and stability. The court then held
that the showing of a substantial security int.erest, without more, was sufficient to shift
the burden of proof to the plaintiff. Were the plain.tiff to then prevail, it would be
necessary to show that the prison's security concerns were unreasonable or its response
exaggerated. The court found that no such showing was made here and thus reversed the
lower court. The clistrict court's "least restrictive alternative requirement, n the higher
court said, is not necessary. (Penns,ivaxiia Prison, Graterford, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE

Williams v. Kelly, 624 F.2d 695 (5th Cir. 1980), cert. denied. 451 U.S.
1019 (1980). Mother of prisoner, whose death was apparently caused when jailers
applied choke hold to him, brought wrongful death action against the jailers resting on
statute authorizing a civil action for deprivation of rights. The United States District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia entered judgment in favor of the jailers and the
prisoner's mother appealed. The court of appeals held that the clistrict court's

SEARCHES

39.6

findings that jailers applied fatal choke hold to prisoner in order to protect their own
safety and in a good faith effort to maintain order or discipline were not clearly erroneous
and therefore their conduct was not constitu.tionally tortious. (Atlanta Police Station,
Holding Room)
1981

U.S. District Court
BOOKS
CONTRABAND

Howard v. Cronk, 526 F.Supp. 1227 (S.D. N.Y. 1981). The prisoner's constitutional
right to visit with his legal counsel was not violat.ed by the prison policy of not
allowing prisoners to bring books into a legal visit. That rule was reasonable in light of
the security problem posed by books as a vehicle for smuggling contraband into the prison.
and it could not be said that the policy lmjustifiably obstruct.ed the prisoner1s access to his
attorney. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Lareau v. Manson, 651 F.2d 96 (2nd Cir. 1981). Adopting most of the fin4ings of the
District Court, the Unit.ed States of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ordered major
reforms in the Hartford Comm.unity Correctional Cent.er (HCCC), dealing generally with
overcrowding. The constitutional standard for the legality of conditions of cnnfinement is
different for pretrial detainees.and for convict.ed inmates. For pretrial detainees, the t.est
is whether the conditions amount to punishment without due process in violation of the
fourteenth amendment. With respect to convicted inmat.es, the crit.erion is whether the
punishment is cruel and unusual as def'med under the eighth amendment.
Reviewing the numerous finclings of the district court, the appellat.e court looked to
the supreme court case of Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520. Viewing overcrowding at the
HCCC as relat.ed 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 ext.ended period to genuine privation and hardship not reasonably
relat.ed to a legitimate governmental objective."
Based upon this st.andard the court found that double-bunking in cells originally
designed for one person, compounded by overcrowded dayrooms, imposed unconstitutional
pnnisbment on pretrial detainees in all cases except where such hardship was relat.ed to 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 a glass enclosed dayroom
(dubbed the 11f'l.sh tank") as a dormitory room housing numerous inmates on a full time
basis was held to amount to pimisbmen.t and was thus unconstitutional with regard to
pretrial detainees. In addition. the placing of mattresses on the floors of cells to
accommodate more inmat.es and the assignment of healthy inmat.es to medical cells
(sometimes with mentally or physically ill cellmates) to alleviat.e overcrowding were held
to constitute impermissi"ble punishment.
The court further stat.ed that the length of incarceration of pretrial detainees becomes
relevant in such det.ermination: "Conditions unacceptable for weeks or months might be
tolerable for a few days." As such, the court indicat.ed that while double-bunking and
overloaded dayrooms might be tolerable, and thus constitutionally permissible for a few
days, aft.er 15 or so days, they would become unacceptable pianislnnent. The use of the
"f'lsh tank" and floor mattresses, however, were held to constitut.e rimishment regardless
of the number of days imposed.
Viewing the conditions as they relat.ed to convicted persons, the court point.ed out that
it was to be guided by a wholly 'different standard. Here, in order to constitute a
constitutional violation, the conditions had to be such as to amount to cruel and unusual
pnnisbment. Nevertheless, the court found the overcrowded conditions intolerable.
NQting that the thirty to thirty-five square feet of living space per inmate 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 HOCC offered the "relief of a
noisy subway pla1form" the court held that double-bunking, with respect to convict.ed
inmat.es, was unconstitutional except where inmates are confined Tl() more than about
thirty days.
As with the pretrial detainees, the court found that the constitutional rights of the
convicted inmat.es were immediately violat.ed by confinement in the "fish tank" and by
policies requiring them to sleep on mattresses on the floors and to be assigned to medical
holding cells for no reason other than. to alleviate overcrowding.
Finally, the court ordered that all newly admitt.ed inmates, with minor exceptions, be
given a medical examination within. forcy-eight hours of admission. (Hartford Community
Correctional Center, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court

Olgin v. Darnell. 664 F.2d 107 (1981). The restrictions and conditions placed on a
pretrial detainee, particularly the removal of all bis clothes but bis underwear for one
day, were not arbitrary and purposeless. Those st.eps were unreason.ably related to the
legitimate governmental objective of calming participants in. the stabbingof a fellow
prisoner, restoring order and protecting inmates from a fire hazard created by the pretrial
detainee. (Midland County Jail, Tens)

CLOTHES
FIRE SAFETY

39.7

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES. CELL

Olsen v. Klecker. 642 F.2d 1115 (8th Cir. 1981). Conducting unannounced cell searches
without aey cause is a valid security procedure. (North Dakota State Penitentiary)

1982
U.S. Appeals Court
Rogers v. Scarr, 676 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1982). Court finds that Muslim imnates'
REIJGIOUS SERVICES rights are not violated. Several muslim imnates of the Iowa State Penitentiary filed
suit alleging that their religious freedom had been curtailed because they were denied
entrance to the prayer chapel for a short time and later refused to leave a restricted area
where they had started pr81iuc, They also challenged prison regulations allowmg prayer
caps and robes to be worn only in the chapel.
The lower court found no-constitutional violation, but ordered changes in prison
regulations in regard to religious practices. The court of appeals for the 8th Circuit,
agreeing that no violations had occurred, also vacated all orders of the lower cau.rt. stating
that the lower court had erred in ordering the changes where no constitutional violations
had been found and noted that prison adminiRators should be accorded liberal
discretions in l'l1lllmlg' the prison. The appeals court found that all regulations were
reasonably related to safety and security needs of the prison and that was evident from
the record that prison administrators had exercised good faith in trying to accommodate
the needs of the Muslim inmates' religious beliefs. (Iowa State Penitentiary)
U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE

Smith v. Iron County. 692 F.2d 685 (10th Cir. 1982). Use of mace on pretrial detainee
is found reasonable. The court found that the use of mace did not violate any
constitutional rights in this case. The plaintiff, awaiting disposition OJ1 a burglary charge,
was found on the floor under his bunk making banging noises. The jailer warned the
imnate that he would use mace if he was not given the object making the noise. Because
the jailer was the only person on duty in the facility in Cedar City, Utah, and because he
had reason to believe that a heavy metal object (six pound drain cover) might have been
used to harm anyone near the inmate, the use of mace was reasonable. The court also
noted that the jailer could not enter the cell without risking the escape of the plain.tiff and
his cell mate. (Iron County Jail, Utah)

1983
U.S. Appeals Court
Childs v. Duckworth, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983). Denial of religious articles to
REIJGIOUS ARI'ICLES practice satanic beliefs is proper. The Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled
that denial of an inmate's request to practice his alleged Satanic religion was justified in
the int.erest of prison security. Prison officials had found that the inmate·was insincere in
his professed belief since he never provided the information required to start an
organization, never obtained a sponsor, and was secretive about his group's rituals.
Without such information, the practice of the so-called religion presented a potential
threat to in.stitutional security since prison authorities had no way of knowing what would
occar at the Satanic services. Prison officials properly denied the prisoner a podium from
which to propagate his individual beliefs, candles and incense which were a fire hazard,
and a crystal ball which could be used to physically harm someone. In addition, prison
officials and the district court decided Satan.ism was not a religion., but rather a "nebulous,
philosophic concept. a (Indiana State Prison)

U.S. District Court
REIJGION

Karriem v. Bam. 32 Crim. L. Rptr. 2429 (D. D.C. 1988). Procedures for admitting a
minister to an institution are upheld. The district court upheld institutional procedures
which require a minister who desires to work in the institution to execute a form:
disclosing his superior, if aDT, agreeing to obey any orders from his superior; agreeing to
keep his superiors informed of his activities; and agreeing to refrain from any political
activities, finding that the procedures do not violate either the free exercise or
establisbm'lll.t clauses of the first: amendment. {District of Columbia Jail)

U.S. District Court

Keenum v. Ambqyer. 558 F.Supp. 1321 (E.D. Mich. 1983). Short-t.erm denial of visiting
does not violate inmate rights. A federal district court has determined that an inmate
at the Macomb County Jail suffered no violation of constitutional rights when authorities
prevented a certain individual from visiting him for three weeks. The restriction was
imposed after officials received a telephone call warning that the individual was going to
assist the inmate in an escape attempt. The court noted that in the three week period the
m.mat.e received other visitors, and he was able t.o communicate with the restrict.ed
individual through correspondence. (Macomb County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Rutherford v. Pit.chess. 710 F.2d 572 (9th Cir. 1983), rev'd, 104 S.Ct. 3227
(1984). P.retrial detamees 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 aftm a trial. Three of the changes were appealed by
county officials,

VIsrrs

WINDOWS

39.8

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that: low risk detainees were t.o 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 concrete enclosures was
justified. Subsequently the United States Supreme Court reversed on the first two issues.
(Los Angeles County Ceniral Jail)
1985

State Appeals Court
Dept. of Corrections v. Helt.on. 477 So.2d 14 (Fla. App, 1 Dist. 1985). When the
SECURITY PRACTICES Florida Department of Corrections dismissed a nurse for neglecting her duties, the
Career Service Cnmmission reduced it to a suspension without pay for four months. A
state appellate court let the commission's ruling stand, over objections from a dissenting
judge. He said·the nurse should have been ~ted-peoause the offenses she
committed were serious, in view that they OCCllrl'ed in a prison setting. She left syringes
on a desk, which could be found and used as weapons by inmates. Secondly, she neglected
to examine an inmate's head wounds, and she worked under the mfluen.ce of medication
without seeking authorization to do so. He said it was a gross abuse of discretion in
ordering her continued employment against the wishes of prison officials. (Department of
Corrections, Florida)
U.S. District Court
Dettmer v. Landon, 617 F.Supp. 592 (D.C. Va. 1985). Since an inmate's practicing of a
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES religion that was popular in northern Europe in the tenth and eleventh centary was
found to be a legitimate religion, prison officials were ordered to provide him.·with
ceremonial materials. Against their objections, officials were ordered to supply the inmate
with: 1) Sulfur, sea salt or uniodized salt; 2) Quartz clock with alarm; 3) Candles; 4)
Incense; 5) A white robe without a hood. The prison has general custody of the items to
be made available to the inmate at designated times. A robe without a hood was ordered
because of the officials' assertion that the hood could promote an escape attempt.
Prisoners who practiced more conventional religions such as Catholicism and Hinduism
were allowed access to candles, incense and robes.
The plaintiff's religion, referred to as the Church of Wicca (more commonly called
witchcraft) is practiced by an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 people in the United States.
(Powhatan Correctional Center, State Farm, Virginia)
U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY
FIRE

Hoptowit v. Spellman. 753 F.2d 779 (9th Cir. 1985). Imnates brought an action
challenging conditions of cnnfinement in a state prison system. On remand, 682 F.2d
1237, the United States District Court entered judgm.ent 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 office or changing positions, did not warrant reopening the record on remand: (2)
inadequate lighting, vermm. infestation, substandard fire prevention, and safety hazards
in the prison violated minim.um 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.
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 conditi~ Substmidard fire prevention at the state prison which endangered
inmates' lives violated 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 ezacerbated by prison's inadequate lighting and which
seriously threatened the safety and security of the inmates, created unconsti.tational
mfliction of pain. (State Penitentiary, W ashmgt;cm)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY
STAFFING

Miles v. Bell, 621 F.Supp. 51 (D,C.Comi. 1985). The focus of this complaint was
overcrowding, particularly in the housing unit, which once consisted of open
dormitories. Pretrial detam.ees 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.
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 ev8Cllating in case of a fire. The
court found no violation, since the correctional officer does carry keys t.o exit doors that
empty int.a adjoining units. A door in the laundry room. that was supposed t.o be one hour
fire resistant according t.o code, did not ~ to a constitutional violation. Finally, the
court found no violation in the unannounced entry int.a the dorms by female correctional
officers, who occasionally see unclothed inmates.
(Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury, Connectiaat)

U.S. Appeals Court
KEYS

Riley v. Jeffes, 777 F.2d 148 (3rd Cir. 1985). A Federal Appeals Court held that a
Pennsylvania inmate may sue prison officials because he is in fear of att.ack. Jam.es
Riley alleged in his suit that some inmates were given cell keys for most of the day

39.9

and left unsupervised. He contended that the keys sometimes were used to open other
inmates' cells, and that on one occasion his cell was opened, and he was robbed. He also
contended that this key practice allowed other inmates easy access to his cell while he was
asleep. As a result, he had lived in fear of robberies, assaults, threats, homosexual
activities, fights and stabbings for. the past six months. The court found that these
allegations, if true, required Riley to live day in and day out with a real and persistent
fear of personal injury and that prison officials were totally indifferent to his safety. The
court held that an inmate's right to be protected from constant threat of violence and
sexual assault from other inmates does not require that he wait until he actually is
assaulted before obtaining relief. It is only necessary that inmates show a pervasive risk
of harm from other prisoners, in order to prevail. (State Correctional Institution at
Huntingdon, ·Pennsylvania)
State Supreme Court
USE OF FORCE

State v. Thornton, 38 CrL 2173 (Mont Sup. Ct. 1<¥31/85). Montana Supreme Court
holds that physical restraint is not a necessary element in arrest and detention. A
truck driver was told that he was under arrest by a police officer and secured his
release by threatening the officer with violence. He was charged with escape and
appealed· to the Montana Supreme Court. The court upheld the charge, noting that
"official detention" was defined as detention by a peace officer pursuant to arrest. The
court noted that an arrest requires the existence of three elements: (1) authority to arrest,
(2) assertion of that authority with intention to effect an arrest, and (3) restraint of the
arrestee. The court explained that:
...the view that a physical restraint is a necessary element of an arrest is largely
discredited in recent cases. We agree with this position. Furthermore, we assert
that the standard for an arrest when there is not a physical restraint of the
defendant is whether a reasonable person, innocent of any crime, would have felt
free to walk away under the circumstances. This standard drops any technical
requirements for an arrest and the concept of restraint, and instead looks upon all
the facts and circumstances of each case.
As a result, the court ruled that a law enforcement officer need not exert actual physical
restraint over an individual in order to arrest him for purposes of a state law prom.biting
escape from official detention.

1986
U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

Alberti v. KJ.evenhagen, 790 F.2d 1220 (5th Cir. 1986). Appeals court upholds
remedial measures of district court, finding levels of violence and sexual assault
violated inmates' eighth amendment rights and ordering increased staffing. In a case
initiated in 1972, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed with
the sweeping corrective measures ordered by a federal district court. The original class
action suit was brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, alleging that the facilities and
operations of the Harris County detention system violated inmate constitutional and
statutory rights. In February, 1975, a consent judgment was entered in the district court,
calling for upgrading of existing facilities, construction of a new central jail, and
committing the county to provide sufficient and adequately trained guards and other staff
to assure the security of inmates. In December, 1975, the county's compliance with the
consent judgment was challenged. Following hearings, a broad remedial order was issued.
The court ordered adequate training and pay increases for jail personnel and ordered that
staffing be increased to provide one jailer for every twenty inmates. In 1978 the court
reluctantly approved plans for a new central jail. The plaintiffs had argued against the
planned use of multiple occupancy cells, and the court expressly conditioned occupancy of
the new facility on the provision of adequate staff. In 1982 and 1983 the district court
held hearings to determine if adequate staffing was provided for the newly-opened
detention facility. The court ordered the county to prepare a plan which complied with
Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) requirements of one officer to forty-five
inmates, eventually approving such a plan. When the county failed to meet a June, 1983,
deadline for full staffing, the plaintiffs filed ~ motion for contempt. The county was
granted TC.JS approval in October for an alternative poststaffm.g plan, which provided less
staff than the previous "one to forty-five" plan. After extensive hearings in 1984, and the
presentation of evidence and testimo:cy on violence in the facilities, the court ordered the
implementation of a staffing plan which was similar to one proposed by the plaintiffs'
experts, calling for approximately the same number of staff as the original "one to fortyfive" plan, but incorporating a different assignment scheme; On appeal, the county
argued that the evidence presented in the 1984 hearings was not sufficient to support the
district court finding of constitutional violations, and that the new staffing plan ordered
1:iy the court exceeded what should be required to remedy a:cy such violations. The
appeals court affirmed all aspects of the district court corrective orders, stating that •.... it
is more regrettable that after thirteen years conditions in the jails are still in
contravention of constitutional standards. Despite the efforts of the parties and the court,
inmates continue to be beaten, raped, abused, and assaulted. The district court has acted
properly in fashioning new relief for an old malady." (Harris County Detention Facilities,
Texas)

39.10

·
)

State Court
CONTRABAND

U.S. District Court
STAFFING

Dennison v. Osp. 715 P.2d 88 (Ore. 1986). An inmate petitioned for a judicial review
of a finding of the superintendent of the state penitentiary that he had knowingly
engaged in conduct which constituted a substantial step toward manufa.c:turmg a weapon.
The court of appeals, 770 Or.App. 194, 712 P.2d 186. affirmed. and petition for review was
allowed in part. The Supreme Court held that the inmate did not violate the
administrative rule in question by drawing blueprints of handguns. absent evidence that
necessary products or materials were accesS1'ble or available for the manufacturer of the
weapon within the penitentiary. (State Penitentiary. Oregon)
Duran v. Anaya. 642 F.Supp. 510 (D.N.M. 1986). State prisoners sought a preHrninary
injunction to halt layoffs of staff and filling of staff vacancies. The district court held that
N~ Mexico prison inmates were entitled to a prelimin.ary injunction prolu'biting
implementation of proposed staff reductions with respect-to medical care, mental health
care, and security where th.ere was no evidence th.at staffing reductions of the magnitude
contemplated would permit the maintenance of minimal constitutional standards in those
areas; however. the court would not prohibit staff reducijons other than those relating to
medical care. mental health care and security where th.ere was no evidence that any such
proposed reductions would adversely affect the minimal constitutional rights of prisoners.
A prisoner has a right to be reasonably protect:ed from constant threats of violence and
sexual assaults from other inmates. and failure to provide an adequate level of security
staffing. which may significantly reduce the risk of such violence and assaults, constitutes
deliberate indifference to legitimate safety needs of prisoners.
The state has a con.stitutional obligation to make·available to prisonenf a level of
medical care that is reasonably designed to meet routine and emergency health care needs
of prisoners, including medical treatment for inmates' physical ills. dental care and
psychological or psychiatric care. Gross deficiencies in staffing establishes deliberate
indifference to prisoners' health needs. A lack of financing is not a defense to a failure to
satisfy minimum ccmstitlitional standards in prisons. (Department of Corrections, New
Mexico)

State Appeals Court
Fields v. State Dept, of Corrections. 498 So.2d 174 {La.App. l Cir. 1986). A
SECURITY PRACTICES correctional officer who had been employed nearly ten years with the Louisiana State
Penitentiary was terminated because he left his post without permission after twelve
hours on duty to inquire as to why his replacement was late. He was scbeduled to work
from 4:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. When his relief guard didn't show up at 4:50 p.m.,
he left his post and went across to a connecting dormitory to use the telephone to call as to
the whereabouts of his replacement.
The court ruled that the single incidence of misconduct of tb.e guard with permanent
status was signjficant enough to warrant dismissal because it en.dangered the safety of the
public and/or tb.e inmates themselves. Even though testimony showed that it was comm.on
practice for guards to use the nearby telephone, it was not officially approved to leave a
post with.out permission. (State Penitentiary, Louisiana)
U.S. District Court
CROWDING

STAFF

Inmates of Occoquan v. Barr;y, 650 F.Supp. 619 (D,D.C. 1986). A class of mmates
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 f"iftb. and
eighth amendment rights. The district court held.that overcrowding and systematically
deficient conditions constituted cruel and unusual pimisbrn ..ut justifying equitable relief.
Overcrowdirig and sysbemati.cally deficient conditions at state medium security
in.stitutions 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 plaintiffs contend that an excessive inmate population,
deficiencies in environmental health ~ 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., Pa.lrnigiano v. Garrahy, 448 F.Sup_p, 956 (D.R.L1977). The classffication
system at Occoquan appears t.o 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 penologist.a 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 proper)y the sleeping areas of the
dormitories. Correctional officers do not make pati-ols on a frequent and regular basis, nor
are officers stationed in the rear of each dormitory so as to facifitate supervision of the living area when inmates are present. (Lort.on. Correctional Complex, D. C.)

39J.l

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
TRANSFER

Jeffries v. Reed. 681 F.Supp. 1212 (E.D. Wash. 1986). A death row inmate challenged
the constitutionality of his transfer t.o the intensive management unit of the prison and
also challenged the conditions of his incarceration in that unit. On cross motions for
summa.ey judgment, the district court held that: (1) the transfer of an inmate t.o a unit on
the grounds that he inherently imposed a security risk in light of his sentence did not
deny the inmate due process; (2) inspection of the inmate's legal mail by staff of the unit
did not violate the inmate's rights of free speech or equal protection; (3) digital rectal
search which the inmate underwent prior t.o being transferred t.o the unit·and strip and
visual body-cavity searches he underwent each time he left his cell did not constitute
umeasonable searches and seizures; (4) denial of contact with other inmates did not
violate the first, sixth, or fourteen.th amendm~nts; and (5) the telephone schedule,
permitting the inmate t.o place a collect call t.o his attorney at least three times per week
between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. did not deny the inmate adequate access t.o
counsel and the courts. (Intensive Management Unit, State Prison, Washington)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

McClung v. Camp Count,v, Tex., 627 F.Supp. 528 (E.i:>.-'i'ex. 1986). District court
rules against all prisoner claims in conditions of confinement suit against jail. An
inmate who had been incarcerated in a county jail brought action against the county
and various county officials alleging that conditions in jail violated his constitutional
rights. The federal district court held that: (1) evidence supported a finding that
conditions placed on the inmate's physical exercise at the jail did not constitute a violation
of inmate's constitutional rights; (2) evidence supported a fmding that inmate's
constitutional rights were not violated by alleged failure t.o provide clean bedding, clothing
and t.oiletries; (8) evidence was sufficient t.o support a finding that jail fire safety
conditions did not violate inmate's constitutional rights; and (4) administering insulin t.o a
diabetic inmate three times daily rather than four times daily did not violate the inmate's
rights.
Evidence that a fire in the jail which resulted in an inmate's hospitalization was
started by another inmate and was not immediately.reported was sufficient t.o support a
fm.ding that jail fire safety conditions did not violate the inmate's constitutional rights.
(Camp County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court

Morales Feliciano v. Romero Bercelo, 672 F.Supp. 591 (D. P.R. 1986). According t.o a
federal court, prison overcrowding, inmate idleness, and the threat of violence among
inmates, combined with the continuous frustrations of reasonable expectation produced
by admini•ative inr;ompetence, resulted in an ascertainable psychological deterioration in
the Paerto Rican prison population. The psychological deterioration inflict.ed on inmates
in the prison system was an unnecessary and want.on infliction of pain in violation of
prisoners' Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment..
Insofar as the Puerto Rican prisori adminisb-ation was under a statutory duty t.o provide
rehabilitative programs through which inmates could earn time credits towards early
release, unavailability of any- form of useful work, study or even recreation, where none of
the physical conditions of confinement met constitutional stmidards, combined with
continuous frustrations of reSE0Dable expectations produced by administ.rative
incompet.ence, inflicted serious psychological harm on inmates, which was independently
cognizable under the Eighth Am.endmeut. When inmates' opportunities t.o study or work
within prison were taken away by irregularities in the classification system or the prison
administration's inability t.o provide a safe environment, inmates were deprived of liberty
interest implicating a statutorily creat.ed expectation that imprisonment could be
short.ened by work and study. Inmates of Puerto Rican jails were denied due process as a
result of ineff":icient, inexperienced, and often incompetent social-penal CC>UI1se)ing system,
which had a severe negative impact on inmates' opportunities t.o establish eligi"bility for
parole an.d to actually be heard in a timely manner by a parole board. C",ommingling of
pretrial detainees with convicted prisoners, in conjunction with finding that conditions
which prevailed in all institutions at which pretrial detamees were housed violated the
Eighth Amendment rights of convict.ed inmates, was a sufficient basis for holding that
pretrial detainees were being punished prior to conviction and that, therefore, they were
deprived of h"berty without due process of law. (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico)

CROWDING
PROTECTION

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

Walker v. Rowe, 791 F.2d 507 (7th Cir. 1986), U.S. cert. denied in: 107 S.Ct. 597.
Appeals court rules that due process clause does not assure safe working conditions for
public employees and reverses lower court awards. On July 22, 1978, inmates of the
Pontiac Correc:tional Cez:Lt.er, a maximum security prison, were being returned to their
cells after eurcise in the courtyard. .The prisoners killed three guards, injured others,
and set fire to part of the prison. Three of the iltjured guards and the estates of the three
deceaaed guards filed suit against the director of the Illinois Department of Corrections,
and the assistant warden of Operations at Pontiac, alleging that they deprived them of
their constitatioDal right to a safe working environment.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seven.th Circuit ruled: "Because we
concl-ade that the constitution is not a code of occupational safety, we reverse the
j,1dgment." The court explained that •due process" does not mean "due care"- the

39.12

constitution is designed to prot.ect people from the state, not to ensure that the state
provide safety or comfort. A special relationship must exist before the state can be held
liable for harm to a person. If the state had forced the men.to be officers at the
correctional center, it would be required not to be indifferent to their working conditions.
But the guards enlist.ed voluntarily and were free to quit at any time. Accord,ing to the
court, "...the state must protect those it throws into the snake pits, but the state need not
guarantee that volunteer snake charmers will not be bitten. 11
The plaintiffs had argued that the corrections off'lcials had con'b.-ol of several conditions
which contributed to the attacks, including: failure to maintam metal detect.ors in
operating condition; failure to conduct enough shakedowns of inmate cells to find weapons;
failure to ''lock down" the prison although the officials knew or should have known that it
was tense; failure to immediately issue shotguns to the tactical squad and order it to quell
the disturbance. Although the court noted that the defe?Jpants had some level of control
over these issues, their actions did not amount to t!on.sti.tuti.onlil violations.
·
Additional allegations which the court concluded were not directly within the control
of the defendants included: design of the prison which created "dead spots" from guard
towers; high staff turnover, vacancies and lack of sufficient staff; overcrowded conditions
in the facility; the existence of prisoner gangs; the new phone syst.em which had defects
and was hard to use; the door and cage in the North Cell House were old and flimsy; and
guards did not receive enough training in controlling the riots, and training which was
provided was poor. {Pontiac Correctional Center, lliinois)

u.s; Supreme Court
USE OF FORCE

Whitley v. Albers, 106 S.Ct (1986). Supreme Court rules that use of lethal force
to quell a prison disturbance does not violate constitutional rights. During a
disturbance at the Oregon State Penitentiary a correctional officer was taken hostage and
placed in a cell on the upper tier of a two tier cellblock. Attempting to free the hostage,
prison officials devised a plan which called for a manager to enter the cellblock unarmed,
followed by officers armed with shotguns. The officers were instructed to fire a warning
shot, and to shoot low at m:iy inmate who attempted to climb the cellblock stairs. After
firing a warning shot, an officer shot a prisoner in the knee when he start.ed up the stairs.
The prisoner :filed suit against prison officials alleging violation of his eighth and
fourteenth amendment rights. The federal district court ruled for the defendants, finding
their "use of deadly force was justified under the unique circumsbmces of this case,• The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Nlnth Circuit reversed the lower court decision. The U.S.
Supreme Court reversed the appeals court decision, finding the use of force to be justified
in this case. ·The Court ruled that the mfliclion of pain in the course of a prison secarity
measure is only an eighth amendment violation if it is •mflict;ed unnecessarily and
wantonly." The Supreme Court found that the "deliberate indifference" standard for
evaluating eighth amendment claims which was established in Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
427 (1976), is not suff'iciently broad enough to be used to analyze deadly force claims
associated with riot situations. Wantonness must consider if the force was applied as part
of a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or if it was applied maliciously or
sadistically for the purpose of causing harm, as well as efforts made to temper the severity
of tlie forceful response. (Oregon State Penitentiary)

1987
:J. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
ARTICLES

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Allen v. Toombs, 827 F.2d 563 (9th Cir. 1987). On appeal, the lower court decision
that upheld prison regulations was a:ff'nmed. Prison inmates of a Native American.
religion failed to establish that a state prison policy prohibiting inmate spiritual leaders
from conducting a "Pipe Ceremony" for prisoners in segregation when no outside "Pipe
Bearer" was available refused inmates access to ceremony in violatiau of their First
Amendment rights. Inmates had presented no evidence that ~ inmate in segregatiau
had been denied access to the c:erei:nO!lY because of the policy. According to the court, the
use of an ue, red hot stones and a pitchfork was reason enough for prison officials to
deey segregated inmates from attending a Native American. "Sweat Lodge" ritual. The
Court found that the "Sweat Lodge0 Ceremony posed a high secarity risk for the prison
community if inmates from segregation were allowed to attend. In addition, the Court
found that there was no evidence that inmates ~m the segregation unit had been denied
attendance of the "Pipe Ceremony." The prison can require that the "Pipe Bearer" be an
outside person rather than an inmate. (Oregon State Penitentiary)
Bailey v. SbilJjnm, 828 F.2d 651 (10th Cir. 1987). Aft.er his voluntary transfer to a
prison in another state, a Wyoming state prisoner who was serving a sentence for first
degree murder murdered another prisoner and was retarned to the Wyoming State Prison.
The warden assigned him to a muhnum secarity unit without a formal hearing. The
prisoner filed a civil rights lawsuit against the warden, alleging his due process rights had
been violated. He also charged that he was subject.eel to cruel and unusual punishment by
being deprived of exercise and fresh air. The appeals court concluded that, because of the
danger the inmate presented to other inmates and staff,

39.13

the court concluded the warden was correct in assigning the imnate to maximum security.
As to the cruel and unusual treatment charge, the court concluded that the one hour per
day of exercise and fresh ah- was "resb:-ictive" but did not violate the Eighth Amendment.
(Wyoming State Prison)

U.S. District Court
USE OF FORCE

Blair-El v. Tinsman. 666 F.Supp. 1218 (S.D.m. 1987). Use of mace which was sprayed
on an inmate was upheld by the court because it was ¥sed to restore prison security
and that it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Aft.er the chemical was
sprayed, the inmate was offered medical treatment which he refused. (Menard
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS

Butler-Bay v. Frey. 811 F.2d 449 (8th Cir. 1987). Inmates filed a civil rights action
alleging that they had been denied the free exercise of their religion. The appeals
court ·found in favor of prison officials when it agreed that prison rules preventing
inmates of the Moorish Science Temple of America from wearing fezes were reasonable
because the headwear could be used to conceal contraband. The court also upheld the
prison's requirements that a guard be present at meetings and that minutes and
membership lists should be provided to prison officials. The court found that the practices
and regulations were not discriminatory, and did not violate the inmates' constitutional
rights. (Missouri Eastern Correctional Center)

GROUPS

U;S, District Court
USE OF FORCE

Collins v. Ward, 652 F. Supp. 500 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). Prison officers subdued a violent
mmate who was armed with bottles and scissors with tear gas, Two imnates who were
nearby filed a claim. for using the tear gas without regard for their health and safety. The

disb:-ict court ruled that prison officials were reasonable in their use of tear gas because an
effort had been made to open windows and ventilate the area where the chemical was to
be thrown. The court found that using tear gas to regain control and free inmates was
proper under emergency circumstances. According to the court, the fact that alternative
methods, other. than tear gas, were available to subdue riotous prisoners did not mean
that use of tear gas constituted cruel and unusual pirnishment when prison officials
otherwise acted in good faith and employed special precautions to minirnize harmful
effects of tear gas upon innocent bystanders. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New
York)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION

Felix v. Rolan, 833 F.2d 517 (5th Cir. 1987). Religious freedom is not violat.ed when it
is required that a prisoner sign both a committed name and legal Muslim name when
entering the library. The mm.ate plaintiff argued that he had his legal name changed for
religious reasons and that use of the prior name was offensive to him. He also complained
that he was denied the supplies he needed to file this and other lawsuits by the library
supervisor. The appeals court found the complaint about lack of supplies unwarrant.ed
when evidence showed that the inmate had reqaest.ed 100 sheets of paper a week, but was
only granted 75. The court also found, since it aided in the identification of prisoners,
that the required use of the mm.ates• committed name was a reasonable regulation
adopted in the interests of order, security and adrniuisb:-ative efficiency. (Ellis Unit of the
Texas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court

Gabel v. Est.elle, 677 F.Supp. 514 (S.D. Tex. 1987). Inmates suffered no denial of their
constitu.ti.onal rights when, as indicated in their civil rights lawsuit, they were
furnished peanut butter sandwiches as the sole nourishment during a lockdown. Prlson
officials responded to a non-violent work sb:-ike of over 150 inmates by locking all striking
inmates in their cells without notice or hearing. The court found that the lock-down was
imposed upon all striking imnates without partiality and was the kind of action prison
officials were en.titled to take in response to a confrontation with an inmate. In addition.
the court also found no constitutional violation on the mere basis of the inmates' 'distaste"
for peanut butter. It added that "the sb:-ike itself may have been the cause of the limited
fare. 11 (Wynne Unit, Teu.s Department of Corrections)

LOCK-IN

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

Galloway v. State of Louisiana. 817 F.2d 1154 (5th Cir. 1987). A federal court order
iswed to correct eighth amendment violations for the benefit of the prisoners required
at least three men to be assigned to each prison disciplinary unit. This alone could not
serve as a basis for liability in a federal civil rights action for m,juries sustained by a .
corrections officer. The officer could not :recover due to his being the only guard working
· the particalar disciplinary unit at the time of his injury because the order did not create
constitutional rights, sach as would entitle the officer to do so. (Washington Correctional

Institute, Louisiana)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
GROUPS
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES

Hadi v. Horn. 880 F.2d 779 (7th Cir. 1987). Muslim imnates' free exercise rights
'\1Dder the first amendment were not violated when prison officials caDCeJled Muslim
religious services due to the fact that a Muslim chaplain was unable to be present.
The inmates claimed that, when a Muslim. chaplain was UD&ble to attend, a Muslim.
inmate should be permitted to conduct services under the supervision of a non-Muslim
chaplain. Prison officials felt that conflicts might arise because inmates lacked the
39.14

requisite religious expertise to resolve issues th.at arose during religious meetings and
they also indicat.ed that security could be jeopardized by granting inmat.ea positions. of
authority as religious leaders over other inmates. The officials also expressed concern that
services led by inmates might be used for gang meetings and for dissemination of views
interfering with order in the prison. (Pontiac Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES

Hay v. Waldron, 834 F.2d 481 (5th Cir. 1987). Administrative segregation inmates
were subjected to body cavity strip searches each. time they entered or left their cell.
The policy required the inmate to fully disrobe in his cell and to reveal for visual
inspection the various parts of his person where a weapon or contraband might be
concealed. An inmate who was held in •dministr-ative segregation challenged this policy,
filing a federal civil rights lawsuit. The appeals court found that this policy was
constitutional and reasonably relat.ed· to legitimate secarity objectives. The court held that
strip searches must merely be reason.ably relat.ed to legitimate security interests, and
therefore reject.ed the inmate's endorsement of a "least restrictive means" or probable
cause• standard for the constitutionality of strip searches. However, the appeals court
ruled that the magistrate's finding that the prison,had not.discrimin.atorily applied its
strip-search policy against the inmate and his witnesses for bringing a civil rights action
against prison officials was premature and ordered further hearing on this matter. (Texas
Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
ARTICLES
VISITS

Higgins v. Burroughs, 834 F.2d 76 (3rd Cir. 1987). The United States Supreme Court
recently vacat.ed an. order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Higgins
v. Burroughs, 816 F.2d 119 (3rd Cir.), vacated, 108 S.Ct. 54 (1987). The lower court
had ruled that a state prison regulation prohibiting the wearing of rosary beads into a
visiting area violat.ed inmates' First Amendment religious freedom and was not a valid
security measare, In light of O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 107 S.Ct. 2400 (1987), in
which the court said that prison regulations which are alleged to impinge upon
constitutional rights are valid if "it is reason.ably relat.ed to legitimate penological
interests," the Supreme Court asked that the decision be reconsidered. On. remand, the
Third Circuit expressed its view that this standard should create "no difference in result,"
but remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. (Graterford State
Correctional Institute. Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE
DISTURBANCE

Holloway v. Lockhart, 818 F.2d 874 (8th Cir. 1987). A federal appeals court disagreed
with a lower court and ruled that an inmate could bring a federal suit for being forced
to inhale tear gas sprayed by guards to subdue fellow inmates. The inmate claimed
that he, along with about 20 other inmates, was mjured while they were sleeping when
guards sprayed a barrage of the chemical ~t disruptiye inmates. This caused the fellow
inmates to be forced to inhale the substance causing them to choke, pass out, suffer
temporary blindness and breathing problems. (Maximum Security Unit, Tucker,
Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
·STAFFING

Hossie v. U.S., 682 F.Supp. 23 (M.D. Pa. 1987). A federal prisoner failed to prove that
prison overcrowding or an insufficient number of guards-proximately caused the
mjuries the prisoner sustained as a result of an altercation. with fellow inmates. To
support the prisoner's expert's conclusion th.at one more guard would have prevent.ed the
assault would have reqwred the placement of a guard at the shower/bathroom at all
times. This situation would make the government an insurer of a prisoner's safety, a
standard that was not requjred. (Unit.ed States Peniten.tiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND

Jackson v. Elrod, 671 F.Supp. 1508 (N.D.m. 1987). A pretrial detainee challenged a
policy of barring the receipt of all hardcover books and failing to notify detainees of the
rejection. of these books when mailed to them by filing a federal lawsuit. A federal district
court ruled that a policy of prohil>iting all hardcover books, regardless of content or source,
could not meet a test of being reasonably relat.ed to a legitimate penological interest. The
court noted that claims th.at hardcover books provided a security problem, in th.at they
could be used to conceal contraband, had 1:o be rejected because, as the COlll"t noted, there
were no specific instances of such problems cit,ed and contraband could be concealed in
clothing or other items which inmates were allowed 1:o receive. The court also ruled that
the jail must notify inmates when books are received and rejected. The court felt this
could be done by duplicating a notice that is sent to the books' senders indicating the
rejection., and. sending 11. copy to the inmates. While the court held that the jail's
corrections head, security chief and division superint.endeuts were properly liable for
making JIDd ac:1minisf:erin these policies, it ordered further proceedings on. whether the
sheriff was liable, since the policy differed f:rom a writt.en handbook sent out by his office,
(Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL
PUBLICATIONS

Murphy v. Missouri Department of Corrections, 814 F.2d 1252 (8th Cir. 1987). Inmates
brought action against prison officials because they were not allowing th.em to receive
mail and publications relating to Aryan Nations. .Prison, officlals aaid they denied the
prisoners access t.o this material because they were enforcing the policy on the basis
39.15

that UJY support of white supremacy increased tension and racial unrest, and threatened
prison security. The court ruled, however, that only those materials that advocate
violence or "are so racially mflammat.ory as to be ~asonably likely to cause violence at the
prison" may be 1'ejSl:ricted in the mail. Therefore, the broader mail policy of the prison
violated prisoner rights to free speech and to the free exercise of religion. As a result, the
court told prison officials were then told they must open, read and review each piece of
mail to det.ermme jf it advocates violence or is racially m:flammat.ory. The court
swnmarized that censorship of inmate mail must not only be justif'ied by the legitimate
need for prison security, but must also be no more restrictive than necessary to protect
prison security, (Missouri Training Center for Men)
U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE

Pressly v. Gregory, 831 F.2d 514 (4th Cir. 1987)~ Accorcling to a federal court, a
medical eummation and a photograph taken of an inmate the day aft.er an alleged
assault were sufficient evidence _to support the officers' version of the incident. The
inmate plaintiff was being transferred from one prison to another when he .resisted efforts
to be handcuffed. He alleged that five officers fell on him "en masse" and beat him
although he was offering only passive resistance. The court found that there was a need
for the application of force since the inmate even admitted that it was applied against him
only after he refused to cooperate and resisted efforts to be handcuffed. While the court
noted that force justified at its inception may still cross the boundary of constitutionality if
the level of coercion actually applied dramatically u:ceeds the amount needed to
acc:omplish legitimate goals and causes unnecessary injury, it ruled here that the force
iDflicted by the officers here was not of such an impermissible degr-. While the inmate

allepd his injuries caused pain for weeks following the incident, a medical examination
and a photograph of appellate taken the next day revealed no indication of UJY physical
mjury, (Mecklenburg County Jail, Boydton, Virginia)
U.S. District Court
HAlR LENGTH·

Reed v. Faulkner, 653 F.Supp. 965 (N.D. Ind. 1987), An inmate who claimed to belong
to a religion called Rastafarian which is a Jamaican sect that have their homeland in
Africa, :request.ed to wear his h4tir long, When an expert wi'lness revealed that wearing
long hair was more a matt.er of choice, rather than a mandate of the religion, the court
also noted that the inmate did not wear his beard long which also was a practice of his
religion. The court found reason to doubt the inmate's sincerity. Further, aside from the
question of sincerity, the court found the prison rules were supported by a security
concern. because long hair can hide contraband. Also, health and sanitation concerns of
lice and infection can be a problem in prisons, as well as the danger of long hair getting
caught in machinery and cell doors. (Indiana State Prison)

State Appeals Court
SEARCHES.
CEIL
MAIL

Rochon v. Maggio. 517 So.2d 218 (La._App. l Cir. 1987). An inmate allepd that
prison officials violated his constitutional right of access to court when they opened an
envelope the prisoner had in his possession during a shakedown search. The prisoner
had attempted t.o walk out of his cell with the envelope after being told not t.o bring
anything with him, coni:,ending that the letter was "legal mail." The court found that the
inspection of the envelope, even though no contraband was found, was justified by
suspicious actions of the prisoner.

U.S. District Court
FACIALHAIR

Ross v. Coughlin. 669 F.Supp. 1285 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). An orthodox Jewish inmate stated
a claim against New York prison officials for violatmg his First Amendment right t.o
freely exercise his religion by forcing him to cut his facial hair. according t.o a federal
district court. The beard t-,-irnrning regulation being cballenged was not reasonably related
t.o govermnental in.terest.s in identifying and controlling contraband, inmate identification,
or prison security. However, the court found that the inmate did not have a claim in
connection with his being forced to shave his hair and beard for an initial identification
photograph. (Downstate Correctional Facility. New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Tyler v. Black. 811 F.2d 424 (8th Cir. 1987), cert. denied. 109 S.Ct. 1760. On appeal,
a federal court held that: (l) the ~ transfer of inmate to a segregation unit during
a period of prison unrest did not violate due process, but (2) double celling of inmates in
small cells with solid "boxcar" 1iYPe doors was cruel and unusual punishment in violation
of Eighth Amendment. The mass transfer of inmates to a segregation unit during a period
of prison unrest did not violate due process, where inmates were given posttransfer
hearings, the warden perceived move as a necessary emergen.cy security measure, no
punitive purpose was involved, and the transfers were purely temporary administl'ative ·
segregations. However, double celling of inmates in segregation unit in small cells with
solid "boxcar" 1iYPe doors was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth
Amendment; inmates with hist.ory of assaultive behavior were placed in closed cells for up
to 28 hours a.day for a period of several months. (Missouri State Penitentiary, Special
Man.agemeut Facility)

U.S. District Court
TELEPHONE

U.S. v. Mon.t.gomery, 675 F.Supp. 164 (S.D.N.Y. 1987), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 846. The
inimception and taping of a telephone caU :made by a pretrial detainee from a
correctional center did not violate Title
or the Fourth Amendment. The detainee's

m

39.1.6

use of the telephone after ample notice of the .int.erception. system amounted t.o implied
consent t.o the monit.oring under Title m. Moreover, the monit.oring of the conversation.
was a reasonable seizure, given. the ample notice t.o the detainee of the monit.oring;
·
Monit.oring and taping of pretrial deta.inee's telephone conversations did not violate his
Fifth Amendment right t.o be free of restrictions amounting t.o punishment. The detention.
center's taping and monit.oring system was related t.o legitimate governmental objective of
institutional security, and could not be regarded as punishment in. violation. of Fifth
Amendment. (Metropolitan Correction.al Center, New York)
1988

U.S. District Court
STAFFlNG
CROWDING

Albro v. Onondaga Coun.t.y. N.Y., 677 F.Supp. 697 (N.D.N.Y. 1988). The alleged
offender is afforded protection by a due process clause instead of the Eighth
Amendment, which prevents holding a detainee under conditions that would be equal
t.o punishment. A violation. of due process was found t.o exist when crowded conditions
were found at a pretrial detention facility, causing many detainees t.o sleep on cots in. the
walk.ways and creating a hazard t.o both detainees azi,_d staff. There was no operational
compensation. for overcrowding conditions such as adequate 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 commed t.o their cells at
least 23 hours a day. The court found correctional staff insufficient t.o safely respond t.o
duties. Further, the court also concluded that inmates "have ready access t.o weapons
through the dismantling of their cots." The capacity of the facility was capped by the
court. Daily fines were levied on the county as an appropriate remedy for continuing
overcrowding at the detention facility. When.ever the inmate population exceeded its
capacity for four days or more the county was ordered t.o pay $1,000 per day if the
population reached 218-217, and up t.o $10,000 daily if the population goes over 247.
Even. though the plain.tiffs had withdrawn the motion for contempt, the court kept the
pow~ t.o punish violatiOD.S that may have occurred, or might occur in. the future, (Public
Safety Building)

State Appeals Court
CONTRABAND

Brooks v. State, 529 So.2d 818 (Fla.App. 1 Dist. 1988), The defendant was
convicted in. the.circuit court of possession of contraband by a prisoner, and he
appealed. The district court of appeal, affirmmg the decision, found that the defendant,
an inmate at a correctional institution, could be convicted for possession of con.traband by
a prison.er, even. though he was not on the grounds of the correctional institution at the
time he was observed in. possession. of marijuana. The court stated that the offense was
aimed at pm:iishing a.n. inmate for possession of contraband anywhere, and"therefore the
observation of this prison.er as possessing contraband while off. the prison grounds was a
violation. (State Correctional Institution, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
USEOFFORCE
VISITS
SEARCHES

Bruscino v. Carlson, 854 F.2d 162 (7th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 3193. In a
class action suit brought against the Marion. Penitentiary in. Illinois by inmates held in
the Control Unit, the inmates claimed use of excessive force and other charges because
they were subjected t.o rectal searches every time they left or re-entered the unit. The
appeals court ruled that because inmates in. the Control Unit require greater supervision
than other prisoners, rectal searches can be legally performed on such inmates. Use of
physical restrain.ts during attorney visitation and limited out-of-cell time was also upheld
by the federal district court. The court found that extraordinary security measures
employed in a maxim.um security federal prison, such as limitation of time spent outside
cells, denial of opportunities for socialization, handcuffing, shackling, spread-eagling and
rectal searches were reasonable measures .in view of the history of violence at the prison.
and the incorrigible character of the inmates and thus it did not con.stitute cruel and
unusual pimisbrnen.t. Further, the court found that the transfer of prisoners t.o a
maximum security federal prison did not result in. :incremental deprivation so great as t.o
constitute action.able deprivation. of natural liberty and thus require a hearing. (The
United States Penitentiary in Marion., filinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES
REIJGIOUS
GROUPS

Cooper v. Tard, 855 F.2d 125 (3rd Cir. 1988) A federal appeals court upheld .the
constitutionality of a prison. rule that prohibited a group of Muslim inmates from
havmg unsupervised group worship in. the prison. yard. The court affirmed that
prohibiting group activity without supervision does not violate the free exercise rights
of inmates .in this instance. The court agreed that the Muslim's group prayer, kn.own
as Du'a, established a leadership structure within the prison., and authorities had valid
rational reason for not permitting in.mates t.o establish structure with.in the prison..
(Trenton. State Prison, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTION
SEPARATION

Cortes-Qpjnones v. J"unen.ez-Nettleship, 842 F.2d 556 (1st Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109
S.Ot. 68. The death of a psychiatrically disturbed prison.er whose body was
dismembered a few months after his transfer to-a district jail was caused by the
"deliberate indifference• of prison officials t.o his health or safety problems, according t.o a
federal appeals court. The court ruled found that mformation. about the prisoner's

39.17

psychiatric history was, or should have been, in his prison. files, and that prison. officials
who approved of the transfer should have known of the inmate's psychological problem
and that there was evidence that the inmate should never have been. in the general prison
population. Accordmg to the court, it was unlikely that the inmate would have been killed
jf any of the officials had act.ed to segregate him from men.tally sound prisoners at the jail.
According to the appeals court, when prison officials intentionally place prisoners in
dangerous circumstances, when they intentionally ignore prisoners' serious medical needs,
or when they are deliberately indifferent either to a prisoner's health or safety, they
violate the constitution. {Areci'bo District Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
Dil:n'URBANCE

Cowans v. Wyrick, 862 F.2d 697 (8th Cir. 1988). A prison inmate brought an. action
against a guard alleging that the guard had inflicted cruel and unusual punishmf'lln.t
upon. the inmate in violation of the inmate's eighth amendment rights. The federal
district court entered judgment on. the jury verdict fin.ding in favor of the inmate.
Additionally, because the jury did not access any damages, the court. sua sponte, awarded
nominal damages of $1 to the inmate. The guard appealed, and the Appeals Court found
that the jury instruction which allowed the jury to find for the inmate without fin.ding
that the inmate had suffered any pain, misery, angaish. or similar harm, whether capable
of estimation or not, was a reversible error. As a result, the case was reversed and
remanded for a new trial. According t.o the court, the jury is required t.o award nominal
damages t.o a prisoner bringing a civil rights suit on.ce the jury finds cruel and unusual
punishment has occurred jf the jury has not been able t.o convert int.o dollars the injury
and pain that the prisoner has suffered. However, if the jury finds that the prisoner has
suffered no pain of any kind. then the question of damages, nominal or otherwise, does not
arise. A claim of cruel and unusual punishment has not been established without a
showing of some measure of pain. The court not.ed that reason.able measures undertaken.
t.o resolve a disturbance at a prison when the disturbance indisputably poses significant
risks t.o the safety of inmates and prison staff do not rise t.o the level of cruel and unusual
punishment. {Missouri State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS

David K. v. Lane, 889 F.2d 1265 (7th Cir. 1988). White inmates at Illinois' Pontiac
Correctional Center sued officials on. the grounds that their failure t.o aggressively halt
gang influence violated their right t.o equal protection. Inmates in protective cwrt.ody are
confined more hours each day and have less job opportwrlties. While 2 percent of the
t.otal inmate population is white, 40 percent of the white population is in protective
cust.ody compared t.o 9 percent of the black population and 18 percent of the hispanic
population. The plaintiffs alleged that the proportion. of white inmates in protective
custody st.ems from officials' failure t.o discipline non-violent displays of gang membership,
But the appeals court ruled that, even. though a policy of punishing gang 0 activity, • but
not displays of "gang membership" results in an inordinately high number of white
inmates needing protective cust.ody, prison officials aren't guilty of di.scrbnin.atio In.
ruling again.st the white inmates, the court found that they had present.eel no evidence
that "a racially-based discriminatory purpose...has shaped the Pontiac admin.ist:ration's
gang activity policy." However, even while finding that prison. officials were not guilty of
unlawful discrimination, the court criticized their policy-suggesting that display of gang
insignia or letting inmates control prison job assignments should not be permitted. The
court ruled the prison. officials t.o "take a firmer control and seek t.o ultimately eUrninatit
gang affiliation by such reason.able methods as it may develop." The court also reject.ed
the inmates' claim that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was violated. Title VI. 42
U,S.C. Sec. 2000d, prohibits discrimination in the use of federal funds. While the prison
receives federal fan.ds for forecasting models. there was no evidence that these funds
directly benefited or relat.ed t.o the huplementation. of gang regulations and protective
cust.ody procedures. [Subsequent federal legislation. may alter future courts' analysis of
similar situations.] (Illinois' Pontiac Correctional Cen.ter)

U:S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
PROTECTION

Gardner v, Cat.o, 841 F.2d 105 (5th Cir. 1988), An inmate filed a civil rights lawsuit
against the county jail and its personnel, after he had without notice or warmn.g,
gotten. a dark liquid thrown in his face by his men.tally unstable cellmate. The court
found that placement of the prlllOn.81'. in a cell with a men.tally unstable inmate who had
access t.o cleaning chemicals at best raised an issue of negligence by the defen.dants, a
claim not seen as a violation of the Fourteen.th Amendment in a civil rights action.
Because he was given. extensive medical treatment, the court found that it was "frivolous"
t.o claim that the defend.an.ts displayed a deliberate mdifferem:e or disregard for the
inmate's rn.edical needs. (Guadalupe County Jail) ·

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
PROTECTION

Glick v. Henderson, 855 F.2d 586 (8th Cir. 1988). A civil rights suit was dismissed by
a fed.erai trial court alleging failure and refusal of various prison officials t.o protect
inmates from es.posure to AIDS, and the dismissal was upheld by the appeals court.
The plaintifts in this case claimed that at least five mmates in the facility have tested
positive for the virus which causes AIDS.· The inmates also argued that the prison. neither
test.eel inmates and personnel for a:posare to the AIDS virus nor segregat.ed all

39.18

those who did test positive. The inmates felt that the combination. of these factors, along
with the exist.ence of practicing homosexuals within the facility, placed them in immediate
danger of contracting AIDS because of the daily interactions which take
place among inmates and jail officials. Medical authorities testified that the inmates'
complaint was based on "unsubstantiated fears and ignorance, n which included allegations
that they face a risk of contracting AIDS by: (1) coming int.o contact with the sweat of
other inmates during work detail; (2) being subject.ed t.o bites from mosquitoes which have
bitten other inmates; (3) being sneezed on by known homosexuals; (4) having food
prepared by officials who are not tested for AIDS; and/or (5) the regular transfer of
prisoners from cell t.o cell throughout the facility. The court found that these means are
t.oo remote t.o provide the proper basis for a grievance. These, along with otheJ' significant
risks, which are not comprehended by medical science as creating a genuine concern for
transmission of AIDS, were insufficient t.o entail court intervention. (Arkansas
Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Mumin v. Phelps, 857 F.2d 1055 (5th Cir.' 1988). Islamic prisoners at a state
penitentiary brought an action challenging the refusal of prison officials t.o
transport them from out.camps where they are held t.o the main prison facility
for weekly congregational services. The U.S. District Court denied relief, and
the inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed and found that the refusal
of the prison officials t.o transport the Muslim inmates from out.camps of the
prison t.o the main prison facility for weekly congregation.al services required
by the Islamic creed was a permissible limitation on the prisoners' exercise of their right
t.o freedom of religion. The penitentiary asserted that it was without sufficient financial
resources or adequate numbers of security personnel t.o safely transport the inmates for
weekly services, the government objective was content neutral, and there was no showing
of alternatives. The alleged peaceful and non.violent charact.eristics of Muslim inmates did
not preclude a finding that prison security was a legitimate concern for officials in denying
the request of the Muslim inmates held at out.camps t.o be transported to the main prison
for weekly religious services. (State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH

Pollock v. Marshall, 845 F.2d 656 (6th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 239, reh'g.
denied, 109 S.Ct. 545. An inmate at a maximum security facility f"tled a civil rights
action against the prison officials aft.er being required to cut his hair, The inmate
professed a belief in Lakota American Indians who believe hair is sacred and should not
be cut. The court found the inmate's religious beliefs t.o be sincere, but they also found
prison authorities had interests which were both legitimate and reasonably related t.o
security and sanitation. in limiting the length of prisoner's hair. (Southern Ohio
Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY
PRACTICES
STAFFING

Thomas v. Benton County. Ark., 702 F.Supp. 737 (W.D. Ark. 1988). The
parents of an arrestee who committed suicide in a county jail brought a civil
rights action against the county. On June 22, 1983, the plaintiffs' decedent.
their son, was incarcerated in the Bent.on County, Arkansas, jail. Late on the
evening of that day he tore strips from his bedding and fashioned a "ropea.
He hung himself from a light fixture in his cell, also occupied at the time by
two other inmates. These two individuals declined to come t.o his aid,
because, as expressed by them at the trial, they did not want to become involved and
perhaps be charged with a "murder rap." Instead of doing the obviously humanitarian
thing of coming t.o his aid, they claimed that they began to bang on the cell bars and yell
at the jailers that Thomas had hung himself. Although there was a dispute in the
evidence about how long it t.ook the jailers t.o respond, it is clear that several minutes
elapsed before a jailor came t.o the scene. Upon arriving at the scene, the jailor saw
Thomas hanging from the f"mure but did not enter the cell t.o aid him because of a jail
rule that prohibit.ed jailers from entering occupied cells on felony row unless at least two
jailers were present. The night of this occurrence, only two jailers, a male and fem.ale,
were on duty. The female jailer also served in the capacity of despatch.er, and another
rule prohibited her from leaving the radio. The plaintiffs, his parents and personal
representatives, claim that the existence of harmful conditions and practices and the lack
of appropriate procedures in the oper~tion of the Benton County Jail denied the decedent
his constitutional right of due process. They sought damages from the defendant, Bent.on
County, Arkansas, for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the loss of their son's
companionship. After a verdict was entered against the parents, the parents-moved for a
new trial. The district court, d e ~ the motion., found that the iUl'Y finding that the
county did not violate the civil rights of the arrestee and did not treat him with deliberate
indifference was not against clear weight of eviden.ce. (Benton County Jail, Arkansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISTUBBANCE

Un.win v. Campbell, 863 F.2d 124 (1st Cir. 1988), A prison inmate sued state
and local police officers seeking damages for injuries sustained during the
quelling of a disturbance. Defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds of
qualified immunity. The U.S. District Court denied the motion. as t.o certam.

39J.9

defendants, and they appealed. · The appeals court reversing in part and affirming in part,
found that two of the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity, absent evidence that
they had m:iy contact with the defendant; but there were issues of fact, precluding
summary judgment in favor of the remaining defendants, as to the magnitude of the
disturbance in question.
Allegations of the complaint concerning the attempt to subdue a boisterous inmate did
not support the inference of a prison disturbance of such magnitu.de that it indisputably
posed •ignifiMnt -risks to the safety of the inmates and prison staff, and thus to state an
eighth amendment claim. An inmate not involved in the struggle, who was iDjured by
police action., did not have to allege that the defendant policemen and state troopers act:ed
. maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm. Allegations of the
complaint to the effect that one or more of the state troopers or police officers seriously
jn,jured the prison inmate when they 'UDjustifiably struck him several times while he was
innocently standing in the dayroom observing an isolated struggle between two inmates, if
true, would tend to show that the officers violated clearly established law and thus were
not entitled to qualified immunity: When prison officials are responding to ati outbreak of
violence, they cannot be expect.ed to measure nicely the precise amount of force necessary
to restore order. Where the instit\ltional security is not at stake, the officials' license to
use force is more limited, and to establish an eighth amendment liability, an injured
inmate need not prove malicious and sadistic intent, and liability will be imposed where
the officials' actions involved wanton and unnecessary infliclion of pain as determined by
the need for the application of force, the relationship between the need and the amount of
force used, and the enent of the injury inflic:t.ed. (Merrimack County House of Correction,
Boscawen, New Hampshire)
1989

U.S. District Court
SECURITY

PRACT1CES

VIsrrs

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING

DISTURBANCE
"LOCK-IN"
USE OF FORCE

Berrios-Berrios v. Thornburg, 716 F.Supp. 987 (E.D. Ky. 1989). A lawsuit was f"lled by
a female inmate to challenge the refusal of prison officials to permit her to breast-feed
her child. She moved for a preliminary injunction allowing her to breast-feed her child
during normal visitation hours, to store breast milk in a refrigerator, and to compel the
defendants to make arrangements for the delivery of the breast milk to the child's
caretaker. The court found that the need for immediate resolution of the inmate's request
to be allowed to breast-feed her child during normal visitation hours and to st.ore the
breast milk negated requirements to exhaust administrative remedies, and that the
inmate was entitled to a preliminary injunction allowing her to breast-feed her child
during regular visitation periods. A substantial threat ezisted that the absence of an
jn,jun.ction would irreparably injure the inmate's ability to breast-feed her child and the
inmate and her child would unnecessarily be deprived of the beneficial effects of breastfeeding; the defendants failed to allege m:iy harm. However, the court ruled that the
inmate's interest in breast-feeding her child with milk st.ored in a refrigerator was
outweighed by the government's compelling interest arising out of the need for security
checks, the desire to avoid negligence claims, and the cost and burden of providing the
refrigerators and a system for the storage and delivery of the milk to caretakers, (Federal
Correctional Institution, Laington, Kentucky)

Campbell v. Grammer. 889 F.2d 797 (8th Cir, 1989). Inmates brought an action
against prison officials alleging that their constitutional and statutory rights were
violated during a prison lockdown. The U.S. District Court entered a judgment in
favor of the inmates and awarded attorneys' fees; the defendants appealed. The court
of appeals found that the supervising lieutenant's failure to issue jumpsuits pursuant to
his superiors' order after a shakedown did not rise to the level of crue1· and unusual
?UDisbmeut. The lieutenant had been assigned to supervise the adjustment center for the
5rst time on the day of the·lockdown and thus, the failure to carry out his superiors'
>rders was due to rnis1mderst;and, inexperience, oversight, inadvertence or recklessness.
Courts should ordinarily accord actions of prison officials much deference; courts
should be especially reluctant to interpose their hindsight when challenged conduct
:,cearred during a prison disturbance. When faced with the necessity of using force to
:iueU a disturbance, prison officials are compelled. to balance competing concerns of
insuring safety of inmates and staff and of using the least confining or least dangerous
cn.easure to control those who threat.en the safety of others. Given the fact that such
:lecisions are necessarily made in haste and under pressure, measures taken will not be
l:ield to be an eighth ameDdmeut violation if imposed in a good faith effort to maintain or
l'8Store c:µscipline and not maliciously and. sadistically for the very p,upose of causin&'
barm. The court found however, that the inmates had been intentionally, rather than
accidentally, sprayed with the high-powered firehoses, which resulted in an eighth
unendment violation. As a result, they upheld awards to the inmates of $750, $100 and
850. (Nebraska State Penitentiary)

39.20

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION

C.H. v. Sullivan. 718 F.Supp. 726 (D. Mum. 1989). Prisoners who were serving
sentences under a federal witness security program brought action against the Attorney
General and bis agents, ·challenging double celling. The district court found that double
celling was not cruel and unusual pimisbm..nt despite the concern that double celling
might result in the discovery of their identities by other imnates and threat.en ·their
security. The court also found that the use of a seniority system to det.erm.ine which
prisoners were double celled did not violate due process. Depriving prisoners serving
sentences under a federal witness security program of seniority, and with it a single cell,
for the violation of prison regulations did not so mfringe upon the prisoners' safety as to
constitute a violation of the fifth amendment. The seniority method was reasonably
related to valid prison objectives of discipline and relief of overcrowding. The prisoners
being disciplined were advised of charges and the facts supporting the charges and they
were given a reasonable opportunity to call witnesses and present documentary evidence
in their defense and an investigation was conduct.ed to ensure that incompatible prisoners
were not housed together. The court is permitted to look at the challenged conditions of
confinement alone or in combination to determine whether an eighth mnendrnom.t violation
has occmTed; a particular pruron policy may not directly be a violation, but may lead to
conditions which do constitute punishment without a penological purpose. (Federal
Correctional Institution, Sandstone, Minnesota)

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

de Jesus Benavides v. Santos, 888 F.2d 385 (5th Cir. 1989). Jail detention officers who
were injured during the course of an attempt.ed escape by jail inmates filed a federal
civil rights action against the jail officials. The officers were unarmed and on duty
when they were attacked. They claimed that the sheriff was aware of a persistent pattern
of contraband smuggling in the jail, that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had
specific~y warned the sheriff that a jailbreak. was "imminent," and that the sheriff act.ed
"callously and in utt.er disregard" for institutional security in failing to respond to these
problems. They also complained that the commissioners and the judge had failed to
provide sufficient funds to the jail to ensure its safe operation. The U.S. District Court
dismissed the suit, and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court found that the local jail
detention officers who were injured by jail mmat.es that were attempting to escape did not
have a Section 1988 action against the government officials in charge of the jail for
reckless or grossly negligent failure to prevent, adequately guard against, or protect those
injured from an attempted escape and accompaeying inmate violence, stating, "The issue
presented is whether those who, in the course of their duties as local jail detention
officers, are injured by jail inmates attempting to escape, have a second 1988 claim
against the government officials in charge of the jail where the injury would not have
occurred but for those officials' callous indifference or grossly negligent failure to prevent,
or to adequately guard against, or to protect those injured from, the attempted escape and
accompanying inmate violence. n The claim fell squarely within tt-aditional state tort law
and did not give a rise to a constitutional claim. (Webb County Jail, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACIALHAlR

Fromer v. Scully, 874 F.2d 69 (2nd Cir. 1989). An Orthodox Jewish inmate brought
action for declaratory relief challenging a prison beard l~ngth regulation. The U.S.
District Court found in favor of the imnate, and appeal was taken. The appeals court
affirmed and certiorari was granted. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded. The
court of appeals remanded without opinion. The U.S. District Court found that the
regulation violated the free ezercise clause, and appeal was taken. The appeals court, in
reversing the origin.al decision, found that a regulation forbidding inmat.es from wearing
beards in excess of one inch in length did not violate the free exercise rights of an
Orthodox Jew. According to the court, the Orthodox Jewish inmate who challenged the
beard length regulation had the burden to demonstrate that correctional concerns were
irrational. The Department of Correctional Services did not have to demonstrate a logical
connection between the one-inch beard limitation and the interest of prison officials m
identifying imnates for regulation to survive the inmat.e's free exercurt' cbaUenge. A
rational connection exist.ed between the regulation limiting the inmates' beards to one inch
in length and the ease of identification of the imnat.es' facial features and, thus, the beard
length regulation did not violate a free exercise clause. The prison officials' concerns with
bei.lig able to identify inmat.es' facial features did not require officials to choose between. a
regulation forbidding all beards or a rule permitting all beards. The regulation
prolu'biting beards in excess of one inch in length was a reasonable compromise for
purposes of the free exercise clause. According to the appeals court, the district court
failed to show proper deference to judgment of prison off'icials when the court found that
the state regulation forbidding imnates from wearing beards more than one inch long
violated the free exercise rights of Orthodox Jews; the district court's belief that there
were few Orthodox Jews in prison, unsupport.ed by record evidence, im.permissibly placed
the burden on prison officials. (New York State Prison)

ESCAPE

r.s. Appeals Court
RELIGION

Garza v. Carlson, 877 F.2d 14 (8th Cir, 1989). A Jewish inmate brought a civil rights
action against prison officials. The U.S. District Court denied relief and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court found that·the prison policy prohibiting an inmate from
39.21.

worship in a :minyan while he was in admmistraiive segregation was reasonably related to
an institutional security concern, and the Jewish inmate's rights were not violated by the
threat of receiving involuntary nourishment while he was engaged in a religious fast. The
preservation of the prisoner's health is a legitimate objective, and prison officials may take
reasonable st.eps to accomplish that goal, (United States Medical Center for Federal
Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL
PUBIJCATIONS

Harper v. Wallingfn,;od, 877 F.2d 728 (9th Cir. 1989). An inmate brought a Section
1983 suit alleging that prison authorities had violated his first amendm,.ut rights by
withholding mail, The U.S. District Court awarded.summary judgment in. favor of the
defendants, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found
that the imn.ate's first amendment rights were not violated when mail from an
organization espousing consensual sexual relationships between adult males and juvenile
males was withheld from him. Fact.ors to be considered in. determmmg the reasonableness
of a challenged prison regulation include: whether the regulation has a logical connection
to legitimate government interests invoked to justify it; whether alternative means of
exercising the right on which the regulation impinges remain open to prison inmates; the
impact that that accommodation of an asserted right will have on guards, other inmates,
and prison resources; and the absence of ready alternatives that fully acoomm<Xlate the
prisoner's rights at de rninirnis cost to valid penological interests. The mail in. question
was from the North American Mm:,/Boy Love Association ("NAMBLA.") and consisted of a
membership application and a copy of the organization's bulletin. The prison mail room
employees refused to deliver the material to the plaintiff and notif"ied the plaintiff of their
intentions. Prison off"icials refused to deliver the materials to the plaintiff because they
felt the material threatened prison securicy and therefore violated the Washington State
Department of Corrections Policy Directive 450.020(6)(c), The plain.tiff unsuccessfully
appealed the decision through the prison grievance system. (Washington State
Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

Henn v. Perry. 866 F.2d 657 (3rd Cir. 1989). A prisoner brought a civil
rights action against a prison guard arising out of the prison guard's use of
deadly force in att.em.pting to prevent the prisoner's escape. In his complaint, the plaintiff
alleged that, while being returned to Pittsburgh from a track meet and upon arrival at
Pittsburgh and believing the off'icers in charge of him incluclin&' the defendant to be
unarmed, he proceeded to effect an escape and that thereupon "Mr. Perry commenced to
fire 5 or 6 shots at me without ordering me to st.op or that he had a weapon and would
shoot to kill. n One of the shots wounded the plaintiff in the arm. He completed his escape
but was subsequently recaptured. The U.S. District Court denied the prison guard's
motion for sunm:uu'7 judgment and the prison guard appealed. The court of appeals,
reversing and remanding with directions, found that the prison guard was entitled to
qualified im.municy from liabilicy. The appeals court stated that the use by prison guards
of deadly force on an escapee may be cruel and unusual punisbm,..nt within the meaning
of the eighth amendm,..nt but where the escapee has committ.ecl crime involving the
infliction of serious bodily harm, deadly force may be ~ as necessary to prevent an
escape and if, where feasible, some warning has been given.
Using deadly force appeared to be the "only means of preventing his escape and even
that did not actually do so, n Where an escapee has co:mmitt.ed a crime involving the
infliction of serious bodily harm, the court stated, citing Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S.l
(1985), such as the murder committ.ed by the prisoner, deadly force may be used if
necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning if given. (State
Correctional Institution, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS

McCorkle v. Jolmson. 881 F.2d 993 (11th Cir. 1989). A state inmate brought
a civil rights action challenging a prison. policy that restricted inmate access
t.o satanic materials. The U.S. District Court dismissed .smd the inmate
appealed. The appeals court, affirming the lower court decision, found that
the policy did not violate the b:unate's first amendment rights. Even if
Satanism was a religion entitled t.o .first amendment protection and even if the state
imn.ate was a sincere believer in Satanism, a prison policy restricting the access to satanic
materials was justified by the prison officials' concern for institutional security and order,
partieularly in view of the fact that the inmate could practice Satanism without materials.
The court found that the policy adopted was valid as reasonably related to a legitimate
pen.ological ~ in institutional security and order and was an. "informed and
measured response t.o the violence inherent in Sat.am worship, and to the potential
disorder that it might cause within the prison.• (Holman Facilicy, Alabama)

Am'ICLES
"RELIGION

SATANISM

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SECURITY

PRACTICES

Policano v. Koehler, 715 F.Supp. 598 (S,D.N.Y, 1989). An inmate claimed that
another prisoner stole his cosmetics and, later on the same day, together with
other prisoners, assaulted and robbed him of his watch and gold cham. Both
incidents were perpetrated by inmates from another housing area who were

39.22

not supposed to be m his housing area, according to prison regulations.- The inmate sued
prison officials, claiming that the incidents result.eel from their negligence becaU&e the
corrections officer on duty was reading a newspaper at the time the alleged acts occurred.
The court dismissed the inmate's federal civil rights lawsuit, findmg that mere negligent
failure to provide adequaie security does not state a claim for violation of constitutional
rights. (Rikers Island House of Detention for Men, New York)
U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES

Ra Chaka v. Franzen. 727 F.Supp. 454 (N.D. ill. 1989). A Muslim prison
inmate sued state corrections department officials, alleging violations of civil
rights when his request for prison-wide "Jumha11 religious services was denied.
In order to improve security, the prison had divided inmates into three units, based on
personality types, and prison-wide services would have mvolved an undesirable mbdng of
personnel from different units, and services were available within units. The district
court found that the granting of permission to hold such ~ did not render the
prisoner's case moot as he also claimed monetary damages for past deprivation. State
officials were not protect.ed from individual liability by the eleventh amendment. A
prohibition against services was warrant.eel on prison security grounds; even if· deprivation
were deemed not valid, officials would not be personally liable and the equal prot.ection
rights of the inmate were not violated when they allegedly did not receive a proportionate
share of the prison budget for their religious activities. The prison was merely required to
provide a "reasonable opportunity" for them to practice their religion. (Stateville
Correctional Center, Illinois)
·

U.S. District Court

Rohm.son v. Estate of Williams. 721 F.Supp. 806 (S.D.Miss. 1989). The wife of
a man who was killed by two escaped jail prisoners sued the county sheriff,
alleging that it was negligence on his part or on the part of his agents, servants or
employees that allowed them to escape, that security at the jail was dangerously
madequate and that it was negligent to fail to properly inform the public of the escape.
The court not.eel that the sheriff m Mississippi is charged with the duty to safely keep his
prisoners in the jail and to seek to prevent escape. However, as these duties are owed to
the general public, rather than to any individual person, the court found that there could
be no liability m the absence of a "special relationship" with the deceased man. The
sheriff owed no duty of care to the deceased man or his spouse. (Clarke County Jail,
Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Ryan v. BurJingmT\ County. N.J., 708 F.Supp. 623 (D. N.J. 1989). A pretrial
detainee who was rendered quadriplegic as a result of an attack by a county
jail inmate brought a civil-rights action against the county board of chosen
freeholders, and various jail personnel. On the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, the district court granted the motion in part and denied
the motion in part. It found that the warden and the jail captain who
advised and assist.eel the warden were not entitled to qualified immunity, but the
corrections officers were entitled to qualified immunity. Members of the county board of
chosen freeholders were not en.titled to absolute legislative immunity because the board
knew that the county jail was overcrowded, and the board also was aware that no inmate
classification system separating known dangerous inmates from others was m place at the.
jail, Moreover, the board could not reasonably have believed that its refusal to supply the
county jail with additional security personnel was lawful.
The warden of the county jail was not entitled to qualified immunity from the pretrial
detain.ee's civil rights claim, insofar as it was based on overcrowding. The jury could
conclude that the warden neglected to attempt available solutions to overcrowding at the
jail. The court also stated that the warden and the jail captain who advised and assisted
the warden in setting procedures governing daily administration were not entitled to
qualified immunity from the pretrial detain.ee's civil rights claim arising from the inmate
assault, insofar as it was based on the failure to institute a classification system
separating pretrial detainees from dangerous inmates, Neither official took arry action
whatsoever in an attempt to establish such a system of classification. Sergeants m the
county jail were entitled to qualified immunity, insofar as it was based on overcrowding
and the failure to institute a classification system sep~ating pretrial detainees from
dangerous inmates, in view of their lack of authority to remed,y overcrowding or to
institut.e a classification system. (Burlingt.on COQD.ty Jail, New Jersey)

ESCAPE

CROWDING
PRETRIAL

DETAINEES
STAFFING

U.S. District Court
ESCAPE
USE OF FORCE

Ryan Robles v. Ot.ero de Ramos, 729 F.Supp. 920 (D,Puerto Rico 1989), An
inmate's father brought a Section 1983 action agamst a prjson guard,
administrator, and supervisors to recover for the shooting death of an escaping
inmate. 'Ibe defendants moved for S1lDUXUll'Y judgment. The district court grant.eel the
motion and found that using deadly force against a convicted, escapmg inmate was not an
,rnrece•sary and wanton infliction of pain. did not violate the eighth aJJ1endrnent, and was
within the guard's qualified immunity from Section. 1983 liability. The guard tried to
physically prevent tbe escape, and was prevent.ed from domg so by the in,mate's spear. He
warned the inmate to desist, fired a warning shot, and fired the
39.23

revolver aft.er the inmate had -jumped t.o the street outside the prison and started t.o run.
The inmate's father failed t.o establish in the Section 1983 action that the training of
guards and the use of firearms caused the death of the escaping inmate, that the policy on
the use of deadly force deprived the inmate of constitutional rights, or that the
ftdministz-at.or and a u ~ were grossly negligent or deliberately in.different. (YOUDg
Adults Institution, Miramar, Pl1ert.o Rico)
U.S. Appeals Court
ACCESS TO
A'ITORNEY
FACIALHAlR
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY

RESTRICTIONS

Solomon v. Zant. 888 F.2d 1579 (11th Cir. 1989). The widow of an inmate
brought a civil rights action agamst a prison official who refased t.o permit the
inmate t.o leave the death row cell block t.o see his att.orney without first
complying with shaving regulations. The U.S. District Court entered a
judgment in favor of the widow, and the offici~ appealed. The appeals court,
reversing the lower court's decision, found that the shaving regulation was a
legitimate security rule, and the enforcement of the rule did not violate the
inmate's constitutional rights. The prison policy which prohibited any death
sentenced inmate from leaving the cell block unless all shaving requirements were
complied with was reasonably related t.o the government's legitimate interest in. .
main.taming security in. the penotogical institutions. Had the institution sought t.o impose
some additional punishment, then it would have been necessary for him t.o be afforded a
proper disciplinary hearing. However, refusing t.o allow him t.o leave the cellblock was
simply part of the regulation. "After finding that institutions can require that mm.at.es be
clean shaven, it is reasonable t.o conclude that compliance with the policy will not result in.
a constitutional violation,• said the court. (Federal Correctional Institution, Jackson,
Georgia)

U.S. Supreme Court
PUBLICATIONS

Thornburgh v. Abbott. 109 S.Ct. 1874 (1989). Action was brought challenging
the regulations governing the receipt of subscription publications by federal
prison imnat.es. The Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations generally permit prisoners t.o
receive publications from the "outside," but authorize wardens, pursuant t.o specified
crit.eria, t.o reject an incoming publication if it is found "to be detrimental t.o the security,
good order, or discipline of the institution or if it might facilitat.e criminal activity. 11
Wardens may not reject a publication "solely because its content is religious, philosophical,
political, social[,] sexual, or ••• unpopular or repugnant," or establish an excluded list of
publications, but must review each issue of a subscription separately. Respondents, a
class of imnat.es and certain. publishers, filed a suit in. the district court, claiming that the
regulations, both on their face and as applied t.o 46 specifically excluded publications,
violated their first amendment rights under the standard set forth in Procun:ier v.
Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800, 40 LEd.2d 224. The district court refrained from
adopting the Martinez standard in. favor of an approach more deferential t.o the judgment
of prison authorities, and upheld the regulations without addressing the propriety of the .
46 exclusions. The appeals court, however, utilized the Martinez standard, found the
regulations wanting; and remanded the case for an individualized determination on. the
constitutionality of the 46 exclusions. The U.S. District Court upheld the regulations.
The appeals court reversed. The Supreme Court, vacating and remanding, found that the
proper inquiry was whether the regulations were reasonably related t.o legitimat.e
penological interests, and the regulations were facially valid. According t.o the Court,
regulations such as those at issue that affect the sending of publications t.o prisoners must
be analyzed under the standard set forth in Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89, 107 S.Ct.
2254, 2262, 96 L.Ed.2d 64, and are therefore "valid if [they are] reasonably related t.o
legitimate pe119logical interests. n It was found that the regulations at issue are facially
valid under the Turner standard. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, District of Columbia)

1990
U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

Balter v. Lyles, 904 F.2d 925 (4th Cir. 1990). An inmat.e brought a civil rights action
again.st a warden and other corrections officials, claiming liis due process rights were
violated following a disciplinary proceeding which resulted in the inmat.e being
convicted of possessing escape contraband and of associating with other inmates in an
escape attempt. The U.S. District Court ent.ered sammary judgment in. favor of the
defendants and the imnat.e appealed. The appeals court found that the inmat.e's due
process rights were not violated when the disciplinary board convicted him of pouesaion of
escape contraband based upon undocmnent.ed hearsq of an ~ o u s in.formant, . umler
the applicable "some evidence• standard, in view of further evidence available at the time
of the fin.al decision by the warden that the inmat.e had previously escaped from prison,
that abundant work had been done t.o attain escape through an. exhaust fan in the prison's
chapel, and that escape t.ools had been redeemed in prison. (Maryland Penit.entiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTION

Berry v. City of Muskogee, 900 F.2d 1489 (10th Cir. 1990). The widow of an. inmat.e
who was killed by fellow inmates brought a civil rights action against the city. In
vacating and l'8mandin.g the district court's decision, the appeals court stated that eighth
amendment standards, rather than due process standards that are applicable t.o

pretrial detainees, apply to incarcerat.ed persons whose guilt has been adjudicat.ed
formally but who await sent.encing. The safety and bodily int.egrity of a convict.ed prisoner
implicat.es both the eighth amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment and the fourteen.th amendment's substantive prot.ection against state
deprivation of life and h'berty without due process of law. The city cannot absolut.ely
guarantee the safety of its jailed prisoners, but it has a constitutional duty to take
reasonable st.eps to pt'btect the prisoners' safety and bodily int.egrity. A municipality is
liable under Section 1983 if there is a direct causal connection between the municipality
policies in question and the constitutional deprivation. (Muskogee City-Federal Jail,
Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES
SECURITY
.
PRACTICES

Section

Colon v. Schneider, 899 F.2d 660 (7th Cir. 1990). An inmat.e brought a
1983
action., alleging that a correctiODS official violat.ed his rights under the due process
clause of the fourt.eenth au:wndrnen.t when the official used chemical mace to .compel
him to submit to a strip search during the course of the in.mat.e's transfer from one
area of a correctional institution to another. The U.S. District Court issued an mjunclion
prohibiting the official from using 'mace solely to compel strip searches incident t.o the
transfer of in.mat.es within the institution, and the official appealed. The in.mate crossappealed, arguing that he was entitled to one dollar in compensatory damages and that
the district court erred in vacating the jury's award of punitive dam.ages. The appeals
court found that Wisconsin. regulations governing the use of mace in prisons do not creat.e
a federally-prot.ected liberty in.t.erest on behalf of inmates, and even. if such regulations did
creat.e a h'berty int.erest, the inmate failed to satisfy his burden. that he was maced in. the
absence of constitutionally required procedural safeguards. The appeals court also found
that, under the eleven.th amen.dmen.t, the district court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicat.e
the claim which was nothing more than an allegation that the prison official violat.ed stat.e
law, or to enjoin the official from engaging in the allegedly violative conduct. According to
the court, in. order for state regulations to creat.e a constitutionally and prot.ect.ed liberty
interest, the regulations must employ language of an unmistakably mandatory character,
requiring that certain. procedures •shall, n "will, n or "must" be employed, and that the
cba]Jenged action will n.ot occur absent specific substantive predicat.es. (Columbia ·
Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACIAL HAIR
HAIRLENGTH

Dunavant v. Moore, 907 F.2d 77 (8th Cir. 1990), ~ prison.er brought a civil rights
action. claiming that a prison grooming policy violat.ed his first amendment rights.
Summary judgment for the defendants was grant.ed by the U.S. District Court and the
in.mat.a appealed. The appeals court affirmed the decision., finding that the prison.
grooming policy prohibiting in.mat.a beards longer than two inches was based on legitimate
pen.ological objectives relat.ed to security because a long beard could make identification.
more difficult and help the prisoners hide contraband. The rule did n.ot violat.e the free
exercise rights of the in.mate who was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ
Christian/Aryan Nation and who believed, baaed on religious grounds, that he should n.ot
shave, cut or round the comers of his beard. {Farmingt:on Correctional Cent.er, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACIALHAIR

Friedman v. Stat.e of Arizona, 912 F.2d 328 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 111 S.Ct. 996.
Two orthodox Jewish in.mat.es filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a state prison.
challenging a policy prohibiting beards, arguing it violat.ed their First Amendment right to
exercise their religion freely. The U.S. Court of Appeals ~pheld the prison policy agamst
the in.mate's cballenge. It found that the prison had presented evidence that the policy
was ration.ally relat.ed to legitimat.e security in.t.erests, in.eluding orderly conduct of day-t.oday activities, identification. of prisoners responsible for disturbances and apprehension of
escapees by aiding rapid and accurat.e identification. In addition, allowing someone to
have a beard was n.ot a guarant.ee that the person. would "maintain. the beard in. uactly
the same style, length or color as he had in. the photograph,• and the iden.tif'lcation.
problem thus becomu unrnanaguble. The court noted that the prison allowed the
in.mat.es participation in. other religious activities and practices, provided Kosher food and
access to a rabbi (Arizona Stat.e Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

ESCAPE

Hatch v. Sharp, 919 F.2d 1266 (7th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 111 S.Ct. 1698. An in.mate
who was denied permission to play the stat.e lottery brought a Section. 1988 action allegin.g
violations of due process and equal protection rights. The U.S. District Court en.t.ered
judgment in. favor of the lottery and prison officials, and appeal was taken. The cour.t of
appeals found that the inmat.e's due process rights were not violat.ed by the prohibition. ·
again.st playing the lottery. Prison. officials were en.titled to draw a line at what person.al
property in.mat.es could possess or in what financial transactions they could engage in.
order to further legitimate security and safety concerns. (Nottoway Corr. Cent.er, Virginia)
Siddiqi v. Lane, 748 F.Supp. ~ (N.D. ID. 1990). An in.mate brought a Section. 1983
action. alleging a violation of equal prot.ection.. On. the defendants' motion. tCI dismiss, the
district court found that the inmate, who attempted an. escape, was n.ot denied equal
protection. by his subsequent security classification as a high escape risk, absent a
showing of intention.al or purposeful discrimination. in his security classification. (Illinois
State Prison. System)

39.25

U.S. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH
FACIAL HAIR

U.S. District Court

Swift v. Lewis, 901 F.2d 730 (9th Cir. 1990). Inmates appealed from a
judgment of the U.S. Distri~t Court which dismissed a civil rights action
challenging a grooming policy. The appeals court, reversing and remanding,
found that the Department of Corrections did not show that particular interests behind
the grooming policy justified treating the plaintiff inmates differently than members of
other religious groups, and the complaint stated a cause of action for damages against
another inmate who had allegedly excluded one of the plaintiff inmates from a retigious
group. Two prisoners claimed to be Christians who as part of their religion adhere to the
"Vow of the Nazarite," which prohibits, among other things, one's cutting his hair and
beard. They argued that the officials had discriminat.ed against their religion by
exempting certain religious groups, such as Sikhs and American Indians, from the policy,
but not exempting them. The appeals court found that the state Department of
Corrections did not show that the grooming policies were actually based on the need for
quick inmate identification, the prevention of sanitary problems, reducing contact between
prisoners and guards during body searches, and reducing homosexual attractiveness of
inmates or that any of those interests justified treating one group of inmates who claimed
a religious belief precluding them from cutting their hair differently than other religious
groups who made such a claim and were not subject.ed to the grooming policy prohibition
of long hair and beards. Prison officials are not required to prove that their policy is the
least restrictive method of furthering relevant penological interests, even when it infringes
on an mmate's practice of religion, but they must at least produce some evidence that
their policy is based on legitimate penological justmcations. (Arizona State PrisOll)

U.S. v. Oakley, 781 F.Supp. 1368 (S.D.Ind. 1990). A prisoner moved to

CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

suppress a controlled substance contained in balloons recovered by a digital
rectal examination and by the administration of laxatives. The district court
found that the physician's digital probe of the prisoner's rectw:n to remove balloons
containing a controlled substance could be performed without a warrant and complied
with the fourth amendment, even though the prisoner claimed that he suffered from
internal hemorrhoids. and even though the search was performed on a bed in a dry cell.
An x-ray indicated what appeared to be four or five balloons in the lower abdomen. The
balloons had been in the prisoner's digestive tract for over three weeks and contained a
lethal dosage of dilaudid; and the .fecal impaction posed an additional health risk. The
physician removed two balloons in the search. (United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute,
Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE
USE OF FORCE
CLASSIFICATION

White v. Roper, 901 F.2d 1501 (9th Cir. 1990). A pretrial detainee filed a
civil rights action against a jail sergeant and deputies for deliberate
indifference to his personal safety and excessive use of force. The U.S.
District Court granted. summary judgment for the.defendants, ..and the.
detainee appealed. The, appeals court, affirming in part, reversing in part.
and remanding, found that genuine issues of material fact existed on the deliberate
in.difference claim, but the detainee who alleged he suffered a cut wrist and bruises when
the officers attempted to subdue him when he resisted being put into another inmate's cell
failed to make a showing sufficient to establish use of force against him was excessive or
brutal. Genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether an officer was deliberately
indif£erent to a pretrial detainee's personal safety or intended to punish the pretrial
detainee by ordering him in a cell of another detainee who had a history of violent
behavior, in spite of the plaintiff inmate's protests and threats by other inmate. (San
Francisco Coimty Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
ESCAPE
USE OF FORCE

Wright v. Whiddon. 747 F.Supp. 694 (M.D. Ga. 1990) reversed 951 F.2d 297. A civil rights
action was brought to recover damages for the wrongful death of and deprivation of the
constitutional rights of a pretrial detainee, who was fatally shot while attempting to
escape, against a city police officer, a city police chief, the city, and the county sheriff. On
the defendants' motions for summary judgment, the district court found that the Fourth
Amendment, rather than the Eighth Amendment, provided the standard for analyzing a
claim that the pretrial detainee who was fatally shot while attempting to escape was
subject.ed to unconstitutional use of excess force. The pretrial detainee had the statas of a
presumptively innocent individual, so was more akin to suspect than a convicted prisoner,
and the Fourth Amendment's objective reasonableness .tandard accordingly applied. It
was also found that pnume issue of material fact aiated as to whether a reasonable
police officer could believe the pretrial detainee who was att.empting an escape posed a
serious threat, thus rendering lawful the officer's action in. fatally shooting the detainee,
so as to preclude summary judgment on the issue of whether the officer was entitled t.o
qualified immunity with respect to constitutional claims assert.eel under the civil rights
statute Section 1983. The county sheriff who ordered the city police officer to shoot the
pretrial detamee who was attempting the escape was not liable for violation of the fatally
wounded detainee's constitational rights, although it was argued that the ~
intentionally authorized the comrnissinu of the unlawful act which resalted in. the death
and violation of constitutional rights. The sheriff did zio1; have authority to ci-mrnend the
police officer, and the police officer did not act pursuant to ~ comrnand from the sheriff.
39.26

bUt in reliance on .bis own training and city policy, in deciding to draw his gun and fire at
the detainee. The appeals court reversed the lower court rulmg, finding that the officer
was entitled to qualified immunity. {Turner County, Georgia)

1991
U.S. District Court
DISTURBANCE

Friends v. Moore, 776 F.Supp. 1882 (E.D. Mo. 1991). An inmat.e brought a Section 1983
action against various prison officials. The district court found that the conditions of the
inmat.e's confinement in an outdoor rec area, wet and naked for a period of less than two
hours, did not constitut.e cru.el and unusual p,misbm.ent. The prison officials placed the
mm.at.a in the rec area not for punishment but to restore order in the prison unit. The
mm.at.a was moved from his cell to the rec area· to facilitat.e cleanup of the unit which he
necessitat.ed by setting off a sprinkler, and the duration of the conf"mement was relatively
brief. (Potosi 09?-rec:tional Cent.er, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY

Haynes v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 760 F.Supp. 124 (E.D. Mich. 1991), affirmed. 945
F.2d 404. A prisoner who was stabbecl by a prisoner in the adjoining cell brought a civil
rights action against various prison officials. The U.S. District Court found that the
inmat.e failed to make an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberat.e indifference against
prison officials. The mm.at.a clauned that officials ignored his report of a threat on his life,
but the officials did not recall the inm.at.e t.elling them about any threats, and the behavior
of the officials and the inm.at.e was inconsist.ent with the mm.at.e's version of even.ts. (Stat.a
Prison for Southern Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Johnson v. Boreani. 946 F.2d 67 (8th Cir. 1991). An mm.at.a brought a civil rights action
against prison officials, challenging his confinement in a strip cell on three clifferent
occasions. Following remand, the U.S. District Court ent.ered summary judgment in favor
of the officials and dismissed the mm.at.e's claim for il:ijun.ctive relief, and the mm.at.a
appealed. The court of appeals found that the.prison officials did not violat.e the inmate's
clearly established Eighth Am.endm-ut rights when. they ccmfinecl the mm.at.a to a strip cell
for control purposes, entitling them to qualified immunity. The officials could reasonably
have believed that conditions in the strip cell did not subject the mm.at.a to WBJ).ton.
infliction of pain or serious physical injury, in view of the short duration of conf"mement
and absence of injury; Even if the inmat.e established that his Eighth Amendment rights
were violat.ed when. he was placed in the strip cell, the mm.at.a was not entitled to
injunctive relief prohibiting the use of the strip cell for control purposes, absent evidence
that such conduct was likely to recur unless enjoined. (Cummins Unit, Arkansas
Department of Corrections)
·

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

Martucci v. Johnson.. 944 F.2d 291 (6th Cir. 1991). A former pretrial detainee filed a
Section 1983 action alleging various constitutional violations by sheriff's department
officials in con.cert with a Stat.a Bureau of Investigation agent. The U.S. District Court
ent.ered summary judgment against the detainee, and he appealed. The court of appeals
found that conditions imposed on the pretrial detainee during his segregat.ed confinement
were reasonably relat.ed to legitimat.e governmental objectives and aborting his escape and
ensaring his presence at trial and, thus. the segregation did not amount to
unconstitutional "punishment• and, consequently, his placement in segregat.ed
confinement dici. not, in and of itself, violate due process. In addition, the pretrial detainee
was not denied procedural due process by lack of a hearing at which he could contest
reasons for his confinement, as he was not subjected to "discipline• for violation of a prison.
rule and, thus, could derive no liberty interest from a regulatory provision requiring
jailers to provide for disciplinary hearings in cases of alleged violations of prisoner con.duct
rules. It was also found that the jailers' decision to withhold both incoming and out.going
mail of the pretrial detainee who was believed to be plannin.g an escape did not violat.e the
detain.ee's First Amendment rights. AJJY size or ~ of package or envelope could have
contained information relating to an escape scheme. Withholding mail destined for a
prisoner believed to be planning an escape, the court not.ad, is "reasonably related" to the
legitimat.e penological interest of maintaining institutional security, and the jailers were
"lawfully motivat.ed" to regulat.e, on a cont.ant-neutral basis, the prisoner's ability to
correspond with people outside the jail as long as there exist.ed reason to believe that an
escape att.em.pt wu imminent. (Anderson County Jail, Tennessee)

Stat.a Court
ESCAPE

McQueen v. Williams. 587 So.2d 918 (Miss. 1991). A son of a man who was one of two
men murdered by two convicts during a burglary that took place after the two convicts
escaped from a county jail where they were being held because of overcrowded conditions,
sued the county sheriff for the wrongful death of his father. He clauned that the failure to
prevent the escape or "promptly and adequate]yll inform the public of the dangerousness of
the offenders constitut.ed n.egligenDe. The complaint:, seeking $1.5 million in damages,
claimed that the sheriff and his subordinat.es failed in a "minist.erial duty" to keep the
prisoners confined "by leaving the jail door ,:mlocked" and thereby permitting an escape.
The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld BUJD1D817 judgment for the defendant sheriff,
39.27

noting that, uni:l,er state law, the sheriff's duty to keep prisoners confined, if any, is
discretionary in nature, requjring the sheriff's personal "deliberation, decision and
individual judgment." The sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from liability, in the
absence of any evidence that tlie sheriff exceeded bis authority or committed intentional
wrongdoing. (Mississippi)
U.S. District Court

SECURITY
PRACTICES
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES

Phelps v. Ounn 770 F.Supp. 846 (E.D. Ky. 1991). A prison inmate brought a civil rights
action alleging that his constitutional rights were violated by a deputy's decision to bar
him. from taking a leadership role in chapel services because he was gay. The U.S.
District Court found that the inmate's right to pract:ice his religion was not violat.ed by the
deputy's decision. There was strong disagreement among other inmates as to whether
gays should be allowed to participate in services, and the deputy's decision was reasonably
relat.ed to penological interests of security and rehabilitation of inmates by providing
religious programs for the inmate population as a whole. (Northpoint Training Center,
Burgin, Kentucky)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISTURBANCE
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Stewart v. McManus, 924 F.2d 138 (8th Cir. 1991). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
action asserting claims based on his disciplinary treatment by Iowa correctional
authorities after he had been transferred from Kansas. The U.S. District Court found no
Eighth Amendment violation occurred when the prisoner was placed in plastic hand cuffs
following a cell house disturbance, particularly where the prisoner's alleged wrist injury
was slight. The inmate was flu-cuffed in a good-faith effort to restore discipline after a
prison riot and only after guards ran out of ordinary handcuffs. (Iowa State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court

Young v. Lane, 922 F.2d 370 (7th Cir. 1991). On appeal and cross appeal from an order of
the U.S. District Court in Jewish inmates' federal civil rights action against state prison
officials, the court of appeals found that the state prison's policy of allowing Jewish ·
inmates to wear their yarmulkes only inside their cells and during religious services did
not deprive the inmates of their right to free exercise of religion, as the prison had a
strong institutional interest in limiting the effectiveness of gangs by restricting the variety
of available headgear, and that the policy operated with neutrality toward the content of
religious expression and did not deprive the inmates of all means thereof. (Dixon
Correctional Center, Illinois)

HATS

1992

manks v. Smith, 790 F.Supp. 192 (E.D. Wis. 1992).

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

An inmate brought a civil rights
action against prison officials challenging the number of searches conduct.ad during a two
week •general shakedown." He alleged that such searches were "excessive and
unreasonable" because he had no contact with other prisoners or visitors during that time.
The district court found that the inmate's allegations stated an arguable claim for relief
under the Eighth Amendment, (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsixv

U.S. District Court

Cameron v. Tomes, 788 F.Supp. 1511 (D. Mass. 1992), modified, 990 F.2d 14. An
involuntarily c:ommitt.ed patient brought an action against the Commissioner of the
Department of Mental Health and the administrator of a treatment center for the sexually
dangerous, alleging that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights by f ~ to
provide him with minimally adequate treatment. The court found that transporting the
patient, who had had one leg amputated, in waist shackles and under armed guard was
unnecessary and actually harmful to his treatment. (Massachusetts Treatment Center for
the Saually Dangerous)

RESTRAINTS

U.S. District Court
FIRE

Lile v. Tippecanoe County Jail, 844 F.~pp. 1301 (N.D. Ind. 1992). It was found that a
county jail official's refusal to open windows after an jnmate start.ed a fire in a cell block
alleged]y resulting in a detainee passing out was not in.tended to punish the detainee in
violation of the Eighth Arnendment. There was no m.«:lical evidence suggesting that the
detainee suffered aey- mSury resulting from the fire or the presence of smoke in the unit.
The officials respODded to and utiDguished. the fire, and there was no indication as to the
length of time smoke was present or that any other inmates cam.plained about the
presence of smoke or suffered any discomfort or
(Tippecanoe Count,.. Jail, Indiana)

m,jur.r,

U.S. District Court

'LOOKlN"
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Miller v. Campbell, 804 F.Supp, 159 (D, Kam. 1992). An imnate brought an action alleging
cruel and unusual pnnishment during a lockdown. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district cwrt granted the motion, finding that the medical care of the
inmate was not cruel and unusual pllnishment, where there was a mere difference of
.opinion regarding the nature of care offered. In. addition, the brief lockdown, the
shut.down of water and electricity, m:ui the suspension bf telephone access was related to
legitimate c:orrectiona1 goals in response to inmates' throwing water-soaked trash into the
walkway and.was not cruel "and 'IUlUSWll pnnisbment. The water was turned oft to
prevent flooding m:ui was turned on at intervals to allow the use of toilets m:ui sinks. The
electricity was shutdown after inmates damaged light fmares, m:ui nothing indic.a:ted
39.28

officials' deliberate incliff~ to dangerous conditions of cm:finement. The court n.ot.ed
that these deprivations were brief and were reasonably related to legjtimate correction.al
goals. (Leavenworth County Jail, Kansas)
U.S. Appeals Court
FACIAL HAIR

Powell v. Est.elle, 959 F.2d 22 (5th Cir. 1992). Prisoners brought civil rights actions
alleging that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's prohibition against long hair and
beards violat.ed their First Amendment right to exercise their religion freely. The u;s.
District Court found no infringement on the prisoners' First Amendment rights, m:ui the
inmates appealed. The court of appeals found that the prohibition was rationally related
to the achievement of the goal of advancing prison security by preventing the
concealment of weapons and contraband in hair and beards, and evidence support.ad the
district court's conclusion that the prolu'bition was rationally relat.ed to a security-relat.ed
goal of identifying prisoners. Evidence was also sufficient to support the district court's
conclusion that long hair and beards would have an adverse· impact on the safety of
prisoners working around industrial equipment and on the hygiene of ~ prison
population as a whole. (Teu.s Department of Criminal Justice)

U.S. Appeals Court
HAlR

Scott v. Mississippi Dept. of Corrections, 961 F.2d 77 (5th Cir. 1992). Mississippi State
Penitentiary inmat.es who were members of the Rastafari. religion brought a suit alleging
that a hair-grooming regulation was an unconstitutional violation of their free exercise of
religion. The U.S. District Court entered summary judgment and the in.mat.es appealed.
The court of appeals fomid that the Mississippi Department of Corrections' hair-grooming
regulation, which required short hair, did not violate the free exercise of religion rights of
Rastafari in.mat.es, even though religious beliefs included never cutting or combing one's
hair, since the regulation was reasonably related to legitimat.e penological concerns of
identification and security, other forms of expressing the inmate's religion. remained open,
and it was unliltely that penological interests could be equally well satisfied by other
alternatives proposed by the inmat.es. (Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman,
Mississippi)

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

U.S. v. Horr, 963 F.2d 1124 (8th Cir. 1992), A defendant was convicted in the U.S.
District Court of con.spiring to posses a firearm in prison and to escape, and attempting to
possess a firearm in prison and to escape, and he appealed. The court of appeals found
that the taped t.elephone conversations in which the prison inmat.e attempted to arrange
an escape were admissible because the inmate, who was instructed at the prison
orientation that inmate t.elephone calls were monitored and recorded, signed a form
indicating that he was aware of the prison's telephone policy, and, thus, implied to the
taping of his phone conversations. In addition., the defendant's allegations that he would
have been labeled a prison nsnitch" if he had reported to prison authorities that a fellow
inmate had threatened to kill him if he did not come up with money to buy a gun. to be
used in an escape attempt was inadequate, without more, to demonstrate that the
defendant had no reasonable opportunities to avoid the harm, as was required for a jury
instruction on law of coercion or duress in prosecution of the inmate. (Federal Medical
Center, Rochester, Minnesota)

HAIR LENGTH

TELEPHONE

U.S. Appeals Court
DISTURBANCE

SAFETY
SECURITY
PRACTICES
TRANSFER

Woodbridge v. Dahlberg, 954 F.2d 1281 (6th Cir. 1992). Prison. inmates Siled prison
officials under Section 1988 alleging th.at the conduct of the officials following a prison
protest demonstration violated their Fourth and Eighth J.mendm ..nt rights, The U.S.
District Court entered judgment on the jury verdict in favor of the prison officials, and the
inmates appealed. The court of appeals found that the prison inmates' rights under the
Fourth and Eighth Amendments were not violated by their detention in outdoor fenced
areas in 40 degree temperatures, subsequent strip searches, and removal to another
facility following the inmates' refusal to report to their cells as instructed, as the actions of
the prison officials were necessary in view of the potentiaUy dangerous situation.. (Ohio
Stat.a Reformatory)
1993

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY

Bragado v. City of Zion/Police Dept.. 839 F.Supp. 551 (N.D.ID. 1998). A suit was br®ght
under the Section 1988 civil rights statute, the Illinois Survival Act, and the Illinois
Wrongful Death Act seeking damages for the city's failure to person.ally inspect and
prevent the suicide of a jail prisoner. After the jury returned a verdict in favor of the
plaintiff, posttrial motions were made in which the plaintiff sought funeral expenses and
the defendant sought judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The district court found that
evidence support.ad a finding th.at jail officials acted with deliberat.e indifference to the
prisoner's rights. Inadequate personal inspections of the prisoner were done despite the
knowledge of the prisoner's suicidal tendencies, Audio and video monitoring were also
msafficient. In addition., the on-duty officer knew of the prisoner's threat of suicide, as
well as her intoxication and iD,juries to her wrists. The court also found that the jury's
verdict awarding damages for the city's wrongful failure to prevent the prisoner's suicide,
in the amount of $5,000 under the Illinois Survival Act and approximately $282,000 under
39.29

the Illinois Wrm:igfal Death Act as well as nominal damages for Section 1983 civil rights
violation, was supported by evidence and was reasonable. (City of Zion Police Station,
Zion,Dlinois)
·
U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAlNTS

Knox v. McGhm.is, 998 F.2d 1405 (7th Cir. 1993). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
action against state corrections off'icials alleging that use of a "black box" re!Ji;raming
device while transporting segregation prisoners while outside the segregation. wrlt violated
the Eighth Amendment. The U.S. District Court grant.ed summary judgment in favor of
the defendants, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court, aff'irming the decision,
found that the correctional officials were entitled to qualified immunity from claims for
damages against them in their individual capacities. ln addition, claims against the
defendants in their official capacities were barred by the Eleventh Amendm--ut. It was
also found that the prisoner lacked ,=1;anding to seek prospective m,junctive relief against
prison officials in their official capacities as the prisoner, who had been released from
segregation and returned to the general prison population where he was no longer subject
to use of the black box, did not make a reasonable showing that he would &pin be subject
to alleged illegality. (Stateville Correctional Center, IDinois)

U.S. District Court

Lasley v. Godinez; 883 F.Supp. 714 (N.D.m. 1993), Imnates who were found guilty of
possesaing dangerous contraband in violation of a prison rule brought a pro se Section
1983 suit alleging that their due process rights were violated. On the defendants' motions
t.o msmiss, the district court found that the administ.rative directive of the IDinois
Department of Corrections (DOC) whose purpose was to establish a procedure to insure
that a written report was completed whenever an inmate living area was searched did not
create a prot.ecti.ble h'berty interest for inmates to have their cells searched before the cells
were assigned to them. The directive contained no substantive rules which would give
rise to an entitlement. The discovery of contraband in the inmates' cells during the course
of the searches was sufficient evidence to find them guilty of violating the prison rule.
(Stateville Correctional Center, IDinois)

CONTRABAND

SEARCHES

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Moody v. Proctor, 986 F.2d 239 (8th Cir. 1993). An-inmate who claimed that he was
injured when, after undergoing medical treatment, prison guards lifted him into a prisoner
transportation van while he was restrained with handcuffs and a "black box:,• filed a civil
rights action ·agam.st security guards, correctional officers and others. The U.S. District
Court entered judgment for the defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court,
aff°Jrming the decision, found that the district court determination that correctional officers
lacked discretion in using the "black box" restraining device while transporting the inmate

was not clearly erroneous. Although the officers could request changes in transport
procedures to ensare the prisoner's safety and well-being, all inmates traveling outside the
institution were to be restrained using handcuffs and a black box. No changes to
restramts could occur while a prisoner was en route. In addition, the use of the black box
did not itself amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Although the black box caused
discomfort, its use was penologically justified by security considerations. Although the
inmate was m,jured as a result of the guards' handling of him while he was restrained by
the black box, there was no evidence that the guarcls acted maliciously or sadistically or
with deh'berate indifference. (Nebraska State Penitentiary)
U.S. Appeals Court
DISTOBBANCE
USE-OF FORCE

Moore v. Holbrook, 2 F.Sd 697 (6th Cir. 1993). A prisoner brought a Section 1983 action
against prison guards for an alleged assa-ult. The United States District Court dismissed
the action, and appeal was taken. The appeals court, reversing and remanding_ found
that there were genuine issues of material fact, precluding summary judgment for the
prison officials. The prisoner claimed he was assaulted by officials during a prison
distarbance and th.ere were doubts as to whether the disturbance was in progress at the
time of the assault. lf the assault occurred during the disturbance, the guards were
permitted to use greater force than normally necessary to control the prisoner. · (Southern
Ohio Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
ESCAPE

Spaulding v. Collins, 867 F.Supp. 499 (S.D. Tex. 1998). An inmate filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus complaining of discipline he received aft.er he was found guilty of
attempting to escape by originating and possessing a forged court order. The district court
found that the inmate's exclusion from. portions of the disciplinary hearing during which a
correctional officer gave testun.ony did not violate his due proceas rights. The hearing
officer found that it was necessary to exclude the inmate in order to preserve intemal
order and discipline and to maintain institutional security. The court also found that
denying the inmate permission t.o cross-enmine an informant was not a denial of
confrontation and cross-examination rights. Revealing the identity of the informant could
pose a high risk of reprisal within the prison and the right to call witnesses in prison
disciplinary proceedinp is limited. Evidence supported a fmdmg of guilt for att.empted
escape. (Alfred D. Hughes Unit, Tens Depart:men.t of Criminal Justice, Institutional
Division)

39.30

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Walters v. Grossheim, 990 F.2d 381 (8th Cir. 1993). A prison mmate brought a civil rights
suit against prison officials, alleging that the officials' failure to comply with a judgment
requiring the inmate to be retarn.ed to a less restrictive environment constituted a
violation of his rights. The U.S. District Court awarded the inmate compensatory
damages of $4 per day for the time the mmate spent in Level DI custody aft.er the entry of
the state court judgment and before he was restored to Level IV, for a total of $276 in
damages; the parties cross appealed. The court of appeals, affirm.mg the decision, found
that the prison officials did not have qualified immunity for their failure to comply with
the judgment ordering them to return the inmate to a less restrictive environment,
regardless of whether the off'lcials disagreed with the order and thought it lacked proper
legal foundation. The judgment could serve as a basis for the inmate's constitutionally
protected liberty interests, thus the prison officials violated the inmate's due process rights
when they failed to carry out the• state court judgment. The prison inmate, who was the
prevailing party, was entitled to an allowance of costs although he had not requested them
in the trial court. (Iowa)
1994

U.S. District Court
SAFETY

Arnold v. South Carolina~ of Corrections, 843 F.Supp. 110 (D.S.C. 1994). A state
prison inmate who was • ·
while using faulty kitchen eqaipment brought a Section
1983 claim against prison officials based on Eighth Amendment violations. Upon the
prison officials' motion for summary judgment, the district court found that the inmate
failed to establish that the officials violat.ed the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against
cruel and unusual punishment. The inmate offered no evidence that the officials acted
with a requisite culpable state of mind in failing to repair the equipment. Also, the
deprivation of rights was not sufficiently serious to satisfy the objective component of
violation. The proper remedy for the inmate was to f'tle for workers compensation benefits.
The court found that even if the inmate had established that prison officials violated the
Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by failing to
repair the faulty st.eam pot, prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from the
suit because it had not been clearly established that the right to properly functioning
prison equipment was of constitutional magnitude. {McCormick Correctional Institution,
South Carolina)

U.S. District Court

Barrett v. U.S.• 845 F.Supp. 774 (D,Kan. 1994). An inmate's mother brought a Federal
Tort Claims Act (FTCA) action against prison officials aft.er the inmate was fatally stabbed
at the federal penitentiary. The district court found that the failure of the prison otficials
to investigate a death threat against the inmate made by a religious group or to segregate
the inmate from. other prisoners was not the pl"CmlDate cause of the inmate's stabbing
death. The inmate's death was a result of a per80llal comlict with another inmate who
was not a member of the religious group. In addition, the prison officials had no
knowledge of that conflict and could not have been aware of that ccmfl.ict even with
reasonable diligence. (Unit.ea. States Penitentiary, Leavenworth., Kansas)

PRCYI'ECTION

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE
USEOFFORCE

Brothers v. Klevenhagep. 28 F.Sd 452 (5th Cir. 1994). Family members of a pretrial
detainee who was killed while attempting to escape from custody during transport from
one holding cell to another, brought an.action in state court against the county and its
sheriff alleging a:cessive force and violation of Section 1983. The defendants removed the
action to federal court and the parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The U.S.
District Court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the plaintiffs appealed.
The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the due process clause, rather than
the Fourth Amendm•nt, provided the constitutional standard for determblmg whether
deputies used excessive force in their treatment of the detamee. The deJ>Uties' shooting
and killing of the unarmed pretrial detainee who was escaping did not violate due process.
The sheriff's department policy allowed deadly force only when immediately necessary to
prevent escape and was designed in a good faith effort to maintain or rest.ore discipline
and not maliciously and sadistically for the purpose of causing harm. The deputies fired
at the detainee only as a last resort to prevent an escape, and the detainee would have
· escaped if the deputies had not fired upon him. (Harris County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court

Campbell-El v. District of Columbia. 874 F.Supp. 403 (D.D.C. 1994). A prisoner claimed
that enforcement of various·prison. security measares violated his rights under the Fifth
and Eighth Amendm,m.t and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The district
court found that the confinement to maximum security and the enforcement of a lockdown
policy, were reasonable in light of prison secarity concerns and did not violate either the
Fifth Amendment due process or the Eighth Amendmen:t cruel and unusual pimisbment.
clauses. This is particularly true where the prisoner was in maximum security at his own
request for protective cust.ody. The court also found that, to det.ermme whether the
prisoner's rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) had been violat.ed,
further discovery was required on the prisoner's claim that ~orcement of the prohibition
againsl gathering .of more than 10 or 12 prisoners in a cellblock violated his religious

"LOCK-IN"
RELIGION

39.31

freedom rights. There was insufficient evidence in the record to show whether the
regulation was the least restrictive means for furthering compelling govermnent int.erest
in prison security, (Mummm Security Facility, Lort.on, District of Columbia)
U.S. District Court
HAJRLENGTH
REIJGIOUS
ARrICLES

Diaz v. Collins. 872 F.Supp. 858 (E.D.Tex. 1994). A Native American. inmat.e brought a
Section 1988 action complaining of ~eged violations of his right t.o practice Native
American religion. The district court found that a prison regulation requiring inmat.es t.o
cut their hair did not violat.e the Religious Freedom Best.oration Act, despit.e the Native
American inmat.e's claim that his religion requjred that he grow his hair long. Security
·concerns were compelling govermnental interests, and the regulations were the least
restrictive means available· t.o achieve these compelling int.erests. The prison's
requirement that a medicine pouch sought by the inmat.e be sent through the unit
warden's office and that the imnat.e allow visual inspection of it for contraband was
reasonable within the prison environment and did not substantially burden the inmat.e's
right t.o freely practice his religion. The prison policy of requiring that the inmat.e's
medicine pouch be stored in the inmat.e's cell did not substantially burden the inmat.e's
religious beliefs. The prison regulation governing religious headbands did not
substantially burden the practice .of the Native American religion, and was founded upon
a compelling stat.e int.erest t.o mllintab,. security and minimize carrying of contraband
within the prison. The regulation required that any headband be kept in the inmat.e's
cell. The inmat.e was ccmfined t.o his cell for 22 t.o 23 hours per day and could wear the
headband during that time. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional
Division. Coffield Unit)

U;S. District Court
DISCRETION
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY
REsrRICTIONS
SEGREGATION

Harrison v. Dretke. 865 F.Supp. 385 (W.D.Tex. 1994). A prisoner brought a civil rights
action against prison officials claiming that he was placed on restraint status and
"container restriction" (not allowed t.o keep cups, plates or similar it.ems in his cell) without
due process of law. The U.S. District Court dismissed the action and the imnat.e appealed.
The appeals court remanded. On remand, the district court found that prison officials did
not violat.e the prisoner's protect.eel h"berty int.erest when they placed him on restraint
status after he assault.ed another inmate. The prisoner failed t.o show that there were any
regulations that limit.ed the officers' discretion in imposing the restraint status, and any
freedom of movement inmates had beyond escort ,mder restraint was an umegulat.ed
privilege ext.ended by prison officials. In addition, the stat.e prison officials satisfied due
process requirements when they revoked the prisoner's container privileges. The prison's
classification committee reviewed the prisoner's status a little more than three weeks after
placing him on container restriction and decided t.o continue the restrictions. This review
was one of the prisoner's regularly scheduled classification hearings which must be held
every 90 days pursuant t.o segregation regulations. The mmate had a right t.o attend such
hearings and t.o present evidence. (Alfred Hughes Unit, Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, Institutional Divisicm)

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY

Horn by Parks v. Madison County Fiscal Court, 22 F.Sd 658 (6th Cir, 1994) U.S. cert.
denied 115 S.Ct. 199. A juvenile detainee, by his lim.it.ed conservat.or, brought Section
1988 and negligence claim.. seeking: damages for injuries sustained in an att:empted
suicide. The appeals court, affirming in part and reversing in part, found that any
violation of the Juvenile Justice Act in temporarily lodging the juvenile in an. adult jail
was not the proximat.e cause of his att.empt.ed suicide because the juvenile was
scrupulously shielded from deleterious influences associat.ed with adult facilities. The
court also found that the prison officials' failure t.o take special precautions t.o protect the
juvenile detainee from. suicide was not deh'berat.e in.difference t.o his serious medical needs,
as required to establish a Fourteenth Amendment violation. Juvenile detainees were not.
as a class, particalarly vulnerable to suicide and entitled to special screening for suicidal
t.endencies. (Madison County Detention Center, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION

Huffman v. Fiola, 850 F.Supp. 888 (N.D. Cal. 1994). A prisoner filed a federal civil rights
complaint agamst prison officials and police officers and sought t.o proceed in forma
pauperis, The district court found that the prisoner stated a cognizable claim against
police officers who allegedly watched and refused t.o ~sist or prevent an. alleged sexual
assault of the prisoner in a booking: cell, (Pacmc Grove Police Department and Monterey
Coun.1iY Sheriff's Department, California)
·

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTION
SEGREGATION

Robinson v. Cavanaugh• .20 F.Sd 892 (8th Cir. 1994). An inmate brought an. action for
damag:es against prison officials wr violating: his due process rights by failing to protect
him from. an. attack by another inmate. The U.S. District Court cUsmissed and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the imnat.e's refusal t.o
identify the inmate that he feared would attack him invalidated his failure t.o protect
claim. Officials would not place the inmate in protective cust.ody without kn.owing the
identity of a pot.en.tial wailant.. (Missouri)

39.32

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY
SEGREGATION

Schwartz v. County of Montgomery, 843 F.Supp. 962 (E.D.Pa. 1994) affirmed 37 F.Sd
1488. An inmat.e brought claims under Section 1983 and Pennsylvania law against a
county correctional facility and its employees. 'lhe district court found that the defendants
were not deh"berat.ely indifferent to the inmat.e's constitutional rights by failing to ensure that
the facility's policies and procedures governing inmate classification and recreation were
followed. Even though failure to follow policies and procedures result.ed in the att.empt.ed
strangulation of the inmat.e by a prisoner who was known to be extremely dangerous and who
should have not been allowed to leave his cell unescort.ed. the policies and procedures did not
cause the harm suffered by the inmate. According to the court, failure to communicat.e and
follow policies and procedures did not rise above the level of negligence. Under.Pennsylvania
law, the defendants could not be held liable on the intentional tort theory for the attack, and
the defendants were immune from negligence claims. (Montgomery County Correctional
Facility, Eagleville, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCRETION
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Sims v. Mashburn, 25 F.3d 980 (11th Cir. 1994). A prisoner brought a Sec1ian 1988 action
against stat.e prison officials, alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violat.ed in
connection with the stripping of his cell. 'lhe U.S. District Court entered judgment for the
prisoner and the officials appealed. 'lhe court of appeals, reversing the decision, found
that the alleged failure of a prison guard to monitor the prisoner after his cell was stripped,
which allegedly caused the prisoner to be subject to a penalty for a period longer th.an neceBBary
to achieve penal objec1ives, did not inflict cruel and unusual p1mishmen.t upon the prisoner in
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The official was allowed deference in determming
when the penal objective had been reached, and his conduct had been in ·compliance with
policies that were in place at the mstitution; consequently he could not be characterized as
malicious or sadistic as needed for an Eighth Amendment violation. (St. Clair Correctional
Facility, Alabama)

U.S. District Court

Taifa v. Bayh, 846 F.Supp. 728 (N.D.Ind. 1994). Prisoners brought a class action suit
challenging conditions of confinement at a prison operat.ed by the Indiana Depar1ment of
Corrections. 'lhe district court approved a settlement agreement involving assignment
and transfer of prisoners, along with improvement of various prison conditions at the
Muimum Control Complex (MCC). 'lhe state agreed on1y to assign prisoners to MCC under
specified conditions and to transfer prisoners out of MCC aft.er a specified period of time,
subject to certain conditions, and agreed to alter MCC conditions in many areas. The
agreement also provided for expanded visitation and telephone privileges. (Muimum Control
Complex, Indiana Depar1ment of Corrections, Westville, Indiana)

SECURITY PRACTICES
TEIBPHONE
VISITS

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

U.S. District Court

FIRE SAFETY

Taylor v. Freeman. 84 F.3d 266 (4th Cir. 1994). State prison inmat.es filed an action
alleging that overcrowding and understaffing exposed imnat.es to an unconstitutionally
unacceptable risk of physical violence. On the inmates' motion for a preliminary injunction, the
U.S. District Court i&sµed a mandatory preliminary injunction ordering prison"officials to
reduce the total ~ t e population by 80 percent of operating capacity in two months, in
addition to ordering officials to take other remedial actions. The defendants appealed. '!he
appeals court found that, in iBBumg the mandatory preliminary injunction, the district court
exceeded the lirnit.ed remedial authority vest.ed in federal courts to direct the way in which stat.e
prison officials meet the. dictat.es of the Eighth Amendment.· '!he court's assumption of
extensive managerial control over the prison was premised upon conclusory findings regarding
the inmat.es' allegations that overcrowding and understaffing exposed the inmat.es to an
unacceptable risk of physical violence. (North Carolina's Morrison Youth Institution)
Women Prisoners v. District of Columbia, 877 F.Supp. 684 (D.D.C. 1994). A class action
was brought on behalf of female prisoners in the District of Columbia. 'lhe district court
found that the living conditions for the women prisoners violated contemporary standards of
decency and violat.ed the Eighth Amendment. 'lhe dormitories were open and crowded and
could not contain fire within any one room. '!here was only one unlocked fire exit, no fire
alarm system, no sprinkler system, and no regularly canduct.ed fire drills. (District of Columbia
Correctional Syst.em- the Lorton Minimum Security Annex, the Correctional Treatment Facility,
the Central Detention Facility)
1995

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Abdul Jabbar-Al Samad v. Horn. 918 F.Supp. 873 (E.D.Pa. 1995). Muslim inmat.es brought a
civil rights suit against prison officials challenging a rule which prohibited inmates from
leading religious groups. 'lhe district court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss. finding
that the inmates stat.ed c:lairna for violation of their civil rights. 'lhe court found that the
inmat.es had stat.ed a claim under § 1980 and the First Amendment by alleging that the prison
rule violat.ed a t.enet of Islam that requires Muslims to choose their religious leaders from
within their congregation. The court also found that the inrnat.es stat.ed a claim under the
equal protecti.on clause of the Fourt.een.th Amendment because civic and religious prison groups
were similarly situat.ed and that it was not established that one group was fnndernentally more
dangerous than the other. (SCI-Graterford, Pennsylvania)

39.33

U.S. Appeals Court

ESCAPE

RBSTRAINTS

U.S. District Court

GANGS

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Davidson v. Riley. 45 F.Sd sz,; (2nd Cir. 1995). An inmate filed a civil rights action
against prison officials claiming that he did.not receive a fair 1rial when. he was made to
appear and try his case while restrained by handcuffs and leg irons. The U.S. District
Court dismissed the action and the mmate appealed. The appeals court found that the district
court had the discretion to order physical restraints if necessary to main.tam safety or security,
but could impose no greater restraints than were needed to rninirnizie the resulting prejudice to
the inmate's fundamental due process right to a fair trial. The district court abused.its
discretion by delegating to the inmate's guards the decision whether security concerns
outweighed the inmate's due process right to appear without shackles or manacles, by failing to
conduct an evidentiary hearing on whether the inmate preaeuted an escape risk, and by failing
t,, roinirni:re the prejudice in having the inmate shackled while he appeared before the jury.
The errors could not be deemed harmless where the restraints affected the credi"bility of the
inmate and his wi1neaaes and where the evidence against him was not overwhelming. (New
York State Department of Correctional Services)
·
Madrid:!• Gomez. 889 F.Supp. 1146 (N.D.Cal. 1995). Inmates brought a ~ s action suit
challenging conditions of confinement at a new high-security prison complex in California. The
district court fotmd for the plaintiffs in the majority of issues presented, 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 noted that this "... is
not a case about inadequate or deteriorating physical conditions...rather, plaintiffs contend that
behind the newly-minted walls and shiny equipment lies a prison that is coldly indifferent to
the limited, but basic and elemental, rights that incarcerated peraons--including the 'worst of
the worst'--retam under•••our Constitution. n The court held that the fact that a prison may be
new does not excuse its obligation to operate it in a constitutionally acceptable manner. The
court held that prison inmates established prison officials' deliberate indifference to the use of
exceaaive force by showing that they knew that unneceaaary and grossly excessive force was
being employed against mmates on a frequent basis and that these practices posed a
substantial risk of harm to mmates. According to the court, officials consciously disregarded
the risk of harm, choosing instead to tolerate and even encourage abuses of force by deliberately
ignoring them when they occurred, tacitly accepting a code of silence, and failing to implement
adequate systems to control and regulate the use of force. The court found that officials had an
affirmative management strategy to permit the use of excessive force for the purpose of
punishment md deterrence.
'lhe court fotmd the delivery of physical and mental health services to be constitutionally
inadequate and that evidence demonstrated that officials knew that they were subjecting the
imnate population to a substantial risk of serious harm, thus violating the Eighth Amendment.
The court held that staffing levels were insufficient, training and supervision of medical staff
was almost nonexistent and screening for communicable diseases was poorly implemented.
Inmates often experienced significant delays in receiving treatment, there were no protocols or
training programs for dealing with emergencies or trauma, there was no effective procedure for
managing chronic illness, medical recordkeeping was deficient, and there were no programs of
substance to ensure that quality care was provided.
According to the court, although conditions of confinement in the security housing unit did
not violate the Eighth Amendment for all inmates, they did violate constitutional standards
when imposed on certain mmates, mcluding those who were at a particularly high risk for
suffering very serious or severe mjury to their mental health. The court found that conditions
involved extreme social isolation and reduced environmental stimulation. The court held that
prison officials had an actual subjective knowledge that conditions of isolation presented a
substantial excessive risk of harm for mentally ill and other vulnerable inrnatea, and that the
officials act.ed wantonly in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The court ruled that the psymological pain that results from idleness in segregation is not
sufficient to implicate the Eighth Amendment, particularly where excluaion from prison
programs is not without some penological justification.
·
'lbe court found that double-celling and inmate 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 wu significantly more than would be expected for a facility of
the prison's size and security designation.
'lbe court upheld the prison's efforts to identify and separate gang members, finding that
mmate's were not entitled to a hearing before a special services unit officer prior to being
transferred to a segregated housing unit because of gang membership. The inmates were given
an oppc>rtuniv to present their views to the institutional gang investigator 001) and the IOI
was the critical decision-maker m the proceaa. Also, although aome inmates who were
transferred for gang membership may not have affirmatively engaged in gang activity while
confined, the court held that evidence showed that gang members join gangs •for life," justifying
their placement. in security housing. (Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

Masonoff V:• DuBois. 899 F.Supp. 782 (D.Mass. 1995). Prison inmates filed a class action suit
against prison officials alleging that conditions of confinement violated their rights under the
Eighth .Amendment.. 'lbe district court grant.eel awnmary judgment, in part, for the inmates.
The court demed summary judgment for the prison officials with regard to fire aafecy- issues
raised by the inmates. Inmates alleged fire hazards caused by 1he lack of a functionmg
sprinkler system and the lack of automatic locks on cell doors, which are required by a state
building code. Prison o ~ responded that the facility had implemented a rigorous fire
39.34

safety program which mitigated any dangers imposed by these deficiencies. The court noted
that while it may look to state codes in its effort to def.ermine sociefi)"s standard of decency,
such standards do not necessarily reflect constitutional minima (Southeast Correctional Center,
Massachusetts)
U.S. District Court
HAIR
SEARCHES

SEGREGATION

U.S. District Court

RESTRAINTS

May v. Baldwin. 895 F.Supp. 1398 (D.Or. 1995). An inmate brought an action against prison
officials alleging violation of his civil rights. The district court held that a prison requirement
that he undo his dreadlocks in order to facilitate a •hair search did not violate the ReJigious
Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) or any clearly established First Amendment right, even
though the requirement did substantially burden the inmate's rights to exercise his Rastafarian
religion. The court found that the prison's requirement that any inmate who was lea$.g or
returning to the facility loosen their hair was the least restrictive means of furthering the
prison's valid security interests. The court also found that confining the inmate to his c:e1l for
less than 24 hours to undo his braids in preparation for his transfer from the facility on the
following day did not violate the inmate's rights. The court also found that requiring inmat.es in
edrninist\"ative segregation to submit to visual and body cavity searches when leaving their cells
does not violat.e the Fourth Amendrnerit.. 1he court fo1.md th.at sanctioning an inmate who
refuses to comply with valid prison regulations to one week in a disciplinary segregation unit
-· with no out.door recreation privileges is not unreasonable or arbitrary for the purposes of an
Eighth Amendment claim. (Eastern Oregan Correctional Institution)
McKinney y. Compt.on. 888 F.Supp. 75 (W.D.Tenn. 1995). An inmat.e filed a civil rights suit
against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and 1188 of
excessive force. The district court found that prison officials did not inflict cruel and unusual
punishment in. connection with the inmate's eye injury, and th.at a corrections officer could not
be held liable for att.ernpting to handcuff the inmate. However, the court found that the
inmate's allegations that a prison official poked him in the eye and injured him after he was
alrea~ restrained were sufficient to stat.e an Eighth Amendment claim. (West Tenn.es• High
Security Facility)

U.S. District Court
. FIRE SAFETY

Nettles v. Griffith. 883 F.Supp. 136 (E.D. Tex. 1995). A prisoner who was placed in
administrative segregation without a hearing and was injured when he exited his cell after
it was set on fire, brought a Section 1988 action against the county sheriff and other officials.
The district court found that the assignment of the prisoner to adminisb-ative segregation in a
section of the jail designed primarily for the mentally unbalanced did not violate the Eighth
Amendment's proln"bition against cruel and unusual punishment. Although the prisoner was
injured when eziting his cell after it was set on fire by other prisoners, no jail official perceived
that the prisoner was subject to a serious risk of harm from fire, since fires were ubiquitous in
the jail and had not previously caused serious injuries. (Jefferson County Detention Center,
Beaumont, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND

Rodriguez v. Phillips. 66 F.Sd 470 (2nd Cir. 1995). A former inmate and his mother filed a

VISITS

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

PROTECTION
SECURITY PRACTICES

§

1988 action against prison officials. The district court denied summary judgment for the
defendants and they appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded in part, and
dismissed in part. The appeals court found that prison officials' belief that the inmate's three·
day administrative confinement, without the opportunity to be heard, was reasonable. 1he
court noted that the officials perceived a threat to security and safety following a report that
the inmate's mother had passed contraband in.to the prison, and that they needed time to
search the public spaces of the cell block and interview an informer. The court held that a
substantive due process right to be free from excessive force from a state act in a nonseizure,
nonprisoner context was not clearly established at the time th.at a prison officer used excessive
force on the inrnat.e'a mother. Just before a visit to her BOD, the mother had apparently leaned
against or touched the fence surrounding the prison, pausing before she continued to the
visitors reception area. An officer radioed a report to officers inside the facility that he had
seen the mother pass a small brown package through the fence to an unidentified inmate.
Inside the prison the mother was questioned by officers about the incident and she was.told she
would not be allowed to visit her son that day. While she was waiting at the bus stop
corrections officers seized her and brought her back for further questioning, police were
contacted and she was arrested. Unable to make bail she was held overnight and she was
released without ~ t i o n the next day. Two weeks later she arrived to visit her BOD and
she was not allowed to, although her visiting rights had not been formally suspended. She
alleged th.at an officer screamed at her, put both hands on her shoulders and propelled her
toward the building entrance and threw her against the front door. (Mid-Orange Correctional
Facility, New York)
St.one-El v. Sheahan, 914 F.Supp. 202 (N.D.m. 1995). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1988 civil
rights action against a sheriff, m:ecutive direct.or of the county depariment of corrections, and
the superintendent of the county jail. The detainee alleged that various conditions of his
r.nnfinernent violated his right to due process. 'lhe district court granted the defendants' motion
to cfismiBB. The court found that the defendants had not personally caused the conditions at the
jail, nor could they limit the number of pretrial detamees assigned there or appropriate funds to
improve conditions. 'lhe court also found that the det.ainee failed to allege ccm.ditians of
confinement serious enough to violate the objective component of a due process claim. '1he
detainee had assert.ed that he had slept on the floor without a mattress, that the jail was noisy,

39.35

that the jail lacked showers, that he was not able to maintain his personal hygiene, that
ventilation was poor, and that inadequate security permitted gangs to intimidate hlm. The
detainee also alleged a lack of exercise opportunities, but the court found that even dramatic
restrictions on outdoor exercise do not violate due process as long as detainees have ample
opportunities to participate in indoor activity. The court noted that the detainee failed to allege
any harm caused by the poor ventilation or any adverse health effects from the alleged lack of
exercise. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
1996

U.S. District Court
SECURITY PRACTICES
STAFFING

U.S. Appeals Court
•LOCK-IN"
SAFETY

U.S. District Court

RESTRAINTS

U.S. ~ Court
SEGREGATION

RESTRAINTS
VISITS

U.S. District Court

PUBLICATIONS

Baker v. Lehman, 932 F.Supp. 666 (E.D.Pa. 1996). A prisoner sued prison officials alleging
they were deliberately indifferent to his Eighth Amendment right to personal safety by failing
to prot.ect him from an attack by·another inmate. The district court granted summary
judgment for the officials, fin.ding that the prisoner did not ab.ow that the officials knew of any
facts from which an inference of substantial risk of serious harm might be drawn. The court
found that given the previous absence of violence in the prison clothlng shop, the prisoner did
not show that security measures in the clothing shop posed a substantial risk. of harm. The
prisoner alleged that lack of screenmg of prisoner-workers on the basis of prior crimes, the
provision of on1y one guard for 150 inmates, and the availability of scissors created a
substantial risk ~f serious harm in the shop. (State Correctional Institution at Graterford,
Pennsylvania).

~~- Thaler. !'13 F.3d 1822 (5th Cir. 1996). A Muslim prisoner brought a§ 1983 suit against
five correctional officials alleging violations of his constitutional rights during a prison
lockdown. 1he district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the appeals court
affirmed the lower court decision. The prisoner was one of many ordered into lockdown status
for near)y 26 days following a potential]y explosive disturbance in a recreation yard. During
the lockdown the prisoner was only allowed to leave his cell for showers; meals, library books,
medical assistance and all other necessities and services were brought to inmates' cells. The
court found that the prisoner was not entitled to notice or an opportunity to be heard before
being placed in lockdown. The court ruled that the prisoner's right to practice his religion was.
not violated by the inclusion of pork in some of the meals served during the loc:kdown since
prison officials had no reason to know that the prisoner was affiliated with the Muslim faith.
1he prisoner was not denied his constitutional right of access to courts by the prison's failure to
provide him with wery legal book he requested during the lockdown; the prisoner was not
prejudiced in aey litigation as a result of the alleged denial of access to the law library and he
was only delayed in filing a § 1983 lawsuit which he filed aft.er the lockdown ended without
missing any deadlines. Prison officials were not deliberat.ely indifferent to the health and
safety of the prisoner when they permitted a gas leak to occur and did not evacuate prisoners
from their cells; officials turned on exhaust fans to draw gas fumes out of prisoners' cells.
Prison officials did not violate the prisoner's due process rights by including him in lockdown
because the prisoner's segregation from .the general population was instituted to protect the .
security and integrity of the prison unit and to protect prisoners from each other. (Smith Unit,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division)
Fitts v. W'rt.kowski 920 F.Supp. 679 (D.S.C. 1996). An inmate sued corrections officials alleging
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights by the use of four-point restraints. 1he district court
held that a previous consent decree established a liberty interest in freedom from the use of
four-point restraints except 1Dlder procedures established by the decree and that there was an
issue of fact as t.o whether the defendants complied with the decree. The court noted that this
case did not involve a disturbance that threatened prison security so as to make pre-deprivation
protec:ticms impossible. 1he court found that prison officials were en.titled to qualified immunity
for due process and Eighth Amendment c:wms because the existsnce of the decree did not
clearly establish that the im:Dat.e had a h'berty int.erest against the use of four-point restraints.
(Perry Correctional Institution, South..Carolina)

Inmates who were housed m. Ill" administrative
segregation unit for their own safety brought a civil rights action against prison officials,
seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged equal prot.ection violations. The district court
granted partial injunctive relief. The appeals court reversed the lower court's grant of
injunc:tive relief, finding that limiting the 1;ype of property in administrative segregation cells,
restricting inmates' accese t.o prison resources, and requiring that they be handcuffed while out
of their cells did not violate equal protection. Prison officials had argued that their policies
.were designed to reduce the.poH1'bili1i)' of danger by or t.o adrninist.rative segregation inmates.
lmaaias were only allowed out of their cells for three hours of recreation per week. When they
were out of the cells, inmates were handcuffed and escorted by guards. The inmates were not
allowed to attend classes, religious aervices, or group recreational activities, nor could they work
or visit the law library. lnrnatss were not allowed telephone access for personal calls, their
visitation privileges were more restrictive, and they were provided with less opportunity to
purchase items through the canteen. (Jefferson City Correctianal Cent.er. Missouri')
~ !:· Grooae. 80 F.3d 298 (8th Cir. 1996).

~ : ! · Clarke. 910 F.Supp. 469 (D.Neb. 1996). An inmate sued correctional officials and
staff alleging violations of his First Amendment rights and of the civil rights statute. The
district c:ourt granted summary judgment for the defendants, finding that their policy regarding

39.36

distribution of material designated as contraband was reasonably relat.ed to legitimate
penological interests. The inmat.e had sought to obtain a catalog which contained illustrations
depicting weapons concealed in everyday items and offering items such as lock picks for sale.
Prison officials refused to deliver the catalog to the inmate under their policy of prolu"biting
incoming mail deemed to be a threat to the safety, security or good order of the facility. An
alt.ernati.ve proposed by the imnate--restricting orders from the catalog and confining inmat.es to
a limited area in which the catalog could be read--would not prevent the risk of disorder from
prisoners who might be inspired to creat.e weapons concealed in everyday items and was not
reasonable with regard to cost, according to the district court. (Lincoln Correctional Center,
Nebr~)
U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS

U.S. Appeals Court
TELEPHONE

U.S. Appeals Court

FIRE SAFETY

U.S. Appeals Court
DISTURBANCE
USE OF FORCE
·RESTRAINTS

Pichardo~- Kinker. 73 F.3d 612 (5th Cir. 1996). A state prison inmate brought a civil rights
action against prison officials alleging his confinement in. admmistrati.ve segregation violated
his due process rights. 'flle district court dismissed the case as frivolous and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court ruled that placing the inmat.e in admmistrative segregation
because of his gang affiliation did not deprive mm of a constitutionally cognizable liberty
interest. (Coffield Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Pope v. Hightower. 101 F.3d 1382 (11th Cir. 1996). An inmate brought an action against
prison officials challenging prison telephone restrictions that required. inmates to
designate no more than t.en individuals on telephone calling lists, with the option of changing
the lists every six months. The district·court rendered a verdict for the inmate and the officials
appealed. 'Ihe appeals court reversed, finding that the calling list requirement did not violate
the inmate's First Amendment right to communicate with family and friends. The court found
that a rational connection existed between. the restriction and a legitimate governmental
interest in reducing crimmal activity and harassment of judges and jurors. The court noted that
the inmate had alternative means of exercising his F'1rst Amendment right because he could
receive visitors and correspond with virtually anyone he wished. (Donaldson Correctional
Facility, Alabama)
Standish v. Bommel, 82 F.3d 190 (8th Cir. 1996). A form.er inmate brought a § 1983 action
against prison officials challenging bis conditions of confinement. The district court entered
judgment against the inmate and he appealed. The appeals court affirmed the lower court
decision, finding that the former inmate was not subjected to uncons1itional conditions of
confinement. The inmate alleged that unsafe con~tions at the prison included the lack of
smoke detectors in the housing unit, lack of water sprinklers, inadequate ventilation, and
insufficient emergency procedures. The court found that these conditions did not violate the
inmate's rights where the only recent fires were started when inmates set fire to mattresses or
bedding and neither the former inmate or imyone else had been injured by smoke inhalation or
fire. The court noted that prison officials had taken action to address fire hazards, such as
proln"biting smoking. The court also found that the former inmate's rights were not violated
when his housing unit leaked in bad weather, even though it forced him to move his mattress
to the floor to stay dry. (Jefferson City Correctional Facility, Missouri)
Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756 (4th Cir, 1996). An inmate filed a civil ri(hts action
claiming that correctional officers violated his constitutional rights when they sprayed him with
mace, confined him for eight hours in four-point restraints on a bare metal bed frame, refused
to allow him to wash off the mace, and denied medical care and the use of a toilet. The district·
court granted summary judgment to the prison officials and the appeals court affirmed in part
and reversed and remanded in part. The appeals court found that the correctional officers'
decision to use some force to quell a disturbance was justifiable after inmates threw water at an
officer and refused to obey a command to desist. The court ruled that the initial application of
mace was not cruel and unusual punishment, but that summary judgment was precluded for
the cJ.auns that the use of restraints and related actions violated the Eighth Amendment. The
court noted that four-point restraints can be used on a limited basis, as a last resort, without
violating the Eighth Amendment when other forms of prison discipline have failed, and that the
initial application of four-point restraints was justified. But the officers offered no evidence to
dispute the inmate's affidavit that his long confinement without being able to wash off the mace
caused "immense" pain and that the inmate pleaded with them for water to wash off the mace.
According to the court, after the immediacy of the disturbance was at an end the unnecessary
infliction of continued pain through a prolonged period of time would support the inference that
the officers were acting to punish, rather than to quell a disturbance. (Lieber Correctional
Institution, South Carolina)

1997
U.S. Appeals Court
CONTACT VISITS

Bazzetta v. McGinnis, 124 F.Sd 774 (6th Cir. 1997). Prisoners brought a class action

civil rights suit challenging prison regulations that limit.ed contact viljlits for certain
classes of prisoners. The district court denied the prisoners' motion for preliminary injunctive
relief and the prisoners appealf!(l. 'Jhe appeals court affirmed, finding that the regulations were
reasonably related to legitimate penological interests and did not violate the Eighth
Amendm&l"t. The corrections department grades its prisoners on the basis of their dangerous
39.37

propensities, from grade I (lowest risk) to grade VI (highest risk). Regulations prohibit contact
visits for grades V and VI, with rare exceptions. The regulations included restrictions on contact
visits by children, members of the general public and former prisoners. (Michigan Department
of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Casa.burro v. Giuliani, 986 F.Supp. 176 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). A pretrial detainee alleged that he
was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because he was handcuffed in a holding cell
for over 7 hours. According to the detainee, he was placed in a holding cage nthat had no seats,
no water, poor ventilation/ He had notified officers that he was under a chiropractor's care for
back problems but was allegedly tightly handcuffed behind his back anyway. Aft.er he
complained he was re-handcuffed to a hook approximately 12 inches off of the floor. After
complaining about this he was allegedly cuffed to the front of the cell in a standing position.
The district court found that the detainee stated a § 1983 claim against officers, the police
department and the city. (City of New York)

U.S. District Court

Dawes v. Coughlin, 964 F.Supp. 652 (N.D.N.Y. 1997). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action
alleging that corrections officers had used excessive force against hlm, failed to provide medical
treatment, and improperly issued deprivation and restraint orders. The district court held that
the officers did not use excessive force against the prisoner during a struggle initiated by the
prisoner which resulted in an officer closing a feeder box door on the prisoner's fingers. The
court also upheld the use of force against the prisoner following his refusal to obey an order,
although the prisoner sustained a cut over his left eye and a swollen lip and right eye as a
result of the force used against him. 'Ihe court found that a prison nurse's failure to X-ray the
prisoner's ribs for nearly two months following an incident in which he was injured was not
denial of medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment because the prisoner's needs were
not sufficiently serious to rise to the level of a constitutional violation. The court found that the
prisoner's due process rights were not violated by deprivation orders or restraining orders
because the deprivation order was reviewed daily and the restraining orders were not continued
for more than seven days without review. The orders, which limited the prisoner's recreation to
one hour at a time in .full restraints, did not violate the Eighth Amendment because safety and
security purposes required the restraints and the prisoner was still able to move around the
recreation area. (Eastern Correctional Facility, New York)

RESTRAINTS

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

U.S. District Court
FIRE

SAFETY

EARl'HQUAKES

Haslar v. Megerman, 104 F.3d 178 (8th Cir. 1997). A county detainee brought a§ 1983
action after a guard refused to loosen or remove shackles from his swollen leg while he
was being treated in an outside hospital. The district court dismissed the complaint and the
detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that keeping the detainee shackled
while receiving treatment at an outside facility did not display indifference to the medical needs
of the detainee, nor did it constitute punishment in violation of the detainee's Fourteenth
Amendment rights. According to the court, the shackling was necessary to prevent the detainee
from overpowering the mngle guard who was wat.c:bing him, and there were safeguards against
applying the shackles so as to cause pain and other medical problems. (Jackson County ·
Det.ention Center, Missouri)
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.
'Ihe district court granted various summ.ary judgment motions filed by the plaintiffs and the
defendants, enjoining future overcrowding based on past unconstitutional overcrowding. The
court found due process violations based on the defendants' inadequat.e response to fire safety
risks at the jail, excessive risks of harm from earthquakes, physical defects in the jail's water,
plumbing and sewage syst.ems, excessive noise levels, and poor lighting.
The court found that the detainees were not provided with reasonable safety from fire
because the defendants failed to install door assemblies or additional sprillklers and had not
responded reasonably to tire 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. 1be jail
appeared structurally unable to withstand substantial seismic activity and had a
malfunctioning bar locking syst.em and inadequat.e staffing that further augmented risk by
potentially leaving inmates trapped in their cells during and aft.er 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 equat.e to
tolerance for spending 100 days continuously trapped in such a facility.
The court found deliberat.e 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 vot.er
approval for funding for a new facility had failed. The court noted that the city could have
att.empted other funding methods and did have some funds allocated for seismic repairs but
diverted that money to other projects.
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,
39.38

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 maim.um standard&
suggest.ed that previous noise reduction efforts were merely cosmetic and that far more
could be done. (San Francisco Jail No. 3, California)
U.S. District Court
Price v. Dixon. 961 F. Supp. 894 (E.D.N.C.1997). An inmate sued prison oflicials
RESTRAINTS
alleging violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when he was placed
SECURITY PRACTICES in four-point restraints for 28 hours. The court granted summary judgment in favor of
the defendants, finding that they did not violate any clearly established rights of the inmate
and were entitled to qualified immunity. The court upheld the limited use ofmace to subdue
the inmate who was disruptive and who was throwing urine on prison oflicera. The inmate
had incurred more than 100 rule violations since he was admitt.ed to the facility, and on one
occasion the inmate even broke through steel handcuffa that were applied to restrain him.
The court held that denying the inmate the opportunity to wash after being sprayed with
mace did not violate any clearly establish right of the inmate. The inmate was afforded
bathroom breaks and was not totally without access to any aource of water. He was checked
every 15 minutes and was releued for regular meal times. The inmate was also evaluated by
medical personnel. (Central Prison, Baleigh, North Carolina)
U.S. Appeals Court
Rich v. Bruce. 129 F.3d 336 (4th Cir.1997). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against a
PROTECTION
prison officer, alleging violation of bis Eighth Amendment rights in connection with an
SECURITY PRACTICES attack by another inmate. The district court ent.eredjudgment for the inmate, awarding him
$40,000 in compensatory damaps and more than $20,000 in attorneys' fees. But the appeal&
court reversed, ruling that findjngs did not support the conclusion that the officer acted with
deliberat.e indifference to a substantial risk of harm to the inmate. According to the appeals
court, the officer's violation of prison rules regarding movement of the inmat.e did not
support the conclusion that the officer acted with deliberate indift'erence. The plaintilf'
inmate was assigned to disciplinary segregation in Maryland's "Supermu" correctional
facility due to his behavior. While the plaintilf'was jn an outside recreation area, the officer
released another inmat.e from his cell for a period m the •day room" m iront of the cells. This
inmate was highly dangerous and a warmng had been issued by the prison that he should be
comndered the enemy of all inmates. This inmate had also stabbed the plaintilf' several
months earlier and was conmdered to be the plaintU!'s enemy m particular. While moving
the plaintiJf back to his cell the officer violated standard operating procedures and as a
result the other inmate had the opportunity to attack the plaintiff' with a shank. The
plaintiff required hospita&ation and surgery and has permanent scars as a result.
The officer, apparently frightened, filed a report that falsely stated that he had complied
with certam security regulations that he had m fact broken. He later admitted that he had
broken several regulations, mcluding those that: (1) required no more than one mmat.e to be
out of his cell for recreation at
given me; (2) required two officers to parmpate
takmg an inmate out of his cell; (3) requjred mmates bemg given recreation m the dayroom
to wear handcuffs; and (4) reqwred that prisoners' clothes and persons be carefuJq searched
before they leave thm cells. (Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center)

any

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES-CELL

CONTRABAND

m

ve

Robinson
996 F .Supp. 447 (E.D.Pa. 1997). A prisoner sued state officials and
employees __ __:__ violation of his rights as the result of a random prison-wide security .
search. The district court held that the prisoner's right to free access to courts was not
violated by the seizure of his legal materials, absent actual mjwy. The court also held that
the mure of the prisoner's religious materlals in the course of a random security search, no
matter how harmful the seizure might have been to the prisoner's religious practices, did
not violate the Free Exercise Clause jfit was reasonably related to the prison's legitimate
penological
The prisoner's cell was searched as part of a prison-wide search during
a declared state of emergency. During the search, the prisoner's personal property, mcludmg
legal documents and articles·ofhis IsJarnfo faith, were thrown on the floor and swept into the
trash. The prisoner~ for a receipt and was refused. He tiled a grievance and was denied
relief, but was subsequently offered $50, which he rejected. (SCI Graterford, Pennsylvania)

mterests.

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS

Shabazz v. Parsons, 127 F .3d 1246 (10th Cir. 1997). A prison inmate sued prison officials
under§ 1983 alleging that the ofticials violated his First Amendment right to free
exercise of religion by denying him access to issues of a :magazine. The prison had
determined that the issues would creat.e a .danger of violence by advocating racial, religious
or national hatred. The clistrict court entered judgment for the ofticials and the appeals
court affirmed, holding that the ofticials had a rational basis for-denying the inmate access
to entire issues of the rnagazjne, rather than merely redacting the oft'ending portioDS. The
ofticials offered evidence showing that the costs to implement redactmg procedures for the
magazine "Muhammad Speaks• would be prombitive. (Oklahoma)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

W"mburn v. Bologna 979 F .Bupp. 531 (W.D.Mich. 1997). A prison inmate brought a pro se
action under § 1983 alleging that the application of a prison mail regulation to bar his
receipt of materials that advocated racial supremecy violated the First and Fourteenth
Amendments and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The district court granted
summary judgment for the -~fticials, ~ that the application of the regulation clid not

39.89

violate the inmate's First Amendment free enrcise rights or RFRA, and that the oftieials
ware entitled to qualified immunity in any event. The mail regulation barred inmates from
receiviIJg materials advocating racial supremacy or ethmc purity or attacking a racial or
ethnic group. The court found that the regulation was reasonable and that there was no
easy alt.ernative to barring the materials. (Chippewa Correctional Facility, Michigan)
U.S. District Court
FIRESAFETY

Women Prisoners of Corrections v. Dist. of Columbia, 968 F .Bupp. 744 (D.D.C. 1997) In
an ongoing class action suit brought on behalf' of female inmates in the District of
Columbia, the District appealed a corrective order and it& subsequent modification. The
appeals court vacated in part and remanded. On rem.and, the district court required the
District to remedy environmental health problems at it.& correctional facility for women,
inclwting repairing or replacing roofs of dormitories, conducting a vermin eradication
program, replacing tom mattresses and pillows, providing adequate prisoner-controlled
lightiDg, and installing a drainage syst.em to prevent hazardous accumulations of water. The
court required the District to mstall and maintain a manual fire alarm syst.em and fire
det.ection syst.em in the women's fac:ility, and to ensure that all bed linens, blanket.& and
curtams or draperies were fire-retardant. (District of Columbia)

1998
U.S. Appeals Court
BF.STRICTIONS
WORK

Abu.Jamal v. Price, 154 F .Sd 128 (3rd Cir. 1998). A state inmate brought a § 1988
action challenging a pri&on rule that prohibited inmates from carrying on a
.
business or profession. The111JD&te mcm,d for a preliminary jzvunction which the
district court granted m part. The appeals court affirmed m part and reversed m part,
.1'8JDaDdbtg ,irith mstruclions. The appeals court held that the inmate showed that the rule,
which was enforced against him to restrict his writings, was not reasonably related to any
legitimate interests and that the inmate faced irreparable harm as the result of the prison's
investigation and enforcement of the rule. The court found that the inmate was likeJ,y to
show that the rule wu enforced due to the content of his writings, and that his writings did
not affect the allocation of prison resources, other inmates, or orderly prison administration.
But the appeals court found that the district court's iJUunction against enforcement of
'Visitation rules was not warranted on the grounds that they were imposed m retaliation for
the inmate's writinga, and that the corrections department did not violate the inmate's
access to the courts by imposing stricter visitation rules. The court found that the
department had a valid, content-neutral reason for applying stricter visitation rules to the
inmate's visitors, given evidence that the inmate's legal visitation privileges were being
abused so that he could receive more than the permitted number of social visit.&. The
department required verification that legal visitors were credentialed or employed by the
inmate's attorney. (State Correctional Institution at Greene, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court

Africa v. V1,nghan. 998 F .Bupp. 552 (E.D.Pa. 1998). A prison inmate who was
denied 'Visitation with a woman who, along with the inmat.e, was a member of an
actmst group. and who the inmate claimed was his wife, brought a § 1983 action. The
district court granted summary judgment for the defendant&, finding that the inmate failed
to &how that he and the woman were married for the purposes of Pennsylvama law;
therefore, the denial of visitation did not violate equal protection. The court found that no
statutory marriage mst.ed, where the inmate had not obtained a marriage license, and there
was no evidence that they had entered mto an agreement sufficient to create a common law

VISITS

marriage. (S.C.I. Graterford, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
TELEPHONE

Amey v. Simmons, 26 F .SUpp.2d 1288 (D.Kan. 1998). Inmates brought a § 1983
action alleging constitutional violations in a syst.em for providing telephone access
to inmates. Prison restrictions on inmates' telephone acceas included a 10-person telephone
call list that could be modi5ed at 120-day intervals, monitoring of telephone calls, a
prohibition on international calls from inmate telephones, and a prohibition on the inclusion
of public ofticials on call lists. The court held that these restrictions did not violat.e inmates'
rights to freedom of speech or freedom of association because the restrictions were contentneutral and unrelat.ed to the purpose of suppressing expressions, inmates had significant
alternative means to communicate through prison visitation and correspondence,
alternatives to the restrictiop.s would haw an impact on prison resources, and there were no
obvious, easy alternatives to the restrictions. The court held that the telephone system did
not violate inmates' right of access to courts by permitting the monitoring or recording of
attorney/client telephone conversations. (Lansing Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Aziz ZarifBhabazz v.Pico, 994 F.SUpp. 460 (S.D.N.Y.1998). A prison inmate brought a§
1983 action against prison officials and employees alleging violation of his constitutional

TRANSFER

rights. The district court granted SUlilillary judgment for the defendant.-;. The court held
that the inmate failed to allega facts sufficient to support a conspiracy claim or that oflieials
had acted in retaliation for the inmate's exercise of protected right.&. The court concluded
that kicking '>f the inmate inside his ankles and feet while performing a pat frisk, while not
to be condoned, was a de rninirnis •188 of force and did not violate the Eighth .Amendment.
The court noted that at one time the inmate admitted that he bad sustained no physical

39.40

injuries. The court held that the pat frisk and strip frisk searches performed on the inmate were
permissible and did not violate the provisions of a consent decree. The court found that
performing a strip frisk on the prison inmate prior to his transfer to another facility did not
violate his right of free exercise of religion, notwithstanding the inmate's religious objections to
the requirement that he remove his clothing. According to the court. alleged verbal taunts, no
matter how inappropriate, unprofessional or reprehensible they might seem, did not support a
claim of cruel and unusual punishment absent any injury. Any psychological or emotional scars to
the inmate were found to be de roinirois lUld did not support a claim of cruel and unusual
punishment. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

Barney L Pulsipher, 143 F.3d 1299 (10th Cir. 1998). Two female former inmates
who were sexually assaulted by a jailer each brought a § 1983 action against jailer,
county, sheriff and county commissioners baaed on their assault and other conditions of
confinement. The actions were consolidated and all defendants except the jailer were granted
summary judgment by the district court. The appeals court affirmed., finding that the county was
not liable on the grounds of failure to train or inadequate hiring. The court held that the inmates
did not show that the training received by the jailer was deficient and that even if it was, the
sexual assault of the inmates was not plainly the obvious consequence of a deficient training
program. The court noted that the sheriff should not have been expected to conclude that the
jailer was highly likely to inflict sexual assault on female inmates if he was hired as a correctional
officer. The court found that the sheriff and commissioners did not violate the inmates' rights by
permitting the jailer to be the sole guard on duty in the county jail. The court noted that
permitting a single officer to be on duty when a second jailer was sick or on vacation did not
impose liability on the county, where there were no previous incidents of sexual harassment or
assault of female inmates that would have given notice to the county that its oneiailer policy
would result in injuries. The court also noted that the sheriff acknowledged problems with
crowding and inadequate monitoring, and its inability to house female inmates for extended
periods of time. The county contracted out female inmates to neighboring jails that had better
facilities and limited confinement of female inmates to 24·36 hours whenever possible. According
to the appeals court the inmates failed to establish an equal protection claim. The court also found
that the sheriff and commissioners did not act with deliberate indifference to the female inmates'
health and safety with regard to conditions of confinement. The inmates' allegations regarding a
filthy cell, inadequate lighting and ventilation, lack of enclosure around a shower, unappetizing
food, and lack of access to recreational facilities, did not rise to the level of a constitutional
violation given that the inmates were confined for only 48 hours. (Box Elder County Jail, Utah)

U.S. District Court
. VISITS

Blair v. Loomis. 1 F.Supp.2d 769 (N.D.Ohio 1998). An inmate and his wife, a former correctional
officer, sued prison officials challenging their denial of visitation. The district court denied the
plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction. The court held that
regulations governing visitation in Ohio prisons did not create a protectable liberty interest in a
right to visitation. The court found that the public interest in a safe and orderly prison system
outweighed the interest of the pris9ner and his wife in maintaining their family relationship and
the prisoner's interest in building a relationship that would help him to lead a law-abiding life
upon his release. The court found that it was reasonable for Ohio law to consider present or
former correctional officers to be security risks, and to exclude them from visitation for that
reason, based upon their training in security procedures and their knowledge of facility
operations. The prisoner and his wife were married while the prisoner was incarcerated, and the
wife admitted to falsifying information on her visitor application to conceal the fact that she had
been a corrections officer. (Grafton Correctional Institution, Ohio)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
RESTRAINTS

Buckley v. Rogerson. 133 F.3d 1125 (8th Cir. 1998). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against a warden and state corrections department medical director challenging the use of
restraints and segregation in a psychiatric hospital. The district court denied the medical
director's motion for summary judgment and he appealed. The appeals court affirmed., finding
that the director should have known that the prisoner had a right to medical approval of
segregation and the use of restraints. The district court had found that correctional policies
allowed facility staff to develop "treatment plans" to address the prisoner's mental illness but
rather than assigning its staff doctors to the case the facility entrusted responsibility for
·
implementing and administering many of the prisoner's treatment plans to correctional officers
who had no medical training. Part of the prisoner's "treatment" involved stripping him of his
clothes and placing him in a Spartan "quiet" or "segregation" cell. He was placed in these
conditions without a blanket, bed or mattress on at least 17 occasions. The prisoner was also
placed in restraints so that he could hardly move. (Iowa Medical and Classification Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
DRUG/ALCOHOL

Byrd L Hasty, 142 F.Sd 1395 (11th Cir. 1998). An inmate sought habeas corpus
relief after the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) denied him a sentence reduction based on his
completion of a drug treatment program. The district court denied relief and the inmate appealed;
The appeals court reversed and remanded., finding that the BOP could not rely on the.inmate's
firearm sentence enhancement to deny his application for a sentence reduction. The appeals court
held that the BOP exceeded its authority when it categorically excluded from eligibility those
inma~s who were convicted of nonviolent offenses who received sentencing enhancements for
possession of a firearm. (Federal Prison Camp at Pensacola, Florida)
39.41

U.S. District Court
STAFFING

Essex County Jail Annex Inmates v. Treffinger, 18 F.Supp.2d 445 CD.N.J. 1998). Inmates tiled 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
clauification 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. Appeals Court

Hines L South Carolina Dept. Of Corrections, 148 F.3d 353 (4th Cir. 1998). One hundred
South Carolina inmates challenged the constitutionality of a prison grooming policy that required
all male inmates to keep their hair short and their faces shaven. The district court granted
summary judgment for the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held
that the rule did not violat.e inmates' right to free exercise of religion, despite its incidental effect
on the religious practices of some inmates. According to the court, the policy was neutral and the
gen~rally applicable rule was implemented to maintain order in prisons, which was reasonably
related to legitimate penological int.erests. (South Carolina Department of Corrections)

HAIR
BEARDS
GROOMING

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY

RESTRICTIONS

U.S. District Court
DISTURBANCE

RESTRAINTS

In Re Wilkinson. 137 F.3d 911 (6th Cir. 1998). Corrections officials challenged a district
court order permitting an inmat.e to attend a pretrial deposition which was being conducted
as a part of a civil rights action brought by the inmate. The appeals court granted a writ
of mandamus which directed the district court to vacate its order. The appeals court held that the
corrections officials adequately justified their general policy against allowing an inmate from
being present at depositions in civil litigation brought by the inmate, noting that the inmate bore
the burden of showing a specialized need for his attendance at the deposition. Corrections officials
had cited five reasons for their policy: (1) maintaining staff' authority; (2) preventing
aggran~ment of inmates; (3) avoiding unnecessary tension. (4) protecting staff' morale; and (5)
preserving limited resources. <Lorain Correctional Institution, Ohio)
Jackson v. U.S., 24 F.Supp.2d 823 CW.D.Tenn. 1998). A former inmate brought an
action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) seeking damages for injuries he suffered in a
prison riot. The district court found that the statute of limitations barred the inmate's Eighth
Amendment claims. The court denied summary judgment for the defendants, finding it was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact regarding the reasonableness of the actions of prison
employees in treating the inmate and in locking down inmates during a fire. The inmate suffered
a collapsed lung in a fire in housing units that were burning out of control during a prison riot.
Prison officials locked down inmates in the housing units, and the court ordered further inquiry
into whether delays were caused by negligence on the part of staff'. The inmate alleged that a
prison officer gave keys to another prisoner to release him during the fire, but he was never
released and subsequently inhaled carbon monoxide and suffered a collapsed lung. The court also
allowed further proceedings to determine if a federal prison physician exercised a reasonable
degree of skill, possessed by others in the medical profession, in treatment the inmate, who was
brought to the prison's front gate for evacuation to a local hospital (Federal Corr. Institution,
Memphis, Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
FREE EXPRESSION
ITEMS PERMITTED

Leitzsey v. Coombe, 998 F.Supp. 282 (W.D.N.Y. 1998). An inmate brought a § 1983
action against prison officials after he was disciplined for violating a prison rule
that prohibited possession of materials pertaining to unauthorized organizations.
The district court held that the prison rule did not violate the inmate's free speech or free exercise
rights, and that the rule was not unconstitutionally vague. According to the court, it was
reasonable and essential for prison officials to prohibit inmate participation in, and possession of,
materials relating to organizations that foster disorder and threaten the security of the
institution. (Attica Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court

Peckbpm L Wisconsin Dept. Of Corrections, 141 F.3d 694 (7th Cir. 1998). A state
prisoner brought an action against corrections officials challenging the constitutionality of strip
searches. The district court dismissed the suit and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court
held that the strip searches violated neither the Fourth Amendment nor the Eighth Amendment.
According to the court, strip searches of a state prisoner upon his arrival at a facility, return to
the facility after medical appointments or court proceedings, and upon a general search of his cell
block, did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The court held that as long as the searches were
performed for legitimate, identifiable purposes, and not for harassment or punishment, they did
not violate the Eighth Amendment. (Taycheedah Correctional Institution, Outagamie County Jail,
Wisconsin)

SEARCHES

39.42

U.S. District Court
FACIAL HAIR
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Sutton v. Stewart. 22 F.Supp.2d 1097 CD.Ariz. 1998). A state prisoner sued prison
officials alleging denial of bis rights to free exercise of religion under the First
Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA}, denial of his equal protection
rights, and obstruction of bis mail. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials.
The court held that regulations that barred the inmate's possession of scented oils that he wanted
for use in a prayer ritual did not violate his free exercise rights because they were reasonable in
light of the oil's flammable nature and because possession by ollly Muslim inmates would pose
safety and security threats. The court found that a regulation that limited where the prisoner
could wear a kufi prayer cap was reasonable and did not violate his right to free exercise of
religion. The regulation restricted wearing of the cap to bis cell, designated living areas and
during religious·ceremonies, and was found reasonable by the court because the cap provided a
potential symbol of group affiliation that threatened prison security. The court also found that a
prohibition on inmate beards did not violate the inmate's rights because beards obscured inmates'
identities and thereby presented a security risk. According to the court, failing to provide clergy of
the inmate's faith did not violate equal protection. the inmate had requested that clergy
representing the Sahih variant of the Musllin faith, which was not found to be a mainstream
religion that would be in demand by other faiths. The court ruled that officials were not liable to
the inmate for obstruction of mail due to a ten·month delay in processing a brochure sent to the
inmate by his mother. According to the court, it was reasonable for officials to deny the inmate
access to a vendor with which he was not permitted to transact, and the brochure was
distinguishable from magazines other inmates received because it was exclusively devoted to the
advertisement of unauthorized items. CAriz. State Prison Complex-Winslow)

U.S. District Court
SEXUALLY ORIENT·
ED MATERIALS

Waterman v. Verniero, 12 F.Supp.2d 364 and 12 F.Supp.2d 878 (D.N.J. 1998).
Convicted sex offenders housed at a diagnostic and treatment facility sought a preliminary
injunction preventing enforcement of a statute that barred prisoners in the facility from
posseasing sexually oriented materials. The district court granted the injunction, finding that the
offenders were likely to succeed on the merits of their allegations that the statute was overbroad,
vague, and violated the First Amendment. The court noted that depiction of sexually oriented had
been permitted at the facility for over 20 years with no documented harm. The court later ordered
a permanent injunction fin.ding that the statute was overbroad and was not rationally related to
rehabilitation. (New Jersey Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION

Withrow v. Bartlett. 15 F.Supp.2d 292 CW.D.N.Y. 1998). A Muslim inmate brought
a § 1983 action claiming that a prison superintendent and correctional officers violated bis First
Amendment rights by disciplining him for participating in a group demonstrative prayer in a
recreation yard. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, finding that
prohibiting group demonstrative prayer in a prison recreational yard did not violate the inmate's
right to free exercise of religion. The court found that a group demonstrative prayer in a highly
populated prison yard posed the risk of disturbing other inmates with chanting and movements,
and that the prohibition was rationally related to a legitimate penological interest in maintaining
security. According to the court, the inmate had the option of engaging in nondemonstrative
prayer in the yard or returning to his cell for prayer. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)
1999

. U.S, District Court
SAFETY

Baumann v. Walsh, 86 F.Supp.2d 508 (N.D.N.Y. 1999). An inmate who was injured by falling
off a top bunk and then reinjured by falling off a shelf at hie prison job sued prison officials
under § 1988. The district court dismiased all defendants from the case except the inmate's shop
supervisor. The court held that the inmate had an objectively serious medical need and that a
substantial risk of harm existed with respect to the inmate's working conditions because he was
made to climb along shelves and stand on boxes to retrieve material from the top shelves of a
storage room. The court denied summary judgment for the shop supervisor, citing material issues
of fact to be resolved regarding the supervisor's notice of unsafe work conditions and whether a
ladder was available for use by the inmate. (Franklin Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION

Chatin v. Coombe. 186 F.3d 82 C2nd Cir. 1999). A state inmate who was disciplined for
engaging in individual prayer in a prison recreation yard brought a § 1988 action against
prison officials alleging violation of his constitutional rights. After a bench trial the district court
held that the rule under which the inmate was punished was unconstitutionally vague, and
enjoined its enforcement under similar circumstances. The appeals court affirmed, finding that
the inmate's prayer could not be viewed as a "religious service" or "religious speech" as intended
by a rule barring unauthorized services or speeches. The court found that the inmate was not
afforded adequate notice that individual, silent, demonstrative prayer was prohibited outside the
cell or other designated areas. The court held that the rule failed to provide sufficiently explicit
standards for those who applied it. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Drummerv.LuttreU, 75F.Supp.2d 796CW.D.Tenn.1999).Aninmate brought a§ 1983 action against
corrections officials alleging that a disciplinary action violated her due process and Eigh~
Amendment rights. The district court held that strip-searching and handcuffing the inmate
during a unit search did not constitute a due process violation because the action did not impose
an atypical and significant hardship on her. The inmate had been strip-searched during a ·

39.43

shakedown of her dormitory. After squatting and coughing twice the inmate refused a direct order
to do so again and was disciplined. She then left a shower area dressed in nothing but her panties
and two male officers were called for assistance. (Shelby County Correctional Center, Tennessee)
U,S. Appeals Court

Hartsfield v. Vidor, 199 F.3d 305 (6th Cir. 1999). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action
alleging that he was unconstitutionally restrained. The district court dismissed the action and the
inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and remanded, finding that the officials'
alleged act of keeping the inmate in hard restraints for two eight-hour periods after he damaged
lrls cell did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. The inmate alleged that during his
periods in the restraints he was denied food, access to fresh water and the use of a toilet. The
inmate had been placed in top-of-bed restraints for a total of eighteen hours. (Ionia Corrections
Facility, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Key v. McKinnet 176 F.3d 1083 (8th Cir. 1999). An inmate who had been restrained in
handcuffs and leg shackles for 24 hours for throwing water in a correctional officer sued state
prison officials under§ 1983 claiming violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The district entered judgment for the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. According to the
appeals court, the inmate did not suffer a serious-deprivation of life's necessities and prison
officials' conduct was not wanton. Although the shackles made it more difficult for the inmate to
sleep and relieve himself, he was not deprived of bedding, food or bathroom facilities and he was
checked by a nurse and guard at regular intervals. The record also contained references to the
handcuffs being loosened and medical conditions being considered. The court also held that the
inmate did not have any due process right to notice and an opportunity to be heard before being
restrained, noting that the inmate had no liberty interest in not being restrained. The restraints
were applied under a new policy implemented in response to inmate disturbances. Under the
policy, inmates caught spitting, throwing objects, or starting a fire were to be placed in restraints
for 24 hours. Inmates were given notice of the new policy. <Anamosa State Penitentiary, Iowa)

U.S. District Court

Pendergrass v, Hodge, 53 F.Supp.2d 838 (E.D.Va. 1999). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 action
against prison officials challenging their policy on the use of restraints. The court held that
placing a prisoner who had been assigned to restrictive housing in full restraints when he moved
about the prison did not constitute a serious deprivation of a basic human need under the Eighth
Amendment. <Riverside Regional Jail, Virginia)

U.S. District Court

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 lrls 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 minima) 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 w bile 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. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Spies v. Voinoyich, 178 F.3d 898 (6th Cir. 1999). A Zen Buddhist inmate sued prison officials
alleging that various prison regulations violated his First Amendment free exercise righte.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the prison officials. The appeals court
affirmed with regard to all of the inmate's First Amendment claims. The appeals court held that a
prison regulation that required five documented members of a faith to be interested in forming a
faith group before such a group could be formed did not violate the inmate's free exercise rights.
The court also held that a prohibition against the inmate possessing certain religious articles in
his cell did not violate his free exercise rights. The court noted that a small statue of Buddha, an
altar cloth, a wooden fish, a picture of Buddha, and incense could be fashioned into weapons or
could be used to cover up illegal activities. The court upheld the prison's prohibition against
inmate-led groups and the prison's refusal to use the inmate's religious name. <North Central
Correctional Institution, ·Ohio)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND

U.S. v. Allen, 190 F.8d 1208 (11th Cir. 1999). A federal inmate was convicted in federal district
court of possessing a prohibited object and he appealed. The appeals court vacated the district
court decision and remanded with instructions. The appeals court held that under the statute that
makes it unlawful for a federal inmate to possess a "prohibited object" and which defines a

RESTRAINTS

RESTRAINTS

WHEELCHAIR

39.44

"prohibited object" to include an object that is intended to be used as a weapon, the intent to use
the object as a weapon is an element of the offense and not merely a sentencing factor. The inmate
worked as a quality assurance inspector at an on·site UNICOR (federal prison industries) mattress
factory. One morning he was observed to be acting suspiciously in his conversation with another
inmate and he was searched. The search produced three nine·inch tufter needles and a wooden
dowel with a hole bored into one in and a rope wrapped around the other end. The needles
appeared to have been broken off from one of the sewing machines. The needles fit into the wooden
dowel and when assembled could be used as a shank or ice-pick tool or weapon with a lanyard. The
inmate did not contest that he possessed these objects but told his supervisor that he had intended
to give them to his supervisors privately rather than in view of other inmates. (United States
Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia)
U.S. District Court
TELEPHONE CALLS

U.S. v. Peoples, 71 F.Supp.2d 967 (W.D.Mo. 1999). A defendant who was charged with killing a
witness to prevent testimony moved to suppress recordings of telephone conversations and in·
person meetings that he had with a prisoner. The district court denied the motion, finding that the
recordings did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant. According to the court, a
visitor of a prisoner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in conversations with the
prisoner, or in telephone calls involving the prisoner. The recordings were made as part of a neral
recording program undertaken to maintain prison safety by reducing the flow of contraband into
the prison. (Corrections Corporation of America facility, Leavenworth, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
FIRE
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. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES-CELL

Ballance v. Virginia, 130 F.Supp.2d 754 (W.D.Va. 2000). A state prison inmate who was convicted
of sexual crimes involving juveniles brought a § 1983 action against corrections officials alleging
wrongful confiscation of photographs of children from his cell. The district court held that the
confiscation complied with the First Amendment even though only a small percentage of
photographs were of seminude children. The court noted that state officials provided minimum
procedural safeguards, including notice of confiscation, provision of avenues for protest, and review
of the prisoner's allegation of a First Amendment violation by someone who was not involved with
the confiscation. The court found that the confiscation of all photographs served to further the
prison's interests in both rehabilitation and institutional security because the possible discovery of
the cache of photos by other prisoners created a potential for disturbance. According to the court, a
prisoner has no Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches of his cell because
he has no expectation of privacy in his cell. (Wallens Ridge State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES- CELL

Ballance v. Young; 130 F.Supp.2d 762 (W.D.Va. 2000). A state prisoner brought a prose federal
civil rights suit against prison officials, arising out of their seizure of several items of his personal
property. The district court held that the prisoner had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his
cell that would make seizure of a letter from his cell a Fourth Amendment violation that could be
addressed in a § 1983 suit. The court found that the decision by officials to confiscate the prisoner's
scrapbook and clippings, in accordance with a prison regulation that prohibited such items, was
reasonable in light of security concerns that the metal parts of scrapbooks could be used as
weapons and that razors and other contraband could be hidden in the clippings or scrapbooks, and
in light of the time-consuming or extreme nature of other alternatives, such as x·raying cells. The
court noted that the officials did not need reasonable suspicion to search prisoner cells as part of
their policy of performing random searches. The court also held that the prisoner was afforded
sufficient post-deprivation remedies to satisfy any due process concerns arising from the seizure of
an attorney's letter that contained hair samples and, allegedly, two money orders, where the
inmate did receive notice of a disciplinary hearing held under the prison regulation forbidding
abuse of mail. (Wallens Ridge State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES-CELL

Barstow v. Kennebec County Jail, 115 F.Supp.2d 3 <D.Me. 2000). A county jail inmate brought an
action against a sheriff, detective, county commissioners and county, alleging claims under§ 1983.
The district court granted summary judgment, in part, for the defendants. The court held that the
search of the inmate's jail cell did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights or his due process
rights. The court found that the detective had probable cause to search the jail cell for evidence
that the inmate had committed the crime of terrorizing because his cell mate had informed
potential victims and the detective about the inmate's possible retaliatory plans. According to the

XIX

39.46

court, the Fourth Amendment does not require government officials to secure a search warrant
prior to searching a prison cell. <Kennebec County Jail, Maine)
U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

Bowman v. City ofMiddletown, 91 F.Supp.2d 644 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). An arrestee who was held for 19
days on suspicion of murder brought a § 1983 action alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution
and civil rights violations while confined. The district court held that denial of commissary
privileges for five days was not a due process violation, especially since the only deprivation
suffered was the inability to order cigarettes, which was the sole item the detainee desired from
the commissary. The court found that the jail superintendent was entitled to qualified immunity
from liability for his decision to have the pretrial detainee shackled when outside of his cell based
on the wording of the note that the detainee had sent to the superintendent complaining of his loss
of commissary privileges, because the right to complain to prison administrators was not clearly
established. The note asked "[who] do you think you are" and promised "I will see you or whomever
in court." (Orange County Jail, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Fuentes v. Wagner, 206 F.3d 335 (3rd Cir. 2000). An inmate who had been detained in a county
prison while awaiting sentencing sued corrections officers and prison officials under § 1983 for the
alleged use of excessive force. A district court jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants and
the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that whether the inmate was placed in a
restraint chair to stop his disruptive behavior and maintain prison order or for purposes of
punishment was a jury question and that placement of the inmate in a restraint chair for eight
hours did not violate substantive due process under the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that
the inmate was not kept in the chair any longer than was authorized, his physical condition was
checked every fifteen minutes and he was released every two hours for ten minutes to allow
stretching, exercise, and use of the toilet. He was examined by a nurse at the end of the eight-hour
period. According to the court, an inmate awaiting sentencing had the same status under the
Constitution as a pretrial detainee and the Due Process Clause protected him from the use of
excessive force amounting to punishment. (Berks County Prison, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
FACIAL HAIR
HAIR LENGTH

Jackson v. District of Columbia, 89 F.Supp.2d 48 (D.D.C. 2000). Federal prisoners and District of
Columbia prisoners who were serving their sentences in facilities operated by the Virginia
Department of Corrections challenged the Department's grooming policy. The district court held
that the policy, which required male prisoners to be clean-shaven and to keep their head hair
short, did not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) nor the Free Exercise Clause
of the First Amendment, even though it substantially burdened the prisoners' sincerely held
beliefs. The court found the policy to be the least restrictive means to address the Department's
compelling interests in prison security, gang elimination, inmate identification, and health and
sanitation. (Virginia Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
USE OF FORCE

Jackson v. Johnson, 118 F.Supp.2d 278 (N.D.N.Y. 2000). Representatives of a juvenile who was
incarcerated in a youth center sought damages for injuries sustained by the juvenile when he was
subjected to a physical restraint technique (PRT). The district court dismissed the defendants'
motions for summary judgment, finding that there were fact issues as to whether aides applied
excessive force in violation of the juvenile's substantive due process rights. The court held that the
Eighth Amendment did not apply to incarcerated juveniles, but rather that the appropriate
constitutional standard for evaluating the treatment of an adjudicated juvenile delinquent is the
substantive due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court denied qualified
immunity for a nurse at the center, holding that it was not objectively reasonable for her to
conclude that the juvenile was faking injury in view of his unresponsiveness and general physical
condition. A 220-pound aide had initiated a PRT on the 145-pound juvenile and was assisted by a
250-pound coworker. The PRTwas applied for approximately ten minutes before the officer of the
day arrived at the scene, by which time the juvenile had become unresponsive, clammy, was
gasping for breath and was salivating. The PRT continued to be applied for another twenty
minutes, under the supervision of the officer of the day, until the juvenile was rendered
unconscious. The facility nurse was summoned and no attempts were made to revive the juvenile
before the nurse arrived. After some treatment in the infirmary the juvenile was returned to his
housing unit. Later, the juvenile had physical difficulty while in the cafeteria which prompted
another round of PRT for more than twenty minutes. When the juvenile did not respond to
attempts to resuscitate him, he was transported to a hospital where he remained in a comatose
state for two months. The juvenile suffers from serious and permanent physical and mental
injuries as the result of the use of force. (Louis Gossett Jr. Residential Center, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

May v. Sheahan, 226 F.3d 876 (7 th Cir. 2000). A pretrial detainee who suffered from Acquired

XIX

Immune Deficiency Syndrome CAIDS) and was hospitalized brought an action against a county and
county officials. The district court denied summary judgment for the sheriff on qualified immunity
grounds and the sheriff appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the detainee stated an
equal protection claim by alleging that the sheriff, for no legitimate reason, treated hospitalized
detainees differently from jail detainees by shackling them to their beds and not taldng them to
court on their assigned court dates. The appeals court found that the allegation that the sheriff's
restrictive policies caused the.detainee to miss scheduled court appearances and impeded access to

89.46

·--...,.,l
___ -

his attorney stated a claim for violation of his right of access to court. The appeals court found that
the allegation that the sheriff implemented a policy that required him to be shackled to his bed
around the clock, despite his weakened state and despite being watched by armed guards, was
sufficient to state a substantive due process claim. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
GANGS
SEPARATION

Miller v. Shelby County, 93 F.Supp.2d 892 (W.D.Tenn. 2000). A county jail inmate brought a§
1983 action against a county alleging injuries suffered in an attack by fellow inmates were the
result of the jail's practice of permitting inmates of different security levels to take recreation
together. The district court entered judgment for the plaintiff, finding that the jail's recreation
policy posed a substantial risk of harm and that jail officials showed deliberate indifference to the
risk posed by the policy. The court noted that whether the policy was official or not, it was
pervasive enough to be considered a de facto policy. The jail policy allowed inmates of different
security levels to take recreation together, including gang members who were allowed to mix with
protective-custody inmates. The inmate had been attacked by gang members and the court found
that jail officials had both general and specific knowledge of threats against the inmate by gang
members yet took no affirmative steps to protect the inmate, including the "readily available step
of ending [the] mixed-recreation practice." The inmate suffered permanent impairment to his
shoulder. The district court awarded $40,000 to the inmate. (Shelby County Corr'! Ctr., Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Oladipupo v. Austin, 104 F.Supp.2d 643 (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 found that the fact that INS detainees held at the parish jail had fewer
privileges than INS detainees held at a federal detention center did not violate the Equal
Protection Clause. The court also found that housing INS detainees with convicted prisoners did
not violate the Due Process Clause. The court denied summary judgment for the officials on the
allegation that the housing unit at the jail had serious sewage problems that created unsanitary
conditions. The court also denied summary judgment to the officials on the allegation that the jail
had an inadequate number of emergency exits. <Avoyelles Parish Jail, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
ESCAPE
SEARCHES

Richards v. Southeast Alabama Youth Ser. Diversion, 105 F.Supp.2d 1268 (M.D.Ala. 2000). The
mother of a detainee who had committed suicide while in custody brought a civil rights action
against city and county officials. The district court denied Eleventh Amendment immunity to the
city defendants and denied summary judgment for the defendants on a deliberate indifference
claim. The district court held that summary judgment was precluded by issues of material fact as
to whether the actions of the police officer who transported the detainee to a privately-owned
facility rose above the level of mere negligence and constituted deliberate indifference, and
whether his actions were the proximate cause of the detainee's death. Despite his knowledge of the
detainee's suicidal tendencies, the officer failed to search the detainee for weapons, failed to
handcuff the detainee, and failed to inform the subsequent custodians of the detainee's suicidal
proclivities. The court also found fact issues as to whether the actions or inactions of juvenile
probation officers rose above the level of mere negligence and constituted deliberate indifference,
and whether the detainee was in the custody of the officers at the time he escaped from the
detention facility and committed suicide with a gun he had surreptitiously brought into the
facility. The detainee had been taken to a privately-operated "diversion center" and was left alone
in an intake room where he produced a gun, fled the center, walked into a wooded area and fatally
shot himself. (Southeast Alabama Youth Services Diversion Center)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
ESCAPE

Rivera Borrero v. Rivera Correa, 93 F.Supp.2d 122 (D.Puerto Rico 2000). An inmate brought a pro
se § 1983 action against Puerto Rico corrections officials alleging that he had been unjustifiably
kept in maximum security custody for more than three years before being reclassified to medium
security. The inmate also sought to compel his reclassification to minimum security custodial
status. The district court dismissed the case, finding that the inmate's three years in maximum
security custody status was not arbitrary because the inmate had been charged with escape.
Commenting on the case, Judge Casellas opened by stating "This case is a good example of the
thicket of claims and arguments that can flourish from a prose prisoner's understandable effort to
save his complaint from doom." (Servicios Correccionales de Puerto Rico, Guayama Facility)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Valentin v. Murphy, 95 F.Supp.2d 99 CD.Conn. 2000). A pretrial detainee who was a former law
enforcement officer charged with drug crimes, challenged his pretrial conditions of confinement in
a state prison. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, finding that
placement of the detainee in a segregation unit of a special prison was not "punishment" subject to
due process. The court noted that the placement was for the detainee's own protection based on his
status as an ex·law enforcement officer and that his conditions were better overall than those
imposed on other inmates in the segregation unit. (Special Management Unit at the Walker
Reception Center, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Williams v. Department of Corrections, 208 F.3d 681 (8th Cir. 2000). An inmate brought a civil
rights action against the Iowa Department of Corrections and other defendants alleging that they
had retaliated against him for participating in a hearing by placing leg irons on him too tightly.

XIX

39.47

The district court dismissed the action and the inmate appealed. The appeals court held that the
inmate stated a retaliation claim against two correctional officers alleging that they placed leg
shackles too tightly on the inmate and refused to loosen or remove the shackles after he
complained. The inmate suffered intense pain, swelling and bruises. <Anamosa State Penitentiary,
Iowa)
U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

··•~.

Williams v. Goord, 111 F.Supp.2d 280 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). A state prisoner brought a§ 1983 action
against corrections officials alleging constitutional violations. The district court held that the
conditions and duration of the prisoner's 75-day confinement in a Special Housing Unit (SHU) did
not violate the prisoner's due process rights because they did not pose atypical or signilicant
hardships. The conditions of the SHU included limited exercise times that were conducted in
"cages" and limitations on the number of showers per week. The district court held that the fact
that a prison employee issued a purportedly false misconduct report against the prisoner three
days after he filed a grievance against the employee was insufficient to establish the prisoner's
retaliation claim. But the district court denied summary judgment for the defendants on the issue
of whether the officials knew that keeping the prisoner in mechanical restraints during his
exercise period violated the Eighth Amendment. The court also held that there were genuine
issues of material fact regarding whether placing the prisoner in mechanical restraints during his
one·hour exercise period caused him ''physical injury" as required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (PLRA) to prevail on his Eighth Amendment claim. (Sullivan Correctional Facility, New York)
2001

XIX

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
RESTRAINTS

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
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 unjustilied delays during
attorney visitation. The district court required procedures to be established to ensure that attorney
visits commenced within a specilied 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. The appeals court held that the restraints used when moving certain
detainees within, or outside, the jail, had a "severe and deleterious effect" on the detainees given
that such restraints were often painful and could result in injury. The appeals court agreed with
the district court that detainees were entitled to reasonable after-the-fact procedural protections to
ensure that such restrictions were terminated reasonably soon if they were not justilied. These
procedures include a hearing, written decision, timely review of appeal from placement in special
restraint status, and the opportunity to seek further review based on good cause. (New York City
Department of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY PRACTICES

Curley v. Perry, 246 F.3d 1278 (10th Cir. 2001). A state inmate brought a prose civil rights action
seeking to restrict inmate·to·inmate correspondence in the state's prison system. The district court
dismissed the complaint and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the
inmate failed to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The inmate had claimed that prison officials
created unconstitutional conditions of confinement by failing to prevent or monitor inmate·to·
inmate correspondence, which was allegedly used by inmates to plan violence against other
inmates. The court noted that the inmate had been placed in administrative segregation for his
own safety, precluding a showing of requisite deliberate indifference to the inmate's health and
safety. The inmate alleged that he had been targeted by members of the "Security Threat Group,"
a group of state inmates who take retaliatory actions against other inmates. (Central New Mexico
Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
MEDIA ACCESS

Entertainment Network, Inc. v. Lappin, 134 F.Supp.2d 1002 {S.D.Ind. 2001). An Internet content
provider sued a penitentiary warden and other government officials seeking declaratory and
injunctive relief. The plaintiff wanted to broadcast the execution of the defendant who had been
convicted of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, live over the Internet. The
district court entered judgment for the defendants. The court found that the challenged prison
regulation was not subject to strict scrutiny and was reasonably related to legitimate penological
interests. The challenged regulation prohibited photographic, audio and visual recording devices at
federal executions. The court noted that the First Amendment right of the press to gather news
and information is not without limits, and that the press has no constitutional right of access to
prisons or their inmates beyond that afforded to the general public. According to the court, the
plaintiff was not being discriminated against because of the medium or means by which it sought
to broadcast the execution, although the regulation allowed written or verbal accounts of
39.48

_)

executions. (United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana)
U.S. Appeals Court
RIOT

Jeffers v. Gomez, 267 F.3d 895 (9 th Cir. 2001). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials after being shot during a prison riot The district court denied the officials' motion for
summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds and they appealed. The appeals court reversed
and remanded, finding that the officials were qualifiedly immune from civil rights liability and
were not deliberately indifferent. The court noted that prison officials had investigated rumors of
impending inmate violence before the riot and there was no evidence that they should have done
anything differently once the threat materialized. According to the court, a prison warden complied
with a statewide housing practice and he had no affirmative duty to change the policy. The inmate
had been shot in the neck during the disturbance. (California State Prison, Sacramento)

U.S. District Court
VISITS

Glaspy v. Malicoat, 134 F.Supp.2d 890 (W.D.Mich. 2001). A prison visitor sued a corrections
officer, alleging that the officer violated his constitutional rights when the officer refused the
visitor's request to use the bathroom during a visit to an inmate. The district court held that the
officer violated the visitor's substantive due process rights by refusing to permit him to use the
restroom, and awarded $5,000 in compensatory damages and $5,000 in punitive damages. The 69·
year-old visitor and the inmate he was visiting had informed the officer several times that the
visitor was in pain and that he needed urgently to use the restroom. The officer, who laughed at
the visitor's situation, was found to have been deliberately indifferent to the visitor's due process
rights. The court noted that the visitor suffered pain and discomfort for a period of time, as well as
extreme humiliation when he urinated in his pants in front of others, and inconvenience in having
to deal with his wet pants at the facility and on the way home. (Newberry Corr'! Facility, Mich.)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Hawkins v. Comparet·Cassani, 251 F.3d 1230 (9th Cir. 2001). A convicted prisoner who had a
"stun belt" placed on him, and activated, when he appeared in court for sentencing, brought a §
1983 action. The district court certified a class action and granted a preliminary injunction. The
appeals court reversed in part and remanded. The appeals court held that the class of all persons
in the custody of the county sheriff was improperly certified since the convicted prisoner could not
serve as a representative for those prisoners who had not yet been convicted. The appeals court
also found the district court injunction against the use of the belt was overbroad because it did not
allow for use of the belt to protect courtroom security, such as restricting violence or preventing
escape. But the court noted that even at sentencing, where a defendant's guilt is no longer in
dispute, shackling is inherently prejudicial and detracts from the dignity and decorum of the
proceeding, and impedes the defendant's ability to communicate with his counsel. <Los Angeles
County, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE
DISTURBANCE

Jeffers v. Gomez, 240 F.3d 845 (9th Cir. 2001). An inmate who was shot by a correctional officer
during a prison disturbance brought a civil rights action to receiver for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights. The district court denied summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds
for the defendants. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that officers were qualifiedly
immune from liability to the inmate. The court noted that the shot that one of the officers fired was
aimed at an inmate who was attacking the plaintiff with a knife but accidentally hit the plaintiff in
the neck. (California State Prison at Sacramento)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Kostrzewa v. Cityo[TroY, 247 F.3d 633 (6th Cir. 2001). An arrestee sued a city and police officers
asserting claims for use of excessive force. The district court dismissed the case but the appeals
court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that the allegations supported a claim for
use of excessive force and that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity. The appeals
court found that the city's handcuff policy, that required all detainees to wear handcuffs, supported
a § 1983 claim of the arrestee who allegedly suffered pain and injury from being restrained with
handcuffs that were too small for his wrists, despite being arrested for a non-violent
misdemeanant offense.

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS

Mayoral v. Sheahan, 245 F.3d 934 (7 th Cir. 2001). A pretrial detainee who was severely injured in a
gang-instigated jailhouse riot brought a civil rights suit against a county sheriff and jail officers,
alleging they were deliberately indifferent to his safety. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part and remanded. The appeals court held that the failure of the jail to segregate
inmates by gang affiliation was not a constitutional violation, given the high number of gang
members housed in the jail and the burden that would be placed on administrators by such a
policy. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the
detainee had asked an officer for protective custody and was ignored, and whether an officer
delayed in summoning help when fighting broke out. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
EMERGENCY DRILL
FIRE SAFETY

Ostrander v. Horn, 145 F.Supp.2d 614 CM.D.Pa. 2001). An inmate filed a § 1983 action concerning
his forced participation in an emergency preparedness drill. The district court held that the action
taken by correctional officers in conjunction with a drill did not rise to the level of a constitutional
violation. The officers had handcuffed the prisoner, removed him from his cell, forcefully taken him
to a temporary holding cell for a short period of time, and strip-searched him before he was

XIX

39.49

returned to his cell. According to the court, any inconvenience caused to the inmate by the
emergency preparedness and fire evacuation drill was offset by the need of prison officials and
emergency response team officers to secure the safety and security of the institution. (State
Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING

Thornton v. Phillips County, Arkansas, 240 F.3d 728 (8th Cir. 2001). A jail inmate brought a §
1983 suit against a county, police officers and paramedics based on his treatment after he was
injured in a fall that was allegedly caused by a jail jumpsuit that was too long. The district court
dismissed the action, and the appeals court affirmed the district court finding that the allegations,
including assertions that paramedics tried to put him on a stretcher while his foot was caught
between stairs, alleged no more than mere negligence. (Phillips County Jail, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
"LOCK-IN"
LOCKDOWN

Waring v. Meachum, 175 F.Supp.2d 230 (D.Conn. 2001). Inmates brought several class actions
against prison administrators and correctional officers alleging constitutional violations during a
lockdown. The actions were consolidated and the district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the defendants. The court held that where a genuine emergency exists, officials may be
more restrictive than they otherwise may be, and certain services may be suspended temporarily
without violating the Eighth Amendment. The lockdown was precipitated by a series of prisoner
assaults on staff and other prisoners. According to the court, the provision of cold food is not, by
itself, an Eighth Amendment violation as long as it is nutritionally adequate and is prepared and
served under conditions that do not present an immediate danger to the health and well-being of
the inmates who consume it. The prisoners had been served primarily sandwiches for lunch and
dinner, and cold cereal for breakfast, during an eight-day lockdown. The court noted that the diet
was without fruits and vegetables, but that it was imposed for only a short period. According to the
court, any failure to provide religious diets during the course of the eight-day lockdown did not
violate the Eighth Amendment absent evidence of deliberate indifference. The court noted that one
inmate's first meal was confiscated but future meals were delivered, often in an untimely manner,
and that a second inmate missed two meals during the lockdown. The court held that a delay in
delivering a medically-prescribed diet for six days during the lockdown did not violate the Eighth
Amendment.The court found that refusal to allow prisoners to shower during the eight-day
lockdown did not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation, nor was failure to provide
prisoners with changes of clothing during the lockdown. (Connecticut Corr'! Institution at Somers)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE

WJ.lliams v. Goord, 142 F.Supp.2d 416 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). An inmate who was confined in segregation
brought a§ 1983 suit alleging constitutional violations and seeking declaratory relief,
compensatory damages and punitive damages. The district court denied summary judgment for
the defendants, finding that whether handcuff and waist chain restraints may have prevented the
inmate from engaging in "meaningful exercise" for 28 days was a fact issue that needed to be
resolved. The district court noted that a prisoner may be denied out-of-cell exercise under what is
termed a "safety exception," but that a blanket policy denying such prisoners any opportunity for
out-of-cell exercise could not be justified. The court found that lower ranking prison officers, who
had no input into the development and implementation of restraint policies and believed they were
following lawful orders, were entitled to qualified immunity. (Sullivan Corr'! Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS
SEPARATION

Yousefv. Reno, 254 F.3d 1214 (10 th Cir. 2001). An inmate who had been convicted of conspiracy to
blow up aircraft and for participation in the World Trade Center bombing, was placed under
"special administrative measures" (SAM) by the federal Bureau of Prisons to protect himself and
prison personnel. Under these measures his access to mail, telephone calls, and visitors was
limited, as were his privileges to carry religious materials, and opportunities for recreation and
exercise time. The inmate brought a Bivens action challenging his conditions of confinement. The
district court dismissed the claims and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed and
remanded, finding that the Bureau of Prisons had the discretionary power to implement the
measures against the inmate. (F.C.I. Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado)
2002

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
GANGS

XIX

Allah v. Al·Hafeez, 208 F.Supp.2d 520 (E.D.Pa. 2002). A prisoner brought a civil rights action
against prison officials. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
The court held that the prisoner's two-month exclusion from religious services did not violate his
First Amendment rights, in light of security and economic concerns. The prisoner had challenged a
prison chaplain about the chaplain's teaching and the two had a disagreement, resulting in his
exclusion from services for two months. The court also found no First Amendment violation in the
prison's failure to hire a minister, or appoint a prisoner as a minister, for an additional Nation of
Islam faith group, because of security and economic concerns. The court found that a prison
regulation that prohibited group calisthenics in the prison yard was reasonably related to ensuring
security and avoiding gang activity. Although the court found that there were genuine issues of
material fact concerning the potential violation of the prisoner's free exercise rights when officials
failed to provide entirely appropriate meals during Ramadan, the court concluded that the officials
were entitled to qualified immunity because they did not know at the time that their conduct
violated the prisoner's constitutional rights. The officials had attempted to observe Ramadan meal

39.50

restrictions, but failed by including beans in the menu. (State Correctional Institution at
Frackville, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court

MAIL

Ashker v. California Dept. of Corrections, 224 F.Supp.2d 1253 (N.D.Cal. 2002). State prisoners
brought a § 1983 action challenging a prison requirement that books received from vendors have a
special shipping label attached, alleging violation of their First Amendment rights. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the prisoners and held that injunctive relief was
warranted. The court held that the policy unduly burdened the prisoners' First Amendment rights,
noting that the policy was not applied to non-book packages. The court also noted that the goal of
reducing opportunities for contraband smuggling could be met by comparing a generic package
label with an invoice inside a package, and that the prison was already searching all mail for
contraband. (Security Housing Unit, Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDIA ACCESS

California First Amendment Coalition v. Woodford, 299 F.3d 868 (9th Cir. 2002). Nonprofit
organizations, whose members included journalists who attended and reported on state executions,
brought an action against state prison officials, challenging a regulation that barred public viewing
oflethal injection procedures prior to the actual administration of the injection. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The appeals court reversed and remanded.
On remand, the district court entered a judgment that permanently enjoined prison officials from
preventing uninterrupted viewing of executions, from the moment the condemned entered the
execution chamber through the time the condemned was declared dead. The state again appealed
and the appeals court affirmed, finding that the public has a First Amendment right to view
executions and that the prison regulation impermissibly restricted this right. (San Quentin State
Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISTURBANCE
USE OF FORCE

Combs v. Wilkinson, 315 F.3d 548 (6th Cir. 2002). Death row inmates sued several state
corrections supervisors and officers under § 1983, alleging that they used excessive force in
quelling a disturbance in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted the
defendants' motions for summary judgment and dismissal, and the inmates appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, and reversed and remanded in part. The appeals court held that an
individual officer's use of mace was not malicious or sadistic. The court found that summary
judgment was precluded by fact questions as to whether the commander of a special response team
adequately briefed the team members, and failed to control the use of chemical agents in the
extraction of inmates. The court held that the commander was not liable under§ 1983 for failing to
admonish team members when he overheard them discussing particular inmates that they wanted
to "beat," absent any showing that the commander encouraged or directly participated in the use of
excessive force. The court found that the inmates were not entitled to an injunction requiring
corrections officers to wear name tags or other identification and to videotape cell extractions, even
though their failure to do so was a violation of state corrections policies and regulations.
<Mansfield Corr'l Institution, Ohio)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Derby Industries, Inc. v. Chestnut Ridge Foam, 202 F.Supp.2d 818 (N.DJnd. 2002). A
manufacturer of a mattress intended for use in prisons sued a competitor for false advertising. The
district court denied the plaintiff's 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 con-fusion was not substantial enough for the manufacturer to lose business.
<Derby Industries, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY PRACTICES

Fraise v. Terhune, 283 F.3d 506 (3rd Cir. 2002). State inmates brought a § 1983 action against
corrections officials challenging their classification and treatment as members of a "Security
Threat Group" (STG). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials and
the inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the STG policy did not violate the
inmates' free exercise or equal protection rights, and that the transfer of the inmates to a STG
management unit did not deprive them of a protected liberty interest. According to the court, the
inmates' free exercise rights were not violated by the STG policies and practices because the
officials had a legitimate and neutral objective in maintaining order and security in the prison
system, and the officials had adequate grounds to conclude that the inmates were "core members"
of an STG. The court noted that the inmates had alternative means available to practice their
religion, which they call the Five Percent Nation. The inmates were recognized leaders of the Five
Percent Nation and had taken documented roles in the group's activities. The appeals court found
no violation of the inmates' equal protection rights because the inmate group had demonstrated a
greater propensity for violence, and religion did not play any role in the decision to treat the group
as an STG. The inmates were not deprived of a protected liberty interest by their transfer to the
STG Management Unit because they were not subjected to a longer period of confinement and the
transfer did not impose any atypical or significant hardships on them. (New Jersey Department of
Corrections)

XIX

39.51

U.S. District Court
MAIL

Hall v. Johnson, 224 F.Supp.2d 1058 (E.D.Va. 2002). A state prison inmate sued a state corrections
department under § 1983 claiming that a policy that limited incoming mail to one ounce per
envelope violated his First Amendment rights. The district court entered judgment for the
defendant. The court found that the regulation served a legitimate penological interest in reducing
avenues for smuggling contraband into the facility, that the aggregate amount of mail an inmate
could receive was not affected, and that there would be an adverse negative ripple effect on prison
security if the ban were to be -lifted. The court noted that no viable alternatives had been put
forward by the plaintiff. (Red Onion State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
LOCKDOWN

In Re Bayside Prison Litigation, 190 F.Supp.2d 755 <D.N.J. 2002). State prison inmates brought a
§ 1983 action against prison officials alleging numerous alleged constitutional violations. The
district denied the defendants' motion to dismiss as it pertained to those inmates who alleged that
the § 1983 actions were racially motivated, and noted that there was no available remedy for the
inmates to exhaust before filing suit. According to the court, the grievance procedures described in
the state prison's inmate handbook were not sufficiently clear, expeditious, or respected by prison
officials to constitute an "available administrative remedy" for the purposes of the requirements of
the Prison Litigation Reform At (PLRA). Noting frustration with the litigation, which "is,
incredibly, still in its initial phases almost four·and·a·half years after the first complaint was
filed," the court addressed "this latest, and presumably last Motion to Dismiss." The plaintiffs,
hundreds of inmates at a state correctional facility, alleged that following a fatal stabbing of a
corrections officer, a lockdown was ordered, during which they suffered "a panoply of injuries at
the hands of the Defendants." (Bayside State Correctional Facility, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
VISITS
SEARCHES
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Jordan Ex Rel Johnson v. Taylor, 310 F.3d 1068 (8th Cir. 2002). An action was brought on behalf
of an eight·year·old prison visitor who was subjected to a partial strip search without reasonable
suspicion. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendant, a correctional officer,
and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the encounter did not constitute a
partial strip "search" for which reasonable suspicion was required, where the visitor and the
grandmother who had brought the girl were told that they could leave at any time. The eight·yearold girl triggered the metal detector that was used to screen potential prison visitors. All concerned
agreed that the metal detector was probably triggered by the buttons on the girl's overalls. The girl
removed her overalls in a bathroom while a female officer watched, which the court found to be
consensual. <Pine Bluff Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court

Oliver v. Powell, 250 F.Supp.2d 593 (E.D.Va. 2002). A prisoner brought a civil rights action
alleging various constitutional violations. The prisoner and the defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all of the
prisoner's claims. The court upheld the prison policy of opening and reading inmates' incoming
general correspondence, finding it was content neutral and that it was reasonably related to
legitimate penological interests in maintaining security and discipline and in suppressing
contraband. The court also upheld the prison regulation that limited the size and weight of
incoming general correspondence, to one envelope and one ounce, finding that it did not violate the
prisoner's First Amendment rights. The court noted that the regulation was a reasonable response
to the need to expedite mail processing time, preventing a strain on prison resources, and that no
ready alternatives were presented. The court approved of the prison regulation that authorized
personnel to open, examine, and censor any outgoing prisoner mail upon reasonable suspicion of
illegal activity, noting that the regulation was narrowly drawn to reach only material that might
pose a security risk to inmates, officials, and the institution. (Southampton Corr'! Center, Virginia)

MAIL

U.S. Appeals Court
CONFIDENTIAL
INFORMATION

Peate v. McCann, 294 F.3d 879 (7 th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner brought a civil rights against a
corrections officer, alleging Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations in connection with a
prison fight. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the prisoner. The appeals
court reversed and remanded, finding that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary
judgment as to whether the officer acted with deliberate indifference toward the safety and health
of the inmate. The appeals court also held that the prisoner was not entitled to information
contained in a prison investigation file. The prisoner had been attacked twice by a fellow prisoner,
and blamed the officer for failing to break up the second fight. (Miami Corr'! Facility, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court

Rogers v. Morris, 34 Fed.Appx. 481 (7 th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
alleging that prison regulations violated his First Amendment rights. The district court granted
summary judgment to the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that
prison regulations banning pornography and material that teaches or advocates behavior
consistent with a gang did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights. Under the
regulation, prison officials had withheld various magazines devoted to hip·hop music and culture,
and certain "internet materials" sent to him by mail. (Wisconsin)

GANGS

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
XIX

Sorrels v. McKee, 290 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
prison officials, alleging that enforcement of a prison policy that prohibits a prisoner from receiving
publications as a gift violated his First Amendment and due process rights. The district court
granted summary judgment for the prison officials and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals

89.52

)

court held that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity because the unconstitutionality of
the ban on gift publications had not been established at the time of their actions. In an earlier
decision (Crofton v. Roe, 170 F.3d 957), the appeals court had found the policy unconstitutional
and the state corrections department changed the policy. <Airway Heights Corrections Center,
Washington)
U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSPORTATION
RESTRAINTS

Thielman v. Leean, 282 F.3d 478 (7 th Cir. 2002). An inmate housed in a medium-security
treatment facility for sexually violent persons brought a § 1983 action seeking declaratory and
injunctive relief, alleging that the facility's inmate transport policy violated his rights to
procedural due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court
dismissed the case and the in.mate _appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the inmate
had no state-created liberty interest in being free from restraint during transportation, even if the
state's statutes gave the inmate a right to the least restrictive conditions of confinement during
transport. According to the court, subjecting sexually violent persons to full restraints during
transport to and from the medium·security facility, while not subjecting mental health or other
patients to such full restraints, did not violate the inmate's equal protection rights. The inmate
had a medical condition that required him to be transported from the facility for outside medical
treatment an average of three times per month. The transport policy stated, in part, that ''Inmates
shall be placed in full and double-locked restraints, chain-belt type waist restraints with attached
handcuffs, security Blackbox, and leg restraints." (Wisconsin Resource Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
RIOT
USE OF FORCE

Torres-Viera v. Laboy-Alvarado, 311 F.3d 105 (1st Cir. 2002). A prisoner who was injured by a tear
gas canister fired by a prison officials during a disturbance, brought a § 1983 action alleging
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The district court dismissed the action and the prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the force was applied in a good faith effort to
restore order, and was not malicious or sadistic. <Bayamon Correctional Institution, Puerto Rico)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE

Treats v. Morgan, 308 F.3d 868 (8th Cir. 2002). A state prisoner sued corrections officials under §
1983 alleging his Eighth Amendment rights were violated when he was sprayed with pepper spray
and thrown to the floor. The district court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment
and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by
a genuine issue of material fact as to whether it was reasonable for the officer to use of pepper
spray and force against the prisoner who failed to obey commands, but who had not jeopardized
any person's safety or threatened prison security. The prisoner alleged that he was sprayed in the
face without any warning by an officer, and then thrown to the floor and handcuffed by a
lieutenant. (North Center Unit, Arkansas Department of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY
PRACTICES

U.S. v. Durham, 287 F.3d 1297 (11th Cir. 2002). A defendant challenged the use of an electric "stun
belt" on him during his trial; his motion was denied by the district court. The defendant was
subsequently convicted and appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding that the
district court had abused its discretion by failing to make findings sufficient to justify the use of
the stun belt during the trial. According to the court, physical restraints upon a criminal defendant
at trial should be used as rarely as possible because their use tends to erode the presumption of
innocence that is an integral part of a fair trial. The court held that use of the belt may have had
an adverse impact on the defendant's ability to follow the proceedings and to take an active
interest in the presentation of his case. The appeals court held that the novelty of the technology
employed in the stun belt will likely cause the need for factual findings about the operation of the
device, addressing issues such as the criteria for triggering the belt and potential for accidental
discharge, to assess the need for its use as compared to less restrictive methods of restraint. The
appeals court noted that the district court did not, on the record, consider any less restrictive
alternatives to prevent escape and to ensure courtroom safety. The defendant had attempted to
escape from a jail and had managed to slip out of a set of leg irons using a key he had concealed on
his person. The defendant's attorney argued that the defendant would be "more concerned about
receiving such a jolt than he is about thinking about the testimony and giving me aid and
assistance in the defense of this case." The court suggested that a stun belt poses "a far more
substantial risk of interfering with a defendant's Sixth amendment right to confer with counsel
than do leg shackles. The fear of receiving a painful and humiliating shock for any gesture that
could be perceived as threatening likely chills a defendant's inclination to make any movements
during the trial·· including those movements necessary for effective communication with counsel."
The appeals court also found that "stun belts have the potential to be highly detrimental to the
dignified administration of criminal justice... If activated, the device poses a serious threat to the
dignity and decorum of the courtroom." (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida)

U.S. District Court
SECURITY RESTRIC·
TIONS
SEGREGATION

U.S. v. Flores, 214 F.Supp.2d 1193 CD.Utah 2002). A prisoner who was indicted for alleged
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations, filed a writ of habeas
corpus challenging restrictions placed on his conditions of confinement. The district court denied
the petition. The court held that the secure confinement of the prisoner was justified and that
restrictions placed upon his confinement were warranted because the prisoner was a flight risk,
and a danger to others. The court upheld restrictions on the prisoner's mail that required mail to
be read for threats, conspiracy, or obstruction of justice efforts, because members of the prisoner's

XIX

39.53

gang outside the prison could act on his instructions. The court also upheld that the limitation of
one visitor per day and telephone restrictions. The court clarified that the prisoner's right of access
to counsel included investigators or other special assistants working for the prisoner's attorney.
(Utah State Prison)
U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Williams v. City ofLas Vegas, 34 Fed.Appx. 297 (9th Cir. 2002). An arrestee brought a suit against
a city and correctional officer alleging the use of excessive force. The district court granted
summary judgment to the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that
the officer's use of force and restraints when the arrestee refused to cooperate during the booking
process was not excessive under either the Eighth Amendment standard for prisoners, nor the
Fourteenth Amendment standard for pretrial detainees. The court noted that all of the officer's
conduct associated with this claim had been videotaped from three different positions by
surveillance earner-as. According to the court, the use of waist and leg restraints on the inmate in
his jail cell did not violate the Eighth Amendment, where the inmate had refused to stand still
during a frisk search and displayed erratic and seemingly uncooperative behavior. (Las Vegas
Dept. of Detention, Nevada)

U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION
RESTRAINTS

WilliBDJs-El v. McLemore, 213 F.Supp.2d 783 (E.D.Mich. 2002). A prisoner brought a civil rights
action seeking monetary and equitable relief. The district court denied the defendants' summary
judgment motion, in part. The court held that summary judgment was barred by genuine issues of
material fact as to: whethel' officials were deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's protection from
harm and the sufficiency of their actions to protect the prisoner from fellow inmates; and whether
the inmate was disabled in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The prisoner
had a congenital deformity known as Kasabach Merritt Syndrome which caused his right hand to
be severely curled inward at the wrist and caused pain when his extremities were improperly
positioned. The prisoner alleged that prison officials failed to provide him with large handcuffs,
rather than standard handcuffs, for transportation. The prisoner had also asked prison authorities
for protection from other inmates, but was stabbed in the back five times while in a prison yard.
(Standish Maximum Security Facility, and Josephine McCallum Facility, Michigan)
2003

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
PUBLICATIONS

MAIL

XIX

Ashker v. California Dept. of Corrections, 350 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2003). A state prisoner brought a
§ 1983 action challenging a prison policy that requires books and magazines mailed to a prison to
have approved vendor labels affixed to them. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the prisoner and issued a permanent injunction against the defendants. The appeals court
affirmed, finding that the policy was not rationally related to the prison's asserted interest in
security and order, and therefore violated the prisoner's First Amendment rights. The court noted
that the prison already required that books be sent directly from approved vendors, allowing
officials to reduce contraband smuggling by checking address labels and invoices, and that the
prison was still searching all mail for contraband. The court also noted that the policy was not
applied to non-book packages. (Security Housing Unit, Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
USE OF FORCE

Bane v. Virginia Dept. of Corrections, 267 F.Supp.2d 514 <w.D.Va. 2003). An inmate brought
action against a state corrections department and prison officials, stemming from injuries
allegedly suffered while being handcuffed. The district court denied motions to dismiss and for
summary judgment. The court found that the inmate properly stated a prima facie claim under the
Rehabilitation Act by alleging that he suffered from a chronically unstable right shoulder and that
he had been issued a "cuff-front" pass by the corrections department medical personnel. The pass
required prison personnel to cuff the inmate with his hands in front to accommodate his injury, but
prison officers failed to heed the cuff pass and handcuffed the inmate's arms behind his back. The
court noted that acceptance of federal funds by the state corrections department was a waiver of
its sovereign immunity from liability under the federal Rehabilitation Act. The court ordered
further proceedings to determine if officers destroyed a posted medical order pertaining to the
inmate, whether another officer stood by as an officer handcuffed the inmate in a manner contrary
to the posted medical order, and whether the officers maliciously intended to cause harm to the
inmate. (W allens Ridge State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Boyd v. Anderson, 265 F.Supp.2d 952 (N.D.lnd. 2003). Prisoners filed a complaint in state court,
alleging that state corrections officials had violated their federally·protected rights while they were
confined in a state prison. The case was removed to federal court, where some of the claims were
dismissed. The court noted that the Eight Amendment deliberate indifference standard applies to
prison conditions affecting fire safety, although not all unsafe conditions constitute punishment
under the Eighth Amendment. (Indiana State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

Cagle v. Sutherland, 334 F.3d 980 (11th Cir. 2003). The personal representative of the estate of a
pretrial detainee who hung himself in his cell brought a § 1983 action, alleging that officials failed
to prevent his suicide. The district court denied summary judgment in favor of the defendants and
they appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court held that the county's
violation of a consent decree that arose out of a voluntary settlement of a prior jail conditions

39.54

, ___ )

lawsuit, did not establish a violation of the pretrial detainee's constitutional rights actionable
under § 1983. The consent decree required the county to provide a second nighttime jailer to staff
the jail during the hours that the detainee committed suicide, but the court noted that the prior
lawsuit was not concerned with the risk of prisoner suicides. According to the court, the county's
failure to fund the second jailer did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference to the strong
likelihood that a suicide would result. (Winston County Jail, Alabama)
U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
TRANSFER
TELEPHONE

Cavalieri v. Shepard, 321 F.3d 616 (7th Cir. 2003). The mother of a pretrial detainee who
attempted suicide brought a§ 1983 action against a police officer, alleging deliberate indifference
to the detainee's risk of attempting suicide. The district court denied summary judgment for the
officer and the officer appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that summary
judgment was precluded by an issue of fact as to whether the officer was aware that the detainee
was on the verge of trying to commit suicide and whether the officer was deliberately indifferent to
the detainee's safety. The court noted that the detainee's right to be free from deliberate
indifference to the risk that he would attempt suicide was clearly established. The detainee was
transferred to a county facility after a brief period of detention in a city jail. When he was admitted
to the county facility he was not placed on suicide watch, but he did ask to speak to a mental
health advisor. He was assigned to a holding cell that contained a telephone with a strong metal
cord. When the police officer called the county facility to complain about calls from the inmate,
county employees found the detainee unconscious, hanging from the wire telephone cord. The
detainee remained in a vegetative state after his unsuccessful suicide attempt. (Champaign
County Correctional Facility, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
SECURITY PRACTICES

Glenn v. Berndt, 289 F.Supp.2d 1120 (N.D.Cal. 2003). A state inmate brought a pro se § 1983
action alleging that officers let two inmates assault him when he was returning to his cell after a
lockdown. The inmate alleged that officers stood by and watched him fight with one of the inmates.
The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the
accidental opening of two cells, allowing inmates to be released, could not be characterized as the
wanton infliction of unnecessary pain in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The officers allegedly
waited for other officers to arrive before opening a door into the area in which the fight was
occurring. The court held that a reasonable officer could have believed that it was lawful to wait to
enter the area until another officer, who was inside the block, exhausted his efforts to control the
situation with a gas gun and pepper spray. <Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
ITEMS PERMITTED

Kimberlin v. U.S. Dept. ofJustice, 318 F.3d 228 <D.C.Cir. 2003). Prison inmates brought an action
against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) alleging that the BOP's ban on electric or electronic
musical instruments, except those used in connection with religious activities, violated their
constitutional rights to free expression and equal protection. The district court held that the policy
did not violate the First Amendment, but entered summary judgment in favor of the inmates on
their equal protection claim. The inmates appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that the BOP reasonably interpreted a statute that banned the use of appropriated
funds for the "use or possession" of electric or electronic musical instruments, as a prohibition
against the possession of such instruments. The court noted that even if the inmates' rights of free
expression were implicated by the BOP regulation, it did not impermissibly infringe on those
rights because it was reasonably related to the legitimate interest in conserving correctional funds,
and inmates have access to alternatives such as voice and acoustic instruments. (Federal
Correctional Institution at Cumberland, Maryland)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SEGREGATION

Lewis v. Washington, 265 F.Supp.2d 939 (N.D.Ill. 2003). State inmates filed a class action under §
1983 alleging that prison officials violated their constitutional rights while they were in protective
custody. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials, in part. The court held that
officials were entitled to qualified immunity because it was not clearly established that inmates in
temporary protective custody after they appealed denial of their requests for permanent protective
custody, had First Amendment rights to communal religious services, and Fourteenth Amendment
rights to programs and services equivalent to those offered to other inmates. (Stateville
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

Myers v. Milbert, 281 F.Supp.2d 859 (N.D.W.Va. 2003). A state prisoner brought a pro se action
against corrections officers, alleging that they violated his rights by inappropriately restraining
him for 20 hours on a stretcher, and feeding him a "nutra·loaf" diet for three days. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the officers, finding that the prisoner did not suffer
from a serious medical condition as a result of being restrained, and that the disciplinary nutra·
loaf diet did not violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. The court noted that the inmate
had assaulted a corrections officer and kicked a door. After being placed on the restraint stretcher,
called a "stokes basket," the inmate's handcuffs were loosened and he was given numerous
bathroom breaks, medications, and food and liquids. (Northern Regional Jail and Correctional
Facility, West Virginia)

XIX

39.66

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
SEGREGATION

Skundor v. McBride, 280 F.Supp.2d 524 (S.D.W.Va. 2003). An inmate brought claims against
corrections officials, challenging visual body cavity searches. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the prison practice of performing visual
body cavity searches when dangerous, sequestered prisoners left a recreation area, was rationally
related to the legitimate penological objective of staff safety and did not violate the prisoners'
Fourth Amendment rights. The court noted that there was a potential for the exchange of weapons
in the recreation area, and that prisoner privacy was addressed by using only male staff to perform
the searches, and positioning the staff between the inmate and anyone else who might view him.
According to the court, the searches were an efficient way to steadily process the large number of
inmates seeking recreation, and there were no readily available alternatives to the recreation yard
searches. (Mount Olive Correctional Center, West Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
TELEPHONE

U.S. v. Gangi, 57 Fed.Appx. 809 (10th Cir. 2003) [unpublished]. A defendant who was convicted for
bank fraud challenged the taping of his jail telephone calls. The appeals court held that it was not
objectively reasonable for the detainee to have any expectation of privacy in his outgoing calls from
jail, and that the detainee impliedly consented to the taping of his calls from jail. The court noted
that the detainee was cognizant of detention settings, which permitted a strong inference that he
fully understood the fact that jail telephones were monitored. According to the court, the detainee
was a "keen observer of detail" and was presumed to have seen signs above other telephones that
provided notice of telephone monitoring. The court held that the Fourth Amendment is not
triggered by the routine taping of outgoing jail calls. (Uinta County Detention Center, Wyoming)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDER

West v. Schwebke, 333 F.3d 745 (7th Cir. 2003). Civilly committed sex offenders brought a§ 1983
action against employees of a state treatment facility, alleging that therapeutic seclusion as
practiced at the facility violated their due process rights. The district court denied summary
judgment for some of the employees and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that
the offenders were entitled, as a matter of due process, to the exercise of professional judgment as
to the needs of residents and that due process requires that the conditions and duration of
involuntary civil confinement bear some reasonable relation to the purpose for which the persons
are committed. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to
whether employees' use of seclusion against the offenders, for at least 20 days and as much as 82
consecutive days in one case, could be justified on either security or treatment grounds. The court
noted that civil detention institutions may employ both incapacitation and deterrence to reduce
violence within their walls, but if mental limitations render a detainee insensible to punishment,
the only appropriate goal would be incapacitation. (Wisconsin Resource Center, Sand Ridge Secure
Tre!l,tment Center)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Wood v. Hancock County, 245 F.Supp.2d 231 (D.Me. 2003). A misdemeanor arrestee brought a civil
rights action against a county and county officials, alleging he was subjected to unconstitutional
strip searches while in jail. The district court denied the defendants' motions for judgment on the
pleadings or for summary judgment. The court held that the arrestee stated a claim, precluding
judgment on the pleadings. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine
issues of fact as to whether the jail policy of strip searching misdemeanor arrestees after contact
visits was reasonable, and whether the jail had a custom of conducting strip searches upon
admission. The court noted that further proceedings were needed to determine ifit was a "custom"
to strip search misdemeanor arrestees without reasonable suspicion that an arrestee harbored
contraband or weapons, and that evidence suggested that officers did not comply with recording
requirements for strip searches. (Hancock County Jail, Maine)
2004

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Allegheny County Prison Emp. v. County ofAllegh., 315 F.Supp.2d 728 (W.D.Pa. 2004). Employees
at a county jail brought a suit challenging its employee search policy, which involved random pat·
down searches by same sex employees of all areas of the searched employee's body. including the
abdomen and groin, as well as the removal of outer clothing, shoes and belts. The employees moved
for a preliminary injunction. The district court denied the motion, finding that the employees failed
to demonstrate the lil!:elihood of success on their Fourth Amendment or equal protection claims.
The court noted that the county had a strong government interest in controlling the flow of
contraband into prisons, and that employees had a diminished expectation of privacy because they
worked in a correctional facility. The search policy was uniformly applied to all employees and
visitors who had contact with inmates. {Allegheny County Prison, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
SUPER MAX
SECURITY RESTRICTIONS

Austin v. Wilkinson, 372 F.3d 346 (6 th Cir. 2004). State inmates housed at a supermaximum
security prison facility brought a class action against corrections officials under § 1983, alleging
violations of their procedural due process rights. The district court ruled that officials had violated
the inmates' due process right and granted injunctive relief. The court ordered the adoption of a
revised version of placement regulations and the officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed in
part, reversed in part and remanded. The appeals court held that state inmates enjoyed a due
process protected liberty interest in not being placed at a supermaximum facility, but that the
district court did not have the power to order state officials to modify their predicates. The appeals

XIX

39.56

'
\, ___ )

court upheld the procedural modifications made by the district court to the state's placement and
retention policies, which included increased notice requirements and changes to the administrative
appellate procedure. The court noted past erroneous and haphazard placements at the facility, and
the availability of administrative segregation to ensure the state's interest in safety. The appeals
court found that the proper comparison was within the state's prison system, not between other
supermaximum facilities in other states. The court held that confinement at the supermaximum
facility imposed an atypical and significant hardship, given the extreme isolation visited upon
inmates, lack of outdoor recreation, limitations on personal property rights and access to telephone
and counsel, and ineligibility for parole. (Ohio State Penitentiary. Youngstown)
U.S. Appeals Court
lvlAIL

Bahrampour v. Lampert, 356 F.3d 969 (9th Cir. 2004). A state prisoner sued prison officials under
§ 1983, challenging a prison regulation that prohibited prisoners from receiving certain types of
publications. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the prison officials and the
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated and remanded in part. The appeals
court held that the state regulation that prohibited prisoners from receiving sexually explicit
materials, and a regulation that prohibited the receipt of"role playing" materials, were related to
legitimate penological interests and were not vague or overly broad. The regulations were found to
be neutral because they targeted the effect of certain types of materials. The court found that a
body-building magazine received by the prisoner contained prohibited sexually explicit material,
including an advertisement for a video depicting "Painful Erotic Domination." According to the
court, the role-playing prohibition was intended to prevent prisoners from placing themselves in
fantasy roles that reduced accountability and substituted raw power for legitimate authority. The
court noted that such games often contained dice, which were prohibited gambling paraphernalia.
The appeals court found that state prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the
prisoner's claim that a regulation prohibiting materials by bulk mail was unconstitutional.
Although an appeals court established that the prohibition of commercial bulk mail was
unconstitutional, the officials could not be expected to have known this at the time of the incidents.
Officials had rejected the inmate's receipt of a Green Lantern comic book because it was delivered
by bulk mail. (Snake River Correctional Institution, Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSPORTATION

Brown v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 353 F.3d 1038 (8th Cir. 2004). A state inmate brought a§
1983 action, alleging that officials were liable for injuries he received in an accident while en route
to a correctional facility, for denying post-accident care, and for providing inadequate care. The
district court dismissed the action and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the inmate had sufficiently alleged § 1983
claims for deliberate indifference to his safety and deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The
inmate alleged that he asked officials to fasten his seatbelt and they refused, and that he was
unable to do it himself because he was shackled. The inmate also alleged that he asked
correctional officers of three occasions to let him see medical staff, claiming he was having severe
complications from the accident, including difficulty seeing and standing and shaky legs, but his
requests were ignored. (Jefferson City Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
SEPARATION

Carmichael v. Richards, 307 F.Supp.2d 1014 (S.D.lnd. 2004). A county jail prisoner who was
injured by his cellmate brought a§ 1983 action against a sheriff in his individual and official
capacities, claiming that the sheriff failed to take reasonable measures to ensure his physical
safety, and did not provide necessary medical care. The district court granted summary judgment
in favor of the defendants. The court held that the sheriff could not be held individually liable for
failing to ensure the physical safety of a medium security inmate who was injured by a maximum
security inmate, absent evidence that the sheriff knew of a substantial risk that the inmate would
be harmed, or evidence of a causal link between the policy of mixing of medium and maximum
security prisoners and the increased risk of violence. The court also found that the sheriff was not
liable in his official capacity. The jail had three types of cell classifications: maximum, medium and
minimum security. Inmates are classified by the shift leader who is on duty at the time an inmate
arrives at the jail. (Johnson County Jail, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE
RESTRAINTS

Guerra v. Drake, 371 F.3d 404 (8 th Cir. 2004). A pretrial detainee brought civil rights claims
seeking damages from correctional officers, alleging they used excessive force and left him in a
"restraint" chair for prolonged periods. The district court entered judgment against a Captain for
$1,500 on the restraint chair claim and against another officer for $500 on the excessive force
claim. The district court refused to award punitive damages and the detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the district court's refusal to award punitive damages was not
an abuse of discretion. The inmate had alleged that during his first six days of detention he was
subjected to unprovoked beatings and was placed in a "torture chair" for long periods. (Benton
County Detention Center, Arkansas)

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

XIX

89.57

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
SAFETY

Hall v. Bennett, 379 F.3d 462 (7 th Cir. 2004). An inmate brought a § 1983 claim against prison
supervisors alleging deliberate indifference following an incident in which the inmate received a
severe electrical shock while working as an electrician at the prison. The district court granted
summary judgment for the supervisors and the inmate appealed. The appeals court vacated and
remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the supervisors knew that the inmate could suffer a severe shock as a
consequence of working on a live wire without protective gloves. (Correctional Industrial Facility,
Pendleton, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING

McDowell v. Brown, 392 F.3d 1283 (11th Cir. 2004). A former inmate of a county jail brought a§
1983 Eighth Amendment action against a county, alleging improper failure to treat his emergency
medical condition. The inmate also asserted negligence claims against the jail's health services
subcontractor and against a nurse employed by the subcontractor. The district court dismissed the
claims against the subcontractor and nurse and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the county jail's staffing problems, allegedly resulting from the county board's
custom of inadequate budgeting for the sheriff's office and jail, did not satisfy the "custom or
policy" requirement of the inmate's § 1983 action. The inmate alleged that the county failed to
transport him to a hospital during a medical emergency. The court noted that the jail had a policy
to call an ambulance to transport inmates with emergency medical needs if jail personnel were
unable to do so. The inmate's transport to the hospital emergency room was delayed by nearly
twelve hours as jail staff accomplished other transports. By the time the inmate arrived at the
hospital he was experiencing paralysis in his legs. (Dekalb County Jail, Georgia, and Wexford
Health Sources, Inc.)

U.S. Appeals Court
WHEELCHAIR

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

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

Reynolds v. Powell, 370 F.3d 1028 (10th Cir. 2004). A state inmate brought a pro se § 1983 action
alleging that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by being exposed to a hazardous
condition in the prison shower area. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the
defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the alleged slippery
floors resulting from a standing water problem in the prison shower area did not rise to the level of
a condition that posed a substantial risk of serious harm, even though the inmate was on crutches
and had warned officials that he was at a heightened risk of falling. (Uinta IV Maximum Security
Facility, Utah)

U.S. District Court
STAFFING

Thompson v. Spears, 336 F.Supp.2d 1224 (S.D.Fla. 2004). A prisoner brought an action against a
county and a jail official, alleging deliberate indifference to his safety, negligent supervision, and
negligent infliction of emotional distress. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of
the defendants. The court held that a lack of monitoring devices in jail cells did not pose an
objectively substantial risk of harm to the inmate, particularly in light of the fact the state Model
Jail Standards did not require cameras. The court found that the inmate presented no evidence
that the officer posts were located so far that officers could not hear calls for help. The court held
that the county was not liable under§ 1983, even if jail officers did not actually follow the county
policy of making hourly walk·throughs to monitor cells, where there was no evidence that the
county had officially sanctioned or ordered the officers to disregard the county policy. The prisoner

XIX

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---'\
}

had been temporarily transferred from a state prison to the county jail in order to be involved in a
family court matter. The inmate, who was from Jacksonville, Florida, alleged that he was severely
beaten by other inmates for over two hours, after the Miami Dolphins beat the Jacksonville
Jaguars in a football game. (Pretrial Detention Center, Miami·Dade County, Florida)
U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

U.S. v. Sack, 379 F.3d 1177 (10th Cir. 2004). A defendant who had been ordered to reside in a
halfway house following his arrest but failed to return after a day of work, pled guilty to escape.
The inmate appealed and the appeals court held that the defendant was in custody, within the
meaning of the escape statute, while he was ordered to reside in the halfway house. <La Pasada
Halfway House, New Mexico)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

Watson v. Riggle, 315 F.Supp,2d 963 (N.D.lnd. 2004). A state prison inmate brought a prose§
1983 Eighth Amendment action against corrections officers, alleging use of excessive force in
connection with the removal of handcuffs. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of
the officers, finding that the officers who restrained the inmate's wrists in order to remove the
handcuffs following the inmate's refusal to allow the removal, used reasonable force, given the
inmate's argumentative nature and minimal injuries. The court noted that the inmate's
argumentative nature could have led to a greater disturbance, and that a medical examination
found only a cut on one hand and swelling in the wrist, with the full range of motion, and no
further treatment was required. <Miami Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
"LOCK-IN"

Wrinkles v. Davis, 311 F.Supp.2d 735 (N.D.lnd. 2004). Death row inmates at a state prison
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. The court also found no violation for the alleged denial
of inmates' access to telephones for 55 days, to hygiene services for 65 days, to hot meals for 30
days, and to exercise equipment. According to the court, suspending all personal visits to death
row inmates for the first 54 days of the lockdown did not violate the inmates' First Amendment
rights, where visitation privileges were a matter subject to the discretion of prison officials.
(Indiana State Prison)

_.)
·.~/

2005
U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION
WHEELCHAIR

Allah v. Goard, 405 F.Supp.2d 265 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). A state inmate who used a wheelchair brought
a pro se action alleging failure of corrections officials to safely transport him to and from outside
medical providers. The district court granted the defendant's motions for dismissal in part, and
denied in part. The court held that the inmate's allegations with respect to the state corrections
department were sufficient to establish a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act CADA).
According to the court, corrections officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from liability
under§ 1983 for injures sustained while being transported in an unsafe van, where their conduct
amounted to more than an ordinary lack of due care for the prisoner's safety. The court held that
their decision to place the inmate back in a wheelchair after he fell once demonstrated complete
disregard for his safety. The inmate alleged that he suffered a "serious injury (to) his head, neck
and back" when he fell to the floor of the van in question and suffered "unnecessary pain and
discomfort, permanent disability, and mental distress." The van driver allegedly speeded and then
stopped short on more than one occasion, and other wheelchair-using inmates had been injured in
the same manner during transport. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
FIRE SAFETY
PUBLICATIONS

Banks v. Beard, 399 F.3d 134 (3rd Cir. 2005). A state inmate brought a free speech challenge to a
state corrections policy on behalf of himself and other similarly situated inmates. The policy
restricted access to newspapers, magazines, and photographs by inmates who are placed in a
prison's long·term segregation unit. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
state and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that a valid,
rational connection did not exist between the policy and a stated rehabilitation objective, nor
prison security concerns. The court noted that confinement in the unit was not based on a specific
rule infraction or for a specific duration, and that an inmate could remain in the unit under the
publication ban indefinitely. According to the court, there was no evidence that inmates misused
periodicals or photographs in ways described by corrections officials, such as to fuel fires or as
crude weapons. There was no evidence regarding the effect of the ban on the frequency of fires, and
inmates were permitted to possess other items that could be used for the purposes that were
supposedly targeted by the policy. The court noted that inmates had no alternative means to
exercise their First Amendment right of access to a reasonable amount of newspapers, magazines
and photographs. The court described alternative policies, such as establishing reading periods in
which periodicals could be delivered to inmates' cells and later collected, establishing a limit on the
number of photographs that an inmate could have in his cell at one time, or escorting inmates to a
secure mini·law library to read periodicals of their choosing. The policy bans all newspapers and
magazines from a publisher or prison library, or from any source, unless the publication is

XIX

· 39.59

religious or legal in nature. (State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
U.S. Appeals Court
VISITS

Bazzetta v. McGinnis, 423 F.3d 557 (6th Cir. 2005). A class of state prisoners challenged
restrictions on visitation. The district court entered judgment for the plaintiffs and the appeals
court affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded. On remand, the district court
declined to dissolve its injunctive order of compliance and the state corrections department
appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the department regulation that
restricted visitation did not, on its face, violate procedural due process. The court noted that
prisoners do not have a protected liberty interest in visitation. The regulation indefinitely
precluded visitation from persons other than attorneys or clergy for prisoner with two or more
substance abuse violations. The appeals court opened its decision by stating ''This case marks
another chapter in a ten·year controversy between incarcerated felons, their visitors, and the
Michigan Department of Corrections." (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
DISTRIBURANCE
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
RESTRAINTS
USEOFFORCE

Birdine v. Gray, 375 F.Supp.2d 874 (D.Neb. 2005). A pretrial detainee brought a§ 1983 action
against jail employees claiming violation of his right to be free of punishment and his right to
privacy. The district court dismissed the complaint. The court held that the detainee did not have a
privacy right that would allow him to cover the window of his cell with towels, noting that the cell
contained a privacy wall which allowed for partial privacy while using the toilet. The court found
that the inmate's privacy rights were not violated when he was moved from one cell to another,
naked. The inmate had removed all of his clothes and refused to put them back, and jail staff
moved him unclothed to a cell closer to their station where he could be constantly watched. The
court found no violation when the inmate was placed in a restraint chair because he was confined
as a last resort when all other restraint options proved ineffective. According to the court, the
detainee was monitored, the chair was not used to punish, and the detainee was offered the
opportunity to be released in return for acting appropriately. The court found no due process
violation when a stun gun was applied to the detainee two times, after he engaged in violent
actions as jail officers attempt to settle him into a cell to which he was being transferred. The court
found that the detainee's conduct was an immediate threat to institutional safety, security and
efficiency. (Lancaster County Jail, Nebraska)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
RELIGION

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 Creed ofIron, Temple of Wotan, and The NPKA Book ofBlotar, 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. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE

Bozeman v. Orum, 422 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2005). The representative of the estate of a pretrial
detainee who had died during a struggle with county correctional officers brought a§ 1983 suit
alleging use of excessive force and deliberate indifference to medical needs. The district court
granted summary judgment for several defendants but denied summary judgment for corrections
officers. The officers appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officers' alleged
conduct in subduing the detainee was actionable as excessive force and that the officers were not
entitled to qualified immunity. The court also held that the officers' alleged conduct following the
struggle·· waiting 14 minutes before summoning medical assistance even though the detainee
appeared lifeless·- was actionable as deliberate indifference and the officers were not entitled to
qualified immunity. The court noted that the law defining excessive force was clearly established
at the time of the incident, and the officers should have known that continuing to apply force to the
unruly detainee after he had given up his struggle was not acceptable. (Montgomery County
Detention Facility, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION

Collins v. County ofKern, 390 F.Supp.2d 964 (E.D.Cal. 2005). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against a county and a sheriffs department, stemming from an attack by other inmates while he
was incarcerated. A fight had erupted in a jail housing unit between Black and Hispanic inmates
and the inmate was injured. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. The court held that inmate failed to establish that department officials knew of and
disregarded a risk of attack when they moved the inmate to another jail unit. At the time of the

XIX

39.60

)

move, the inmate did not inform anyone of safety concerns or segregation issues due to a purported
gang affiliation. The court found that officials took prompt action to stop the fight, secure the area,
and ensure prompt medical treatment for the inmate. The court noted that a "prison official need
not believe to [a] moral certainty that one inmate intends to attack another at [a] given place at
time certain before he is obligated to prevent such an assault." According to the court, before being
required to take action, an official must have more than a mere suspicion that an attack will occur.
(Lerdo Pre·Trial Facility, Kern County, California)
U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Fraternal Order ofPolice/Dept. v. Washington, 394 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C. 2005). A police labor
committee and correctional officers in leadership positions with the committee sued a corrections
department, challenging the constitutionality of searches of their lockers and automobiles during a
shakedown of the detention facility. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. The court held that the checkpoint seizure of correctional officers' cars at the entrance
to a jail's parking lot were not unconstitutional, where the officers were requested to sign consent
forms to have their vehicles searched or to park elsewhere. The court noted that the jail was a
maximum ·security facility and keeping contraband out of the jail was an imperative, and the
purpose of the checkpoint was to afford an opportunity to inform officers of the activity, present
consent forms, and search the vehicles of who consented. The court held that the searches of cars
were not unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment where the officers consented to the
searches by signing consent forms that stated in clear and unambiguous language that the officers
could deny the search at any time. According to the court, searches of correctional officers' lockers
were not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, where the searches were conducted in the
early morning hours by correctional officers of the same gender as the officers whose lockers were
being searched, and the lockers were provided by the corrections department for the convenience of
correctional officers. The court noted that the assigned officer and Director of the department had
keys to each locker, and that locker assignments could be changed without notice by the Director.
Prison regulations clearly stated that a condition of employment was that all personnel submit to a
search of their person, or automobile, or place of assignment on government property, when such a
search was required by department officials. (Central Detention Facility, District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court

Harbin·Bey v. Rutter, 420 F.3d 571 (6th Cir. 2005). A state prisoner filed a pro se § 1983 action
alleging that his designation as a member of a security threat group without a hearing violated his
constitutional rights. The district court dismissed the case and the prisoner appealed. The appeals
court affirmed, finding that the prisoner's designation without a hearing did not violate equal
protection due process, or the prisoner's right of access to the courts. Although the designation
caused the prisoner to be excluded from community placement and placed on visitor restrictions,
the court found that his designation was not based on his religious beliefs but rather was due to
his gang affiliation. The court upheld the state's policy directive regarding classification of inmates
as security threat group members, finding it was rationally related to the legitimate state interest
of maintaining order in the prison. According to the court, identifying, reclassifying and separating
prisoners who are members of groups that engage in the planning or commitment of unlawful acts
or acts of misconduct "targets a core threat to the safety of both prison inmates and officials." The
court held that the alleged censorship of the prisoner's periodicals did not violate the inmate's First
Amendment rights. The prison policy prohibited prisoners from receiving mail depicting gang
symbols or signs and required that the magazine be accepted or rejected as a whole. The court
noted that the inmate's contention that officials should go through each magazine and remove all
prohibited material would be unduly burdensome. The inmate's subscription was ultimately
terminated by the publisher, and the prison rejected only a single issue. (Alger Maximum Security
Facility, Michigan)

GANGS

,_)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCKDOWN
SEARCHES· CELL

Hart v. Sheahan, 396 F.3d 887 (7 th Cir. 2005). Female pretrial detainees brought an action against
a county and jail superintendent alleging deprivation of liberty without due process. The district
court dismissed the case and the detainees appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded,
finding that the detainees stated a claim upon which relief could be granted. The detainees alleged
that during monthly lockdown searches of the jail, they were confined for 48 to 50 hours at a time
to their cells, where they were not under observation or within hailing distance of correctional
officers. The detainees alleged that serious injuries resulted from their inability to get the officers'
attention during a crisis. The court noted that an alternative procedure was available to the jail
that would allow inmates in each locked tier to be released from their cells after that tier was
searched, resulting in shorter lockdown periods. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

Hicks v. Moore, 422 F.3d 1246 (11th Cir. 2005). A former pretrial detainee brought an action
challenging strip search practices at a county jail. The district court denied immunity for the
defendants and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
The court held that the mere fact that a detainee was to be placed in the jail's general population
did not justify a strip search, but that reasonable suspicion existed for the plaintiffs strip search
because he had been charged with a family violence battery offense. The court noted that battery is
a crime of violence that would permit the inference that the detainee might be concealing weapons
or contraband. (Habersham County Jail, Georgia)

XIX

39.61

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY
CONTRABAND

Howard v. Snyder, 389 F.Supp.2d 589 (D.Del. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action
against corrections officials, alleging that legal papers were missing from a box of personal effects
that were seized from his cell as contraband, when the box was returned. The inmate alleged that
his access to court was hindered. The district court granted summary judgment to the officials,
finding that the "two box rule" under which the materials were confiscated, served legitimate
penological interests. According to the court, the regulation promoted fire safety and limited the
access to contraband. The court noted'that the inmate had continual access to the prison's law
library and that he could have obtained approval for an extra box. (Delaware Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY

Littlejohn v. Moody, 381 F.Supp.2d 507 (E.D.Va. 2005). A federal prisoner brought a prose action
against prison officials, seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages. The inmate alleged
violation of his constitutional rights when he was shocked by an electrical surge because a buffing
machine that he was using did not have a ground·prong in its plug. The district court granted the
defendants' motion to dismiss. The court held that one official did not know of a substantial risk of
harm at the time the prisoner was shocked because he had sent the buffer to be repaired when it
had shocked prisoners in the past, and he reasonably assumed that the machine was safe when it
returned. Although the court found that allegations supported a deliberate indifference claim
against a prison safety manager and electrical shop foreman, the court granted them qualified
immunity because the right to be protected from a significant risk of injury was not clearly
established at the time of the incident. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, Virginia)

U.S. Dist1·ict Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SEARCHES

McRoy v. Cook County Dept. of Corrections, 366 F.Supp.2d 662 (N.D.Ill. 2005). A Muslim inmate
at a county correctional facility brought a civil rights action under§ 1983, alleging that his
opportunities to practice his faith were restricted in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the
First Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The
court held that the inmate's free exercise rights were not violated by the cancellation of Muslim
services during lockdowns, staff shortages, and when no volunteer imams were available to preside
over services. The court noted that inmates should not be granted authority as religious leaders
over other inmates, and cancellation of services when volunteer imams were not available was
warranted. The court found that the policy of limiting the number of Muslim services to three each
week did not violate the inmate's free exercise rights, nor was a policy that limited the number of
inmates who could attend Muslim services at the same time. The court also found no violation in
the policy of strip·searching inmates when they were leaving or returning to an inmate area,
noting that the inmate could choose not to attend a service because of the policy and could pray in
his cell or common area instead. The court upheld the facility's decision not to create a Muslim·
only living unit. The court noted that the inmate was permitted to pray in his cell using religious
materials he was allowed to keep there, as well as being allowed to pray in the common area of his
living unit. (Cook County Department of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
FIRE SAFETY

Neal v. Lewis, 414 F.3d 1244 (10th Cir. 2005). A Shiite Muslim prisoner filed a pro se action
seeking injunctive relief and damages under § 1983, alleging that prison officials violated his civil
rights by interfering with his religious observance. The district court granted summary judgment
in favor of the defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held
that the officials did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights by enforcing a prison
regulation that limited the number of books that could be kept in a cell. The court also found no
violation of the prisoner's due process or equal protection rights. The regulation limited prisoners
to the possession of twelve books, plus one dictionary, one thesaurus, and the primary religious
text for their declared religion. The court noted that nothing prevented the prisoner from stocking
his cell with twelve religious texts. According to the court, the regulation was applied equally to all
inmates, and it promoted legitimate administrative and penological objectives including fire safety,
institutional security, control of the source and flow of property in prison, and the effective
establishment of a behavior-incentive program. The court noted that the prisoner failed to choose
any of the options available to him. (El Dorado Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES
VISITS

Neumeyer v. Beard, 421 F.3d 210 (3 rd Cir. 2005). Prison visitors filed a § 1983 action seeking a
declaration that the prison's practice of subjecting visitors' vehicles to random searches violated
their constitutional rights. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants
and the visitors appealed. The appeals court affirmed, holding that the prison's practice of
engaging in suspicionless searches of prison visitors' vehicles was valid under the special needs
doctrine. According to the court, the relatively minor inconvenience of the searches, balanced
against the prison officials' special need to· maintain the security and safety of the prison, rose
beyond their general need to enforce the law. The court noted that some inmates have outside
work details and may have access to the vehicles. The prison had posted large signs at all
entranceways to the prison and immediately in front of the visitors' parking lot that stated " ... all
persons, vehicles and personal property entering or brought on these grounds are subject to
search ... n Visitors are asked to sign a Consent to Search Vehicle form before a search is conducted
and if they refuse they are denied entry into the prison and are asked to leave the premises. (State
Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania)·

XIX

39.62

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Peoples v. CCA Detention Centers, 422 F.3d 1090 (10th Cir. 2005). A pretrial detainee who was

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

Perez Olivo v. Gonzalez, 384 F.Supp.2d 536 (D.Puerto Rico 2005). An inmate brought a Bivens
action against correctional officers, stemming from the alleged use of restraints on him during an
escorted medical trip. The district court dismissed the case. The court held that the use of
restraints did not violate the inmate’s clearly established rights and that the leg irons, as placed,
did not violate the inmate’s rights. According to the court, the officers exercised their best
correctional judgment in applying the leg iron restraints and did not deliberately inflict pain. The
court found that the agency’s alleged failure to respond in a timely manner to the inmate’s
complaints did not violate due process. The inmate alleged that he was submitted to unnecessary
punishment and discomfort for three hours, resulting in bruised ankles and pain for a period of
eight days. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
TELEPHONE CALLS
VISITS

U.S. v. Ali, 396 F.Supp.2d 703 (E.D.Va. 2005). A pretrial detainee who was charged with terrorism-

U.S. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH

Warsoldier v. Woodford, 418 F.3d 989 (9th Cir. 2005). A Native American inmate sued state

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
TRANSFER

Westefer v. Snyder, 422 F.3d 570 (7th Cir. 2005). State prisoners brought a § 1983 action
challenging their transfers to a higher-security prison. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants and the prisoners appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the prisoners’ suit challenging transfers to a
high security prison was not subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust administrative remedies as
required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), where the transfer review process was not
available to prisoners in disciplinary segregation, and the prisoners’ grievances were sufficient to
alert the prison that the transfer decisions were being challenged. The court held that the alleged
change in a prison policy that required transferring gang members to a high security facility did
not constitute an ex post facto violation. The court ruled that the prisoners stated a claim for
denial of due process, where the conditions at the high security prison were arguably different
enough to give the prisoners a liberty interest in not being transferred there, and there was a
dispute as to whether the state provided sufficient pre- and post-transfer opportunities for the

housed at a detention center operated by a private contractor under a contract with the United
States Marshals Service brought actions against the contractor and its employees, alleging Fifth
and Eighth Amendment violations. The district court dismissed the action and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the employees did not punish
the pretrial detainee in violation of his due process rights when they placed him in segregation
upon his arrival at the center and kept him in segregation for approximately 13 months without a
hearing. The detainee was first placed in segregation because the center lacked bed space in the
general population, and he remained in segregation due to his plot to escape from his previous
pretrial detention facility. According to the court, the detention center has a legitimate interest in
segregating individual inmates from the general population for nonpunitive reasons, including
threats to the safety and security of the institution. (Corrections Corporation of America,
Leavenworth, Kansas)

related offenses filed a motion for relief from conditions of confinement. The district court denied
the motion, finding that the measures imposed did not violate due process. The court also found
that judicial relief was not available because the detainee did not exhaust available administrative
remedies, even though the detainee completed an inmate request form seeking permission to
receive regular phone calls to his family and lawyers, and visits from his family. According to the
court, the detainee did not pursue succeeding options available to him when his request was
denied. The court held that the “Special Administrative Measures” (SAM) imposed on the detainee
at the request of the Attorney General did not violate the detainee’s due process rights, where the
SAMs were imposed to further the legitimate and compelling purpose of preventing future terrorist
acts. The measures prevented the detainee from receiving regular phone calls from his family and
lawyers, and from receiving visits from his family. According to the court, there was no alternative
means to prevent the detainee from communicating with his confederates, and the special
accommodations sought by the detainee would have imposed unreasonable burdens on prison and
law enforcement personnel. The court noted that the measures did not restrict the detainee’s
ability to help prepare his own defense. (Alexandria Detention Center, Virginia)

corrections officials challenging a prison hair grooming policy that required male inmates to
maintain hair no longer than three inches, alleging it violated his rights under the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court denied the inmate’s request for
a preliminary injunction and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded,
finding that the policy imposed a substantial burden on the inmate’s religious practice and that
the policy was not the least restrictive alternative to achieve the state’s interest in prison security.
The court noted that the inmate was not physically forced to cut his hair, but that he was
subjected to punishments including confinement to his cell, imposition of additional duty hours,
and reclassification into a less desirable work group. The court also noted that the state failed to
explain why its women’s prisons did not adhere to an equally strict grooming policy. The court
concluded that the inmate faced the possibility of irreparable injury absent the issuance of an
injunction and the balance of hardships favored the inmate. (Adelanto Community Correctional
Facility, California)

39.63
XX

prisoners to challenge the propriety of the transfers. The court held that the transfers did not
violate the gang members’ First Amendment associational rights, noting that prisoners had no
right to associate with gangs. (Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION

Young v. Hightower, 395 F.Supp.2d 583 (E.D.Mich. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a pro se

civil rights action against prison officials, alleging they were deliberately indifferent to his safety
when they refused to buckle his seatbelt when he was transported in chains in a prison van and
when the vehicle was then involved in a collision that resulted in injuries to the inmate. The
district court held that the inmate had satisfied the exhaustion requirement of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) even though he did not return a document requested in response to
his completed step III grievance form. The court found that prison policy did not require specific
documents to be filed with the step III form and the request for documents suggested that the
request was procedural rather than substantive. According to the court, when an inmate takes the
prison grievance procedure to its last step, the PLRA exhaustion requirement has been satisfied if
the state forgoes an opportunity to decide matters internally. (Chippewa Correctional Facility,
Michigan)
2006

U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION
RESTRAINTS

Anderson-Bey v. District of Columbia, 466 F.Supp.2d 51 (D.D.C. 2006). Prisoners transported

U.S. District Court
SUPERMAX
TRANSFER

Austin v. Wilkinson, 502 F.Supp.2d 675 (N.D.Ohio 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
SUPERMAX
TRANSFER

Austin v. Wilkinson, 502 F.Supp.2d 660 (N.D.Ohio 2006). State inmates in a super maximum

between out-of-state correctional facilities brought a civil rights action against the District of
Columbia and corrections officers, alleging common law torts and violation of their constitutional
rights under First and Eighth Amendments. The prisoners had been transported in two groups,
with trips lasting between 10 and 15 hours. The defendants brought motions to dismiss or for
summary judgment which the court denied with regard to the District of Columbia. The court held
that: (1) a fact issue existed as to whether the restraints used on prisoners during the prolonged
transport caused greater pain than was necessary to ensure they were securely restrained; (2) a
fact issue existed as to whether the officers acted with deliberate indifference to the prisoners’
health or safety in the transport of the prisoners; (3) a causal nexus existed between the protected
speech of the prisoners in bringing the civil lawsuit against the corrections officers and subsequent
alleged retaliation by the officers during the transport of prisoners; (4) a fact issue existed as to
whether the officers attempted to chill the prisoners’ participation in the pending civil lawsuit
against the officers; and (5) a fact issue existed as to whether conditions imposed on the prisoners
during the transport were justified by valid penological needs. The court found that the denial of
food during a bus ride that lasted between 10 and 15 hours was insufficiently serious to state a
stand-alone cruel and unusual punishment civil rights claim under the Eighth Amendment. The
court also found that the denial of bathroom breaks during the 10 to 15 hour bus trip, did not,
without more, constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The court
stated that the extremely uncomfortable and painful shackles applied for the numerous hours
during transports, exacerbated by taunting, threats, and denial of food, water, medicine, and
toilets, was outrageous conduct under District of Columbia law, precluding summary judgment on
the prisoners’ intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against the corrections officers.
(District of Columbia)

alleging that the procedure for transferring him to a super maximum security prison violated due
process. The inmate moved to compel the state to reduce his security placement level. The district
court granted the motion. The court held that the process used by the state to increase the
inmate's security placement level after he killed his cellmate violated due process, even though the
prison's rules infraction board found insufficient evidence that the inmate acted solely in selfdefense, where the prison's classification committee recommended that the inmate's security
placement remain unchanged, the inmate was not given notice of the warden's decision to override
the committee's recommendation or opportunity to argue his position and submit evidence, the
inmate was not given a hearing on administrative appeal, the board's finding was subject to review
by the committee, and the inmate was transferred to a super maximum security prison before the
review process was complete. According to the court, due process required that the warden and the
state's administrative appeals board provide adequate reasoned statements to justify their
decisions to override the prison's classification committee's recommendation that the inmate's
security placement remain unchanged after he killed his cellmate. The court held that the state
prison system was required to provide an individualized review of the security risk presented by
an inmate following his transfer to a super maximum security prison, and thus the state's use of a
boilerplate checklist violated the inmate's due process rights, where the inmate received no
meaningful review of his situation or of the events leading to his transfer. (Ohio State
Penitentiary)
security prison facility brought a class action against corrections officials under § 1983 alleging
that procedures for transferring them to, and retaining them at, the prison violated due process.
The district court ruled that the procedures denied due process and ordered modifications. Prison
officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. Certiorari

39.64
XX

was granted. The United States Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.
On remand, the inmates moved for an order extending the court's jurisdiction over due process
issues for one year, and the officials' moved to terminate prospective relief. The district court
granted the inmates’ motion and denied the officials’ motion. (Ohio State Penitentiary)
U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Duquin v. Dean, 423 F.Supp.2d 411 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). A deaf inmate filed an action alleging that

U.S. District Court
FIRE SAFETY

Figueroa v. Dean, 425 F.Supp.2d 448 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). A state prisoner who was born deaf brought

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Freeman v. Berge, 441 F.3d 543 (7th Cir. 2006). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging cruel and unusual punishment. After a jury returned a verdict in favor of the
inmate, the district court granted judgment as a matter of law for the defendants, and the inmate
appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The court held that the prison's feeding rule requiring
that, when meals were delivered to an inmate's cell, the inmate had to be wearing trousers or gym
shorts, was a reasonable condition to the receipt of food in light of security issues and respect for
female security officers' privacy. The court found that prison officials' withholding of food from the
inmate when he refused to put on trousers or shorts did not constitute the use of food deprivation
as punishment, for the purposes of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment. The court found that prison officials' withholding of food from the inmate when he
wore a sock on his head when meals were delivered to his cell was a reasonable condition to the
receipt of the food, in light of security issues presented by the possibility that a sock could be used
as a weapon if something was inside it. According to the court, withholding of food from the inmate
when he refused to remove the sock from his head did not constitute the use of food deprivation as
punishment. Inmates in the Supermax are fed their three meals a day in their cells. The prison's
feeding rule requires that the prisoner stand in the middle of his cell, with the lights on, when the
meal is delivered and that he be wearing trousers or gym shorts. If the inmate does not comply
with the rule, the meal is not served to him. The inmate wanted to eat in his underwear, so on a
number of occasions over a two-and-a-half-year period he refused to put on pants or gym shorts
and as a result was not served. Because he skipped so many meals he lost 45 pounds. (Wisconsin
Maximum Security Facility, “Supermax”)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

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

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 (TTY). 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
TTY, 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
Correctional Facility, New York)

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 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)

39.65
XX

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
EXERCISE
LOCK DOWN
RIOT

Hayes v. Garcia, 461 F.Supp.2d 1198 (S.D.Cal. 2006). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983
action against a warden, alleging that he was denied outdoor exercise in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. The warden moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion,
holding that the denial of outdoor exercise was not the result of the warden’s deliberate
indifference, and thus did not violate the defendant’s Eighth Amendment rights, in that
restrictions on exercise were instituted for the primary purpose of preventing further race-based
attacks, injuries, and homicides. The prisoner was denied outdoor exercise for a period of just over
nine months following racial tension, rioting, and other racial violence in the prison. (Calipatria
State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
LOCKDOWN

Hurd v. Garcia, 454 F.Supp.2d 1032 (S.D.Cal. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging
that conditions of his confinement during a lock down violated his constitutional rights. The court
held that suspension of outdoor exercise at the state prison for 150 days was not motivated by
prison officials' deliberate indifference or malicious and sadistic intent to harm or punish the
inmate, and thus did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Eighth
Amendment. The court noted that the entire unit was locked down as the result of a riot between
African-American and Caucasian inmates, and restrictions on outdoor exercise were instituted for
the primary purpose of preventing further race-based attacks, injuries, and homicides. (Calipatria
State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL

Jones v. Brown, 461 F.3d 353 (3d Cir. 2006). State prisoners brought an action against prison

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL
GANGS

Koutnik v. Brown, 456 F.3d 777 (7th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action,

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)

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)

39.66
XX

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCH
GANGS

Navarro v. Adams, 419 F.Supp.2d 1196 (C.D.Cal. 2006). A state prisoner filed a pro se petition for
a writ of habeas corpus, challenging his state court conviction and his sentence for first degree
murder. The district court held that a deputy sheriff's search of his cell and seizure of attorneyclient privileged documents did not warrant federal habeas relief because it did not substantially
prejudice the prisoner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The court noted that the prisoner’s cell
was searched to locate evidence regarding gang activity and threats to witnesses, not to interfere
with his relationship with his defense counsel, and the information seized was turned over to the
trial court for an in-camera review without being viewed by any member of the prosecution team.
(California)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES- CELL
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 found that the officials' decision to “shake down” the inmate's cell
was not in retaliation for his having filed a civil rights action, and thus did not violate the inmate's
First Amendment right to access courts, where shakedowns were routine, and the inmate was
thought to have prohibited materials in his cell. 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. Appeals Court
SECURITY PRACTICES
STAFFING

Pinkston v. Madry, 440 F.3d 879 (7th Cir. 2006). A state inmate brought § 1983 action against two

U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION

Roe v. Crawford, 439 F.Supp.2d 942 (W.D. Mo. 2006). An inmate brought a class action against

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Sample v. Lappin, 424 F.Supp.2d 187 (D.D.C. 2006). An inmate brought suit for declaratory and

correctional officers, alleging that they violated his Eighth Amendment rights in allowing another
prisoner to assault him and thereafter refusing to assist him in receiving adequate medical care.
The district court granted the officers' motion for judgment on partial findings and the inmate
appealed. The court of appeals held that the inmate did not show that the two correctional officers
failed to protect him by allowing a fight between the inmate and another prisoner, given the
testimony of three witnesses that a correctional officer, acting alone, could not have operated a
locking mechanism so as to open the inmate's cell door, thereby allowing the fight to occur. The
court noted an absence of evidence that bolstered the inmate's contention that an officer could have
opened the cell door by himself, and an absence of evidence that another officer was present who
could have assisted the first officer in opening the cell door. (Indiana Department of Corrections
Maximum Control Complex, Westville, Indiana)
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)
injunctive relief, claiming that a denial of his request for wine violated the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA),
and that the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) Director failed to train, supervise, and promulgate policies
requiring his subordinates to comply with RFRA and RLUIPA. The defense moved to dismiss, and
the parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court held that genuine issues of
material fact existed as to whether an outright ban on an inmate's consumption of wine was the
least restrictive means of furthering the government's compelling interest in controlling
intoxicants. The inmate described himself as “an observant Jew” who “practiced Judaism before
his incarceration and continues his practice of Judaism while confined,” and who “sincerely
believes that he must drink at least 3.5 ounces of red wine (a reviit) while saying Kiddush, a
prayer sanctifying the Sabbath, during Friday night and Saturday shabbos services.” The court
found that the inmate exhausted his administrative remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA), with respect to his request for wine, regardless of whether he asked that a
rabbi, a chaplain, or a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) staff member administer the wine to him.
According to the court, the inmate's obligation to exhaust his administrative remedies did not
require that he posit every conceivable alternative means by which to achieve his goal, which was
the unburdened exercise of his sincere religious belief. (Federal Correctional Institution,
Beaumont, Texas)

39.67
XX

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY PRACTICES

Scarver v. Litscher, 434 F.3d 972 (7th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES- CELLS

Serna v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections, 455 F.3d 1146 (10th Cir. 2006). A prisoner brought
excessive force and inadequate medical care claims against various officers and officials. A state
prison director moved for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity. The district
court denied summary judgment and director appealed. The court of appeals reversed and
remanded. The court held that: (1) the director’s authorizing the use of a special team was not
personal involvement that could form the basis for supervisory liability; (2) the director’s receipt of
periodic reports about the team’s progress was not direct participation that could give rise to
liability; (3) the director’s conduct did not constitute failure to supervise; and (4) the director was
not deliberately indifferent to the rights of inmates. The director had, at a warden’s request,
authorized a special team to conduct cell invasions to find a loaded gun. (Colorado Territorial
Corrections Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
PROTECTION

Smith v. Cummings, 445 F.3d 1254 (10th Cir. 2006). A prisoner brought civil rights claims and

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Smith v. Miller, 423 F.Supp.2d 859 (N.D.Ind. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
GANGS

Stewart v. Alameida, 418 F.Supp.2d 1154 (N.D.Cal. 2006). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983
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)

U.S. District Court
EVACUATION

Tate v. Gusman, 459 F.Supp.2d 519 (E.D.La. 2006). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action
against a sheriff, arising from conditions of confinement following a hurricane. The district court
held that the detainee failed to state a nonfrivolous claim upon which relief could be granted and
dismissed the action. The detainee alleged that the manner and timing of his evacuation from a
flooded prison system medical unit following a hurricane constituted cruel and unusual

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)

state law claims against a former prison officer and prison officials. The district court entered
judgment against the prison officer and summary judgment in favor of the other defendants. The
appeals court affirmed in part and remanded in part. The court held that prison officials did not
violate the Eighth Amendment by failing to clear an area through which segregated inmates
passed, of all inmates from the regular population, when escorting segregated inmates to and from
the protective housing unit, absent a showing of conditions posing a serious risk of harm or
evidence of deliberate indifference. The court noted that no segregated inmate was ever assaulted
on these occasions, other precautions were taken by the officials, and the officials acted promptly
in response to the inmate's particular safety concerns once alerted. (Lansing Correctional Facility,
Kansas)

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
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)

39.68
XX

punishment, but the court found that the detainee did not allege that the sheriff personally acted with deliberate
indifference to the detainee’s safety. The court noted that the detainee did not allege that he suffered any physical injury
as a result of any of the conditions or lack of medical attention. (Orleans Parish Prison, Louisiana)
U.S. Appeals Court
TELEPHONE CALLS

U.S. v. Morin, 437 F.3d 777 (8th Cir. 2006). A defendant was convicted in district court and he appealed. The appeals
court affirmed, finding that recordings of the defendant's jailhouse telephone calls were admissible for sentencing
purposes. The court found that the defendant impliedly consented to the warrantless tape-recording of his jailhouse
telephone calls, and thus, the recordings were admissible for sentencing purposes. The defendant had been given a
prisoners' handbook that informed him that his jailhouse calls would be monitored, and there were signs above the
phones in the prison informing him of that fact. (North Dakota)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
BOOKS
ITEMS PERMITTED

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 thirdparty 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. District Court
STAFFING
PROTECTION

Wilson v. Maricopa County, 484 F.Supp.2d 1015 (D.Ariz. 2006). Survivors of an inmate who had died after being
assaulted by other inmates while they were held in a jail known as “Tent City,” brought a § 1983 action against a
sheriff, alleging Eight Amendment violations. Following denial of the survivors' motion for summary judgment and
denial of the sheriff's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, and following appeal by the sheriff,
the sheriff moved to stay the litigation and the survivors moved to certify the appeal as frivolous. The district court
granted the survivors’ motion, finding that the sheriff’s appeal was frivolous. The court held that, for purposes of
qualified immunity, the law was clearly established in July 2003 that the sheriff's alleged conduct of housing inmates in
tents without adequate staffing, while being deliberately indifferent to the danger of inmate-on-inmate assaults, would
violate the Eighth Amendment. The survivors presented evidence that the sheriff had for many years been aware that
the conditions at Tent City were likely to create a substantial risk of serious harm to inmates. The conditions include a
lack of security inherent in the use of tents, inadequate staffing, officers abandoning their posts and making off-yard
shift changes, intentionally harsh inmate living conditions, and a lack of officer training. The survivors’ asserted that
these problems were known to the sheriff through a variety of sources, including consultant reports, concerns expressed
by a county risk manager, and a prior state court case in which the county and sheriff were held liable under § 1983 for
an inmate assault at Tent City. The state court case affirmed a jury verdict against the sheriff and held that the lack of
supervision and security measures at Tent City supported the jury's finding of deliberate indifference. (Maricopa
County jail known as “Tent City,” Arizona)
2007

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

XXI

Ambrose v. Young, 474 F.3d 1070 (8th Cir. 2007). The personal representative for the estate of a state prisoner who
was electrocuted while on a prison work detail brought a § 1983 action against state corrections officials. The district
court denied the officials’ motion for summary judgment and they appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and
reversed in part. The court held that: (1) the deliberate indifference standard applied; (2) the corrections officer in
charge of the prisoner’s work crew was deliberately indifferent to the serious risk of the prisoner’s electrocution; (3) the
corrections officer was not entitled to qualified immunity; (4) the supervisory official for the DOC was not deliberately
indifferent; and (5) the warden was not deliberately indifferent to the lack of training of the corrections officer in
charge of the work crew. The court noted that the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment applies to the
conditions of confinement, and that prison work assignments fall under the ambit of conditions of confinement.
According to the court, the Eighth Amendment forbids knowingly compelling an inmate to perform labor that is
beyond an inmate’s strength, dangerous to his or her life or health, or unduly painful, and requires supervisors to
supervise and train subordinates to prevent the deprivation of the inmate’s constitutional rights. The prisoner was on an
Emergency Response Team (ERT) when he was killed. ERTs are comprised of minimum-security inmates from South
Dakota’s four state penitentiaries. The ERTs are dispatched to natural disaster clean-up sites, where they assist in
removing downed trees and other debris. The inmates are required to comply with correctional officers’ orders and
conduct themselves appropriately. The only training the inmate received was watching a chainsaw safety training
video. The court held that qualified immunity will be defeated in a § 1983 claim if a government official knew or
reasonably should have known that the action he took within his sphere of official responsibility would violate the
constitutional rights of the plaintiff, or if he took the action with the malicious intention to cause a deprivation of
constitutional rights or other injury. It is enough that the official acted or failed to act despite his knowledge of a

39.69

substantial risk of serious harm. The court found that the corrections officer had the opportunity to deliberate and think
before the electrocution incident occurred. The prisoner was electrocuted by a downed power line and the officer knew
that the dangling, live power line created a substantial risk of harm, and despite the risk, the officer told the prisoner
and other inmates to stomp out a non-threatening fire within arms reach of the line. The court held that the corrections
officer was not entitled to qualified immunity for his deliberately indifferent conduct, in ordering the prisoner and other
inmates to stomp out a fire near a dangling live power line, where the law was clearly established at the time of the
electrocution incident that knowingly compelling a prisoner to perform labor that was dangerous to his life or health
violated the Eighth Amendment. Although a supervisory official knew about the downed power line, and allegedly
failed to call 911 emergency services and did not tell the prisoners to stay away from it, any failure to call 911 did not
contribute to the electrocution incident. Everyone present knew that the power line was dangerous, and the official was
not near the power line when another supervisory official ordered the prisoner and other inmates to stomp out a fire that
was near the line. According to the court, a state prison warden was not deliberately indifferent to an alleged lack of
training of the corrections officers because previous accidents involving the prison work crew resulted in only minor
injuries, it was not the prison’s policy to have prisoners go near live power lines, and there was no showing that the
corrections officer in charge would not have ordered prisoner and other inmates to put out the fire near the downed
power line if he had any additional training. (South Dakota Department of Corrections)
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 nonslip 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
GANGS
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
possessing the code of conduct. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY

Heredia v. Doe, 473 F.Supp.2d 462 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). An inmate filed a § 1983 action against county jail officials
alleging that he slipped and fell at a jail, and was denied proper medical treatment. The officials moved to dismiss the
complaint and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the inmate’s claim that he injured his back
when he slipped and fell at the county jail was nothing more than a claim for negligence, for which there was no cause
of action under § 1983. The inmate alleged he slipped and fell while walking to his cell and in the process injured his
back “to the point it swelled up and was in a lot of pain.” The court also found that officials were not deliberately
indifferent to the inmate’s medical needs, despite a one-day delay in providing treatment, where the jail medical
department took X-rays and provided pain medication. (Sullivan Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
PUBLICATIONS

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
CELL CAPACITY
CONTRABAND
GANGS
SEARCHES-CELL
STAFFING

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

XXI

39.70

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. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH

Longoria v. Dretke, 507 F.3d 898 (5th Cir. 2007). A prisoner brought a pro se action against prison officials, claiming
his right to exercise his religion was denied when they denied him permission to grow his hair. The district court
dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prison's grooming
policy did not violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and did not violate equal
protection. The court noted that even if the grooming policy created a substantial burden on the prisoner's religious
exercise, the policy served the prison's compelling interest in maintaining order and safety in the prison, since long hair
facilitated the transfer of contraband and weapons and long hair could allow escaped prisoners to more easily alter their
appearance. The court held that the policy was the least restrictive means to achieve that interest. According to the
court, although female prisoners were not subject to the same grooming policy, the policy applied to all prisoners
incarcerated in the male prison, and the application of different grooming regulations to male and female inmates did
not implicate equal protection concerns. (Robertson Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division)

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. District Court
CONTRACT
SERVICES
DELIBERATE
INDIFFERENCE
MALPRACTICE

Primus v. Lee, 517 F.Supp.2d 755 (D.S.C. 2007.) A prisoner brought a pro se medical malpractice action against a
prison surgeon, prison physician, and the director of the state Department of Corrections. The defendants moved to
dismiss, and the prisoner moved for leave to amend. The district court dismissed the action without prejudice and
granted the plaintiff’s motion to amend. The court held that the allegations did not state an Eighth Amendment claim
for deliberate indifference, and that the prisoner's proposed amendment would not be futile. According to the court, the
allegations that a prison surgeon negligently performed surgery, which resulted in the unwanted removal of the
prisoner's testicle, did not state a § 1983 claim for deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs under
the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner's proposed amendment, alleging that the surgeon contracted with the state
corrections department to provide surgical treatment, and that the surgeon unnecessarily and maliciously removed the
prisoner's testicle in retaliation for the prisoner's lack of cooperation, could state a § 1983 claim for deliberate
indifference under the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that when a physician cooperates with the state and
assumes the state's constitutional obligation to provide medical care to its prisoners, he or she acts “under color of state
law,” for purpose of a § 1983 action. (Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
PROTECTION
TRANSFER

Rodriguez v. Secretary for Dept. of Corrections, 508 F.3d 611 (11th Cir. 2007). A Florida prisoner brought a § 1983
suit against two prison officials, alleging that they violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment. The prisoner was assaulted by a fellow prisoner hours after his release from administrative
segregation and reentry into the general prison population. The prisoner had asked to be transferred to another
institution or to be placed in protective custody. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the chief of
prison security, and judgment as a matter of law in favor of an assistant warden, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals
court vacated and remanded. The court held summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact
existed as to whether the defendants had subjective knowledge that the prisoner faced a substantial risk of serious harm
from his former gang members. The court ruled that it was a jury question as to whether the prison security chief's
actions “caused” the Eighth Amendment violation. There was evidence that the prisoner told the security chief that he
was a former gang member who decided to renounce his membership, that gang members had threatened to kill him
when he returned to the compound in retaliation for his renunciation, and that the prison compound was heavily
populated with gang members. (Everglades Correctional Institution, Florida)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
RELIGIOUS
ARTICLES

Singh v. Goord, 520 F.Supp.2d 487 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). An inmate who professed a belief in the Sikh faith brought an
action against various officials of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) under the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the
New York State Constitution, and various other constitutional provisions. The DOCS moved for summary judgment.
The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate failed to exhaust

XXI

39.71

administrative remedies, as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), with respect to his free exercise
clause claim regarding his right to wear a Kacchera, which was a religious undergarment. The court found that
summary judgment for the defendants was precluded by an issue of fact as to whether the inmate received the decision
of the Superintendent, but failed to appeal it.
The court also found that the inmate sincerely believed that he was required to possess a second Kanga, which was a
Sikh religious comb, and therefore the prison's policy of limiting the inmate to a single Kanga placed a substantial
burden on his religious beliefs under RLUIPA. Summary judgment was denied because of fact issues regarding the
security risk posed by the Kara, which was a steel bracelet worn by Sikhs, and whether there was a compelling
governmental interest to allow the Sikh inmate to only wear the Kara for 30 minutes at a time during meals. The court
held that the inmate established a First Amendment free exercise claim with respect to his free exercise clause claim
regarding his right to use a reading lamp at night for prayer purposes. The court concluded that the DOCS speculation
that the beliefs of the inmate might not be sincere and could instead be “partly” motivated by his resistance to the
prison environment was insufficient to defeat the inmate's motion for summary judgment on his free exercise clause
claim. According to the court, given that the Sikh inmate would be unable to tie his turban in one of the traditional
ways, in a manner sufficient to cover his head using a cloth that was merely 30 inches by 36 inches, the inmate
established that the prison's policy regarding cloth length substantially burdened his religious beliefs. The court also
found that because the inmate was required to shower with his turban, and to wash his turban every day, the limitation
of two turbans was a substantial burden on the inmate's religious practice. The inmate also challenged several other
prison policies that involved his hair, separate storage of his religious materials, and other restrictions. (Fishkill
Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION

Smith v. Allen, 502 F.3d 1255 (11th Cir. 2007). An inmate brought a civil rights action against prison officials to
recover for alleged violation of his free exercise rights under the First Amendment and under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), based on prison officials' denial of requests for religious accommodations
allegedly associated with his practice of Odinism. The district court granted the officials' motion for summary
judgment, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the term “appropriate relief,” as
used in section of RLUIPA creating a private cause of action in favor of prison inmates whose free exercise rights are
violated, and further providing that, if the inmate successfully sues, then he/she may “obtain appropriate relief,” is
broad enough to include monetary damages, but the provision could not be construed as creating a private right of
action against individual prison officials in their personal capacity for award of monetary damages. The court found
that the inmate's practice of Odinism constituted a “religious exercise” for purposes of the RLUIPA, but decisions by
the prison officials did not substantially burden the inmate's free exercise rights. Prison officials provided the inmate
with a secure location in which to practice the rites of his religion and did not allow him to observe these rites in
general prison area. They denied his request for a small fire pit and instead provided only a candle to represent “pine
fire of purification.” (Religious Activities Review Committee of the Alabama Department of Corrections, Limestone
Correctional Facility, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
BOOKS
RELIGION

Wares v. Simmons, 524 F.Supp.2d 1313 (D.Kan. 2007). A prisoner brought suit pursuant to § 1983, claiming violations
of the Fifth Amendment and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, arising from the prison defendants'
prohibition on his possession of certain religious texts. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
The court held that the prisoner's exercise of his religion was not substantially burdened by prison regulations
preventing him from possessing a Psalm book (which he had in another form) and a book of teachings by a particular
rabbi, and therefore his rights under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment were not violated. According to
the court, by virtue of the other religious materials and items that the prisoner was permitted to possess and ceremonies
that he was permitted to engage in, his religious conduct or expression was not significantly inhibited or constrained, he
remained able to express adherence to his faith, and he had a reasonable opportunity to exercise his sincerely-held
religious beliefs. The court found that even if the prisoner's exercise of his religion was substantially burdened by the
prison regulations, prison administrators did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights since they identified
legitimate penological interests in security, safety, rehabilitation, and sound correctional management that justified the
impinging conduct, and alternative means of achieving the prisoner's right to freely exercise his religion were available.
(Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
RELIGION

Washington v. Klem, 497 F.3d 272 (3rd Cir. 2007). A prisoner filed a pro se action against a Department of Corrections
(DOC), pursuant to § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), alleging the
DOC's policy of only allowing ten books in a prisoner's cell violated his religious exercise. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the DOC and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The
court held that the policy “substantially burdened” the prisoner's religious exercise under RLUIPA, since the prisoner
could not practice his religion in the absence of reading 4 books per day about Africa and African people and then
proselytizing about what he had read. The court noted that the DOC allowed only one weekly visit to the prison library
which precluded the prisoner from reading 4 books daily, or 28 books per week, that the DOC provided no evidence
that the prisoner could freely trade books located inside the prison, and that the DOC forced the indigent prisoner to
have outsiders continuously mail books to him which severely inhibited his ability to read 4 new books daily. The court
found that the valid interests of the DOC in the safety and health of prisoners and DOC employees were not furthered
by the DOC's policy of limiting the prisoner to 10 books in his cell, as required to uphold the policy against the
prisoner's claim that the policy violated RLUIPA by substantially burdening his religious exercise. The court concluded
that the book limitation policy did not decrease the likelihood of fire or hiding places for contraband in a cell, given the
DOC's permission for the prisoner to have magazines and newspapers in addition to the 10 books. The court also held
that the policy was not the least restrictive means of achieving the DOC's valid interests in safety and health, as
required to uphold the policy against the prisoner's challenge, given the DOC's other policies allowing the prisoner to
have 4 storage boxes of personal property in his cell and permitting more than 10 books if approved for educational
purposes. According to the court, the least restrictive means would have been to allow the prisoner to choose what
property he could keep in his storage units, as long as the property did not violate a prison policy for an independently
legitimate reason. (State Correctional Institution-Retreat, Pennsylvania)

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2008
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
SAFETY
SEGREGATION

Basciano v. Lindsay, 530 F.Supp.2d 435 (E.D.N.Y. 2008). A pretrial detainee petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus
seeking an order lifting special administrative measures governing his confinement and releasing him from a special
housing unit back into the general prison population. The district court denied the petition. The court held that the
restrictive conditions of pretrial confinement which removed the detainee from the general prison population, did not
amount to punishment without due process. The court noted that there was substantial evidence of the detainee's
dangerousness, a rational connection between the conditions and a legitimate purpose of protecting potential victims,
and the existence of an alternative means for the detainee to exercise his right to communicate with others and with
counsel. (Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY
TRANSPORTATION

Brown v. Fortner, 518 F.3d 552 (8th Cir. 2008). A former inmate brought a § 1983 action against correction officers
alleging deliberate indifference by failing to provide safe transportation. The district court denied the officers' claims of
qualified immunity and denied their motions for summary judgment. The officers appealed. The appeals court affirmed
in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that evidence that a correction officer transporting inmates as
part of a convoy refused to fasten the inmate's seatbelt knowing that he could not do so himself because of his shackles,
and drove recklessly while ignoring requests to slow down, was sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude that the
officer manifested deliberate indifference for the inmate's safety in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court
found that another correction officer who was driving a vehicle as part of the convoy who drove too fast and followed
the lead vehicle too closely did not act with deliberate indifference for the safety of the inmate passenger in the lead
vehicle, even though the officer's driving proximately caused a multiple vehicle rear-end accident which resulted in the
inmate's injuries, absent evidence that the officer was asked to slow down and refused, or that the officer knew that the
inmate had been denied a seatbelt. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Bullock v. Sheahan, 568 F.Supp.2d 965 (N.D.Ill. 2008). Two county inmates who were ordered released after being
found not guilty of the charges against them brought an action individually and on behalf of a class against a county
sheriff and county, challenging the constitutionality of a policy under which male inmates, in the custody of the Cook
County Department of Corrections (CCDC), were subjected to strip searches upon returning to CCDC after being
ordered released. The district court held that male inmates in the custody of CCDC who were potentially discharged
were similarly situated to female potential discharges, as supported the male inmates' claim that the county's policy of
strip searching all male discharges and not all female discharges violated the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted
that the two groups of inmates were housed within the same facility, there were varying security classifications within
each group that corresponded to each other, statistics concerning inmate violence clearly indicated that it took place
among female as well as male inmates, and the county's primary justification for distinguishing between male and
female discharges, namely, its alleged inability to hold them in a receiving, classification, and diagnosis center (RCDC)
while their records were reviewed, was a logistical rather than a security concern. The court found that the county's
blanket strip search policy for male discharged inmates was not substantially related to the achievement of important
governmental objectives--jail safety and security--and thus the policy deprived male discharges of their constitutional
right to equal protection. The court noted that female discharges were just as capable of importing contraband into the
jail as their male counterparts. (Cook County Dept. of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
VISITS

Carter v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 579 F.Supp.2d 798 (W.D.Tex. 2008). A prison visitor filed an action against the
federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the United States Department of Justice under the Federal Tort Claims Act
(FTCA) claiming wrongful denial of inmate visitation. The district court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. The court held that the United States had to be named as a defendant in an action under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (FTCA) and that the plaintiff visitor had to provide grounds for relief under Texas law in order to recover.
The plaintiff had traveled from Illinois to the Greater El Paso area “for the purpose of visiting her husband,” who at the
time was a prisoner at the BOP’s Federal Satellite Low La Tuna facility. She alleged that upon arriving at La Tuna, a
BOP agent selected her for contraband testing pursuant to a mandate from the Director and testing was accomplished
using a device called the Ion Spectrometer. The test was positive and the plaintiff was denied visitation with her
husband. (Low La Tuna Facility, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Texas)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
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 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 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
LOCK DOWN
SEARCHES
TRANSPORTATION
VISITS

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: (1)
the practice of searching the detainee prior to his visits with guests and attorneys violated his substantive due process
rights; (2) the practice of using a “black-box” restraint system on all of the detainee's trips to and from court over a 15-

XXI

39.73

month period violated his substantive due process rights; and (3) the detainee would be awarded compensatory
damages in the amount of $30 for each hour he wore the black box in violation of his rights. The court found that a 21day lockdown following an attempt at organized resistance by a large number of detainees at the facility, shortly after
the breakout of several incidents of violence, was not outside the bounds of professional judgment for the purposes of a
substantive due process claim asserted by the detainee. The court noted that strip searches of a detainee prior to his
court appearances and upon his return to the institution did not violate substantive due process, where detainees were
far more likely to engage in successful escapes if they could carry concealed items during their travel to court, and
searches upon their return were closely connected with the goal of keeping contraband out of the facility. The court
held that the practice of conducting strip searches of the detainee prior to his visits with guests and attorneys was not
within the bounds of professional judgment, and thus, violated the detainee's substantive due process rights, where the
only motivation for such searches appeared to be a concern that a detainee would bring a weapon into the meeting, and
most weapons should have been detectable through a pat-down search. (Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois)
U.S. Appeals Court
FACIAL HAIR
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGION

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 court held that the prison policy prohibiting male inmates
from wearing hair below their collar, which prevented the inmate, who followed the Assemblies of Yahweh, from
leaving his hair untrimmed, did not violate RLUIPA. Prison officials gave examples of inmates using hair to conceal
contraband and to change their appearance after escaping, and, although the officials allowed shoulder-length hair in
the women's barracks, the women were housed in a single unit and thus had less opportunity to obtain and transport
contraband. The court also found that the policy did not violate the inmate’s free exercise rights. According to the
court, the policy did not violate the inmate's equal protection rights, inasmuch as differences in security risks between
male and female inmates was a valid reason for differing hair-length rules for men and women, and the policy was
reasonably related to the state's legitimate, penological interests of safety and security.
The court noted that the district court's finding that the corrections department director's expert testimony that male
inmates presented greater security risks than female inmates was credible, and was not clearly erroneous. The court
found that a policy that generally prohibits inmates from wearing beards, which prevented the inmate from refraining
from “rounding the corners” of his beard, did not violate RLUIPA, even though inmates with medical conditions were
allowed to have a quarter-inch beard. The court ruled that safety and security concerns constituted a compelling penological interest, and the prohibition was the least restrictive means available to further that interest. The court found
that the beard policy did not violate the inmate’s free exercise or equal protection rights. 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. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES
SAFETY
STAFFING

Fowler v. Crawford, 534 F.3d 931 (8th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought an action against prison officials, alleging
that the officials' refusal to grant him access to a sweat lodge in which to practice his Native American faith violated
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment to
the prison officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prohibition on the sweat
lodge on the grounds of a maximum-security prison was in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest, and that
the ban was the least restrictive means by which to further that compelling interest. The court noted that serious safety
and security concerns arose due to the burning of embers and hot coals, blunt instruments such as split wood and large
scalding rocks, sharper objects such as shovels and deer antlers, and an enclosed area inaccessible to outside view, and
the sweat lodge would have drained prison security's manpower over the 6 to 7 hour duration of the ceremony. The
court noted that even though another prison within the state had previously operated a sweat lodge, ordering every
prison to do so would result in a requirement that every institution within the jurisdiction accommodate inmates of the
Native American faith, which would discourage officials from accommodating other religious practices, knowing that
all institutions would likely have to accommodate the same practices. Prison officials had suggested alternatives to, and
sought a compromise with, the prisoner to no avail, offering him an outdoor area where he could smoke a ceremonial
pipe and practice other aspects of his faith in open view. The prisoner rejected anything short of a sweat lodge with a
minimum of 17 times per year. (Jefferson City Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS
SERVICES

Greene v. Solano County Jail, 513 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2008). A former prisoner sued a county jail official asserting
statutory and constitutional challenges to the county jail's policy of prohibiting maximum security prisoners from
participating in group worship. The district court entered summary judgment for the official and the prisoner appealed.
The appeals court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that the religious exercise at issue in
the prisoner's suit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was engaging in group
worship, not practicing his religion as a whole. Therefore, even if the ban on group worship did not place a substantial
burden on the prisoner's practice of Christianity, such fact would not ensure that ban was in compliance with RLUIPA.
According to the court, the jail's policy of prohibiting the maximum security prisoner from attending group religious
worship services substantially burdened the prisoner’s ability to exercise his religion as required for the ban to violate
RLUIPA. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the
jail's policy was the least restrictive means of maintaining security. (Solano County Jail, Claybank Facility, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
GANGS

Howard v. Waide, 534 F.3d 1227 (10th Cir. 2008). An inmate brought claims against several Colorado Department of
Corrections (CDOC) employees and a grievance officer pursuant to § 1983, alleging deliberate indifference in violation
of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted the grievance officer's motion to dismiss and granted the other
defendants' motions for summary judgment, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in

XXI

39.74

part, and remanded. The court held that the inmate established an objective substantial risk of serious harm, as
required for his Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim, by alleging that he had previously been targeted
by a notorious prison gang because of his build and sexual orientation, that he was threatened, sexually assaulted,
and prostituted against his will by members of this gang, and was later transferred to a different facility for his own
safety, and, that after arriving at the new facility, he was identified by a member of the same prison gang who had
assaulted him in the past and was housed in a less-restrictive area of the prison where it was easier for gang members
to assault him. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to
whether the corrections' employees had subjective knowledge of a significant risk of substantial harm to the inmate.
The court also found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the
employees responded to the known risk to the inmate by a prison gang in a reasonable manner. (Sterling
Correctional Facility, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGION

Johnson v. Collins, 564 F.Supp.2d 759 (N.D.Ohio 2008). A state prisoner brought a civil rights suit against a prison
warden and others, seeking injunctive relief against the enforcement of a prison policy that banned the wearing of
shoulder-length dreadlocks. The district court denied the warden’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court
held that the possibility that the prisoner could show that the warden, by adhering to a prison policy that prohibited
the wearing of shoulder-length dreadlocks for security reasons, was continuing to violate the prisoner’s federal rights
under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by substantially burdening the exercise of
his Rastafarian religion, precluding the Eleventh Amendment from barring the suit seeking injunctive relief against
the warden in his official capacity. The court found that the warden was not entitled to qualified immunity as a
government official performing discretionary functions on the claim that he substantially burdened the prisoner's
rights under RLUIPA to practice his Rastafarian religion. The court held that the prisoner's suit for injunctive relief
against ongoing enforcement of the prison policy banning the wearing of shoulder-length dreadlocks was not mooted
by his transfer to another prison within the same state system, nor did a change in the prison grooming code to allow
for religious-based exemptions. (Madison Correctional Institution, Toledo Correctional Institution, Mansfield
Correctional Institution, Lebanon Correctional Institution, Ohio)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Johnson v. Raemisch, 557 F.Supp.2d 964 (W.D.Wis. 2008). An inmate sued prison officials under § 1983,
contending that their censorship of a newsletter violated his First Amendment right to free speech. The district court
held that the challenged censorship was not logically connected to a legitimate penological interest and therefore
violated the inmate's First Amendment rights. The court found that many of the proffered reasons for the censorship
suggested that it was the critical nature of the newsletter that prompted the decision, rather than any true interest in
security or rehabilitation. According to the court, to the extent that there was a true concern for security or
rehabilitation, censorship of the newsletter, which did not advocate violence or any other unlawful activity, was an
exaggerated response to those concerns. The court held that the appropriate injunctive relief for a violation of the
inmate's First Amendment rights in the officials' blocking the inmate's subscription to a newsletter addressing
prisoner rights issues was to provide the inmate with a copy of the newsletter. (Waupun Correctional Institution,
Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
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
CONTRABAND
VISITS

King v. Caruso, 542 F.Supp.2d 703 (E.D. Mich. 2008). The wife of a state prison inmate brought suit against prison
officials alleging violation of her First Amendment rights, her Equal Protection rights, and her Fourteenth
Amendment due process rights when her visitation rights were withdrawn for attempting to smuggle a cell phone
into an institution. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that termination
of the spouse's visitation rights did not violate her First Amendment right to freedom of association nor did it
infringe upon any liberty interest for purposes of procedural or substantive due process. The court noted that a
hearing on the cutoff of visitor's rights could be conducted by a division of the Department of Corrections and that
hearing procedures did not deny the spouse procedural due process with respect to any liberty interest she might
possess. The court found that the termination was reasonably related to penological interests and did not violate
equal protection. (Chippewa Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
PROTECTION
SEPARATION

Klebanowski v. Sheahan, 540 F.3d 633 (7th Cir. 2008). A detainee who was being held for trial brought a § 1983
action against a sheriff, a jail and its officers, alleging deliberate indifference to risks of housing gang members with
non-gang members, which caused attacks on the detainee by gang members. The detainee had suffered two attacks at
the hands of his fellow prisoners. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motion and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the allegation by the detainee that
his attack by gang members was brought on by the jail's policy of housing gang members with non-gang members,
allowing them weapons, and periodically leaving them unattended, did not sufficiently establish an unconstitutional
policy, for purposes of establishing deliberate indifference in violation of due process in his § 1983 action.
According to the court, the detainee submitted no evidence showing an express endorsement of the claimed policies,
that any policymaker caused the circumstances of which he complained, or any evidence to establish the existence of
a widespread practice by the jail. The court found that jail officers were not deliberately indifferent to the detainee in
violation of due process by not taking steps to protect the detainee from attack by gang members. The court held that
the detainee's statements to officers prior to the attack, that he was afraid for his life, were not sufficient to alert the

39.75
XXII

officers to a specific threat as he did not provide specific identities of those who had threatened him, did not tell
officers he had actually been threatened with future violence, nor that the attack had been inflicted due to his nongang status. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Lewis v. Ollison, 571 F.Supp.2d 1162 (C.D.Cal. 2008). A state prisoner filed a § 1983 action against prison officials,
alleging violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
The court held that a temporary shower policy of escorting prisoners from their cells to the shower room and back
wearing only boxer shorts and shower shoes, which was adopted by the prison due to security concerns, created at
most an inconvenience, but not a significant interference with the Islamic religious clothing requirement. The
clothing requirement directs Muslim men to exercise modesty by covering their “awrah,” which is a portion of the
body from the navel to the knee, from others' gaze. The court found that the policy did not violate RLUIPA, since
Muslims did not have to shower every day to practice their religion and the prisoner could have cleansed himself in
his cell sink. The court also found that the policy was reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest in
maintaining prison safety and security. The court held that the rights of the Muslim prisoner under RLUIPA to
practice his religion of Islam had not been subjected to a substantial burden by the policy that limited the prisoner to
the possession of no more than 12 ounces of scented oil in his cell, and limited him to buying no more than 8 ounces
of scented oil per purchase order. According to the court, the rule had been drafted after consultation with a Muslim
imam and permitted prisoners to be in the possession of religious prayer oil that served their religious purposes for
many weeks, if not many months. (Ironwood State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
STAFFING

Mayfield v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, 529 F.3d 599 (5th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner, who practiced the
Odinist/Asatru faith, brought claims pursuant to § 1983 against a state criminal justice department and prison
officials, alleging First Amendment violations, as well as violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and appeal was
taken. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the
claims brought by the prisoner pursuant to the § 1983 action alleging First Amendment violations and pursuant to
RLUIPA seeking declaratory relief as well as a permanent injunction against prison officials in their official capacity
were not barred by sovereign immunity. The court found that the prisoner's claims for compensatory damages
against prison officials in their official capacity on claims brought pursuant to § 1983 alleging First Amendment
violations and RLUIPA violations were barred by the provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)
prohibiting actions for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical
injury. According to the court, a state criminal justice department's regulation of not allowing an Odinist group to
assemble for religious services in the absence of an outside volunteer was reasonably related to a legitimate
penological interest, for the purposes of determining whether the regulation encroached on the prisoner's First
Amendment right to free exercise. The court noted that officials asserted justifications for the volunteer requirement
that involved prison security concerns, as well as staff and space limitations. The court held that summary judgment
for the state was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to the neutrality of the prison's enforcement of the
policy of not allowing religious groups to assemble for religious services in the absence of an outside volunteer. The
court also found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether rune
literature was banned from the prison library, as to whether the prison's policy of not allowing the Odinist group to
assemble for religious services in the absence of an outside volunteer imposed a substantial burden on the prisoner's
religious exercise, and as to whether the prison's policy of preventing the possession of runestones substantially
burdened the prisoner's religious exercise. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Hughes Unit)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE

Norwood v. Woodford, 583 F.Supp.2d 1200 (S.D.Cal. 2008). A state inmate filed an action alleging that prison
officials deprived him of outdoor exercise, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and retaliated against him for
asserting his right to be free from harm, in violation of the First Amendment. The officials moved to dismiss the
complaint. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the allegation that the
inmate was deprived of outdoor exercise for 39 days was sufficient to satisfy the objective component of his Eighth
Amendment claim. According to the court, the issue of whether state prison officials acted with deliberate
indifference when they denied the inmate any outdoor exercise for a 39-day period during an alleged emergency
lockdown situation involved fact questions that could not be resolved on a motion to dismiss. The court noted that it
was clearly established at the time of the deprivation that state prison officials' denial of outdoor exercise for inmates
for an extended period of time could constitute an Eighth Amendment violation, and thus the officials were not
entitled to qualified immunity from liability. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Pugh v. Goord, 571 F.Supp.2d 477 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). State prisoners sued prison officials, alleging violations of their
constitutional and statutory rights to free exercise of Shi'a Islam and to be free from the establishment of Sunni
Islam. Following remand from the appeals court, the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that one prisoner's claim for injunctive relief qualified
for a “capable of repetition, yet evading review” exception, and therefore was not rendered moot by his transfer to
another facility. The court noted that the corrections department had the ability to freely transfer the prisoner
between facilities prior to the full litigation of his claims, and there was a reasonable expectation that the prisoner
would be subject to the same action again, given that the department's policies were applicable to all of its prison
facilities. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the
corrections department's regulations relating to Shi'ite prisoners, which failed to provide for Friday prayer services
independent of Sunni participation, were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. The court also held
that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the corrections department was able to accommodate Shi'ite
prisoners so as not to violate their rights under the Establishment Clause at de minimis cost. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the Shi'ite prisoners' religious
beliefs were substantially burdened by attendance at a Sunni-led, Sunni-dominated Friday Jumah service, and/or use
of a Zohr prayer as a substitute for attending Jumah services. According to the court, summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether a prison policy denying Shi'ite prisoners Friday prayer

39.76
XXII

services independent of Sunni participation was the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government
interest, precluding summary judgment in the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The
court held that the state did not waive immunity under the Eleventh Amendment as to money damages by accepting
federal funds pursuant RLUIPA. The court found that Shi'ite prisoners' right to a reasonable opportunity to worship
by way of separate Jumah services for Shi'ites and Sunnis was clearly established, for the purposes of determining
whether prison officials were qualifiedly immune from the prisoners' free exercise claim. (New York State
Department of Correctional Services, Mid-Orange Correctional Facility and Fishkill Correctional Facility)
U.S. District Court
EXERCISE
SEARCHES

Sanchez Rodriguez v. Departamento de Correccion y Rehabilitacion, 537 F.Supp.2d 295 (D.Puerto Rico 2008). An
inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that Puerto Rico prison officials denied him his constitutional right to enjoy
daily recreational time outside of his cell because he refused to submit to visual body cavity searches. After
dismissal of his complaint, the inmate filed a motion for reconsideration. The district court denied the motion. The
court held that the searches did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. According to the court, the requirement
that inmates submit to visual body cavity searches in order to leave their cells for recreation was needed to preserve
internal order and institutional security, and thus did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. (Maximum Security Prison, Ponce, Puerto Rico)

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
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Sisney v. Reisch, 533 F.Supp.2d 952 (D.S.D. 2008). A state inmate brought an action under § 1983 and the Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), alleging corrections officials refused to make various
accommodations for his practice of the Jewish religion. The district court held that the State of South Dakota, by
accepting Federal prison funding, waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity in claims for monetary damages under
RLUIPA. The court found that the officials' denial of the inmate's request for a permanent space for Jewish inmates'
religious services did not impose a substantial burden on his exercise of the inmate’s religion. The court noted that
the inmate admitted that Jewish inmates had sufficient space for their services and that lack of a permanently
designated room for their services did not prevent him from practicing his religion.
The court also found that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether officials' denial of the
inmate's request, that Jewish inmates be given additional time to conduct group Torah, Kabalistic and language
studies, was the least restrictive means of furthering any legitimate penological interest. The court found that
officials' denial of the inmate's request to possess and use a lightbulb diffuser and to use oils and burn herbs in his
cell appeared to be the least restrictive means for furthering a compelling governmental interest, where diffusers
posed a serious fire hazard, other inmates and staff might be allergic to the fumes or find the aroma offensive, and
they could be used to conceal prohibited activities such as smoking. (South Dakota State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

Streeter v. Sheriff of Cook County, 576 F.Supp.2d 913 (N.D.Ill. 2008). Current or former pretrial detainees filed a
class action under § 1983 against a county sheriff and the county, challenging a strip search policy at the county jail,
alleging it violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court denied summary judgment for
the defendants. The court held that the detainees stated a claim for violation of their Fourth Amendment rights in
connection with group strip searches that were allegedly conducted in an unreasonably intrusive manner and went on
longer than penologically necessary. The court also found that the detainees stated a claim for violation of their
rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in connection with group strip searches that were
allegedly conducted in a manner intended to humiliate and embarrass the detainees, and that went on longer than
necessary. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CONFIDENTIAL
INFORMATION
SEX OFFENDER

Swift v. Tweddell, 582 F.Supp.2d 437 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). An inmate brought a pro se § 1983 action against a sheriff,
deputies, and jail employees. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court
found that the jail employees were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious medical needs, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment, in connection with a delay in prescribing the inmate's “mental health” medications. The
court noted that on the day that the inmate submitted a request for mental health clinic services, the jail nurse
referred the request to the county Mental Health Department (MHD) pursuant to standard practice at the jail, but
because the inmate did not appear to be an emergency case and because he made no further requests for mental
health services, he was not seen by a psychiatrist from MHD for more than two months. He was prescribed Prozac
but did not, according to the court, suffer serious adverse effects as a result of the temporary gap between his request
for mental health care and his psychiatric examination. The court found that jail officials did not act with deliberate
indifference to the inmate's safety, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, in connection with a corrections officer's
alleged disclosure to other inmates that the inmate had been charged with rape. The court noted that following the
disclosure, the inmate spoke with a captain who agreed to, and did remove another inmate who had allegedly taunted
him about the rape charge from the inmate's housing unit. The inmate was not harmed, or placed in imminent
danger, as a result of the disclosure. According to the court, disclosure to other inmates that the inmate had been
charged with rape did not violate any of the inmate's privacy rights, since the information was not privileged or
otherwise protected, and the inmate was also a sentenced offender under the authority of the New York State
Department of Correctional Services. (Steuben County Jail, New York)

39.77
XXII

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING

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 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
CONTRABAND
SAFETY

Warren v. Goord, 579 F.Supp.2d 488 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). An inmate brought a § 1983 suit against corrections officials
for failure to protect him from harm from other prisoners, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The district
court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the officials' failure to install metal
detectors at the entrance to a recreation yard where an inmate was assaulted by other prisoners would not support the
imposition of § 1983 liability on the inmate's Eighth Amendment claim, absent evidence that the officials did not
take reasonable measures to address the risk that prisoners would carry weapons into the yard or that the presence of
metal detectors would have significantly alleviated the risk. The court noted that other security measures were in
place to address the dangers of attacks in the yards, including random frisks and metal detector screenings, more
extensive screenings when alerted to specific dangers, and placement of prison officers in the yard during exercise
periods. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
SECURITY PRACTICES

Washpon v. Parr, 561 F.Supp.2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). An arrestee brought an action under § 1983 against court
officers alleging false arrest, illegal search, malicious prosecution, denial of equal protection, excessive force, and
violation of free speech. The district court granted summary judgment for the officers in part and denied in part. The
court held that any restrictions on the arrestee's speech inside the courthouse were reasonable under the First
Amendment in light of her admitted failure to pass through security or to comply with officers' orders to leave the
building, absent evidence that government regulation of speech inside the courthouse amounted to viewpoint
discrimination. At one point during the incident the arrestee allegedly “proceeded to speak in a loud manner, using
profanity.” (Bronx County Criminal Court, New York)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Williams v. Fitch, 550 F.Supp.2d 413 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that
corrections officers sexually abused him. The district court dismissed the case. The court held that the officers did
not violate the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights by searching and handling his penis on three occasions while
searching for contraband. The court noted that X-rays showed the presence of a metal object in the foreskin of the
inmate's penis, and the searches were undertaken in a private location, without undue physical intrusion, humiliation,
or physical injury. (Attica Correctional Facility, New York)
2009

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY PRACTICES
SEGREGATION

Bowers v. Pollard, 602 F.Supp.2d 977 (E.D.Wis. 2009). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against correctional
facility officials, challenging the conditions of his confinement. The court held that the correctional facility's
enforcement of a behavior action plan that regularly denied the inmate a sleeping mattress, occasionally required him
to wear only a segregation smock or paper gown, and subjected him to frequent restraint did not deny the inmate the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and was targeted at his misconduct, and thus the plan did not violate
the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights. The court noted that the inmate's cell was heated to 73 degrees, he was
generally provided some form of dress, he was granted access to hygiene items, and he was only denied a mattress
and other possessions after he used them to perpetrate self-abusive behavior, covered his cell with excrement and
blood, and injured facility staff. The court held that the state Department of Corrections' regulations governing
procedures for placing an inmate on observational status to ensure his safety and the safety of others, and the
procedures for utilizing restraints for inmate safety were sufficient to protect the inmate's liberty interest in avoiding
an erroneous determination that his behavior required such measures. The procedures governing observational status
required the inmate to be orally informed of the reasons for placement on the status and prohibited placement for
more than 15 days without an evidentiary hearing. The procedures governing restraints prohibited restraining an
inmate for more than a 12-hour period. (Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
SECURITY PRACTICES

Bullock v. Dart, 599 F.Supp.2d 947 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Inmates filed a § 1983 action challenging the constitutionality a
county's policies of performing blanket strip searches on male, but not female, inmates returning to county jail from
court hearings at which charges against them were dismissed, and of providing privacy screens for female discharges
but not male discharges. After entry of summary judgment in the inmates' favor, the defendants moved for
reconsideration. The district court granted the motion in part. The court held that male inmates were similarly
situated to female potential discharges. The court found that fact issues remained as to whether the county's policies
were justified, and whether security considerations prevented the county from segregating inmates against whom
charges had been dismissed before they returned to their divisions. The defendants asserted that the much greater
number of male inmates in county custody and the differences in the nature and frequency of dangerous incidents in
each population justified the policy. The court held that the county's policy and practice of segregating female
possible discharges from the remainder of female court returns, such that female actual returns could elect to avoid
strip searches, but not segregating male possible discharges in a similar manner, was not gender-neutral on its face,
for the purposes of the Equal Protection Clause. (Cook County Department of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
ITEMS PERMITTED
SEARCHES-CELL
TELEPHONE

Cox v. Ashcroft, 603 F.Supp.2d 1261 (E.D.Cal. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against the United States
Attorney General, several federal prosecutors, and the owner and employees of a privately-owned federal facility in
which the prisoner was incarcerated, alleging constitutional violations arising from his arrest, prosecution, and
incarceration. The district court dismissed the action. The court held that the prisoner did not have any Fourth
Amendment rights to privacy in his cell, and thus did not suffer any constitutional injury as a result of the search of

39.78
XXII

his cell and the confiscation of another inmate's legal materials. The court found that the prisoner lacked standing to
bring a claim against the warden of a privately-owned federal prison facility, alleging that paying the prisoner at a
rate below minimum wage violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court noted that prisoners were not
“employees” within the meaning of FLSA. (Taft Corr. Institution, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, California)
U.S. District Court
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES
STAFFING

Estate of Gaither ex rel. Gaither v. District of Columbia, 655 F.Supp.2d 69 (D.D.C. 2009). The personal
representative of the estate of a prisoner, who was killed while incarcerated, brought a § 1983 action against the
District of Columbia and several individual officials and jail employees, alleging negligence, deliberate and reckless
indifference to allegedly dangerous conditions at a jail, and wrongful death. The district court granted summary
judgment in part and denied in part. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to: (1) whether the District of Columbia's inmate and detainee classification policies, procedures, and
practices were inadequate; (2) whether the District of Columbia's jail staffing policies, procedures, and practices
were inadequate; (3) whether the security policies, procedures, and practices were inadequate; (4) whether the
District of Columbia adequately trained Department of Corrections officials; and (5) whether officials provided
adequate supervision of inmates. (District of Columbia Central Detention Facility)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
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
MEDIA ACCESS

Hammer v. Ashcroft, 570 F.3d 798 (7th Cir. 2009). A federal prisoner who was formerly on death row and was
housed in a special confinement unit, filed a pro se lawsuit against various officials of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP),
alleging that they violated his First Amendment and equal protection rights by enforcing a policy that prevented
prisoners in a special confinement unit from giving face-to-face interviews with the media. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held
that the BOP policy that prevented prisoners in special confinement units at maximum security prisons from giving
face-to-face or video interviews with the media did not violate the equal protection clause. According to the court,
although the BOP did not prevent such media interviews with other prisoners in a less secure confinement, the policy
was rationally related to the BOP's need for greater security in situations involving prisoners in special confinement
units in maximum security prisons, since media attention could increase tensions among prisoners, leading to an
increased risk of violence among the more violent prisoners. The court found that the BOP did not violate the
prisoner’s free speech rights where the policy was rationally related to the prison's need for greater security in
situations involving prisoners in special confinement units in maximum security prisons, since media attention could
increase tensions among prisoners, glamorize violence, and promote celebrity, leading to an increased risk of
violence. The court noted that the BOP did allow correspondence from prisoners in special confinement units to
media representatives, prisoners were free to file lawsuits, and correspondence sent to courts and attorneys by
prisoners could not be censored. (“Special Confinement Unit,” U.S. Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY PRACTICES

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 held that prison officials' restrictions which allowed a prisoner to serve as a facilitator of meetings only if
the religion was known outside of the prison and prohibited the prisoners' demand to spar and receive professional
martial arts training, was the least restrictive means of furthering their compelling interests of safety and institutional
security, for the purposes of prisoners' action alleging violation of their rights under RLUIPA. According to the
court, the restriction struck a delicate balance between allowing prisoners to participate in congregational activities
while ensuring the meetings did not serve as proxies for gang recruitment and organization, while furthering the
officials' compelling interests in safety and institutional security. (Shawangunk Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
MAIL
TELEPHONE CALLS

Loret v. Selsky, 595 F.Supp.2d 231 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against state correctional
officials and employees, alleging procedural due process violations in connection with a prison disciplinary action.
The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants 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 legitimate security
reasons for the correctional facility officials' denial of the inmate's request for a recording or transcript of the
telephone conversation between him and his son. The conversation formed part of the basis for disciplinary charges
against the inmate for conspiracy to smuggle contraband into the facility and for telephone abuse. A package
addressed to the inmate had been opened by corrections employees, and was found to contain a quantity of
marijuana and some small bottles of liquor. The package was later identified as having been sent to the plaintiff by

39.79
XXII

his adult son. The court held that the superintendent of the correctional facility was not liable in his individual
capacity to the inmate under § 1983 for any due process violations in connection with disciplinary proceedings
against the inmate, absent a showing that the superintendent was personally involved in the alleged constitutional
deprivation. (Wyoming Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
TRANSFER

Miller v. Washington County, 650 F.Supp.2d 1113 (D.Or. 2009). Inmates brought a class action against county and
sheriff, alleging that the county's policy of strip searching inmates was unconstitutional. The parties cross-moved for
summary judgment, and the inmates additionally moved for class certification. The district court held that summary
judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the county's blanket policy of strip
searching all individuals transported from another correctional or detention facility was justified by the need for
institutional security. The court denied class certification, finding that the county's strip search policy regarding
arrestees did not present common questions of law or fact. The court stayed the action, noting that the appellate court
was reviewing a city’s strip search policy at the time. (Washington County Jail, Oregon)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE
LOCK DOWN
RIOT

Norwood v. Woodford, 661 F.Supp.2d 1148 (S.D.Cal. 2009). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights when he was denied outdoor exercise for five weeks.
The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the inmate's denial of outdoor
exercise for a period of five consecutive weeks during a lockdown at the prison supported the objective component
of an Eighth Amendment claim for cruel and unusual punishment, but failed to meet the subjective component since
the officials did not act with deliberate indifference to his needs. The court noted that the lockdown was instituted
after an inmate's death in a prison riot involving the attempted murder of prison staff. According to the court, even
though the inmate was transferred to the facility after the riot and was not a participant, the lockdown of all prisoners
was necessary to ensure immediate and long-lasting safety to inmates and staff. (California State Prison, Corcoran)

U.S. District Court
LOCKS

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. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Sanchez v. Pereira-Castillo, 590 F.3d 31 (1st Cir. 2009). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 claims against
correctional officials, a prison warden, a prison's correctional officer, and a physician, and medical battery and
medical malpractice claims against the physician, relating to strip searches, x-rays, rectal examinations, and
exploratory surgery to detect and recover suspected contraband. The district court dismissed the suit and the prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded. The appeals court held that the digital
rectal examinations were not unreasonable where the procedures were the direct culmination of a series of searches
that began when a metal detector used to scan the prisoner's person gave a positive reading, the prisoner had two
normal bowel movements before the searches were conducted, a physician examined him upon arrival at the hospital
and found him to be asymptomatic, and several lab tests were found to be “within normal limits.” The court noted
that the searches were carried out by medical professionals in the relatively private, sanitary environment of a
hospital, upon suspicion that the prisoner had contraband, namely a cell phone, in his rectum, and with no abusive or
humiliating conduct on the part of the law enforcement officers or the doctors.
But the court found that the exploratory surgery of the abdomen of the prisoner was unreasonable where the
surgery required total anesthesia, surgical invasion of the abdominal cavity, and two days of recovery in the hospital.
The court noted that the surgery was conducted despite several indications of the absence of contraband, including
the results of two monitored bowel movements and two rectal examinations. According to the court, an x-ray, as a
much less invasive procedure, could have confirmed the results.
The court held that the prisoner's signed consent form for the exploratory surgery of his abdomen did not preclude
the prisoner's claim that he was deprived of his Fourth Amendment rights, where the prisoner was pressured and
intimidated into signing the consent, had been under constant surveillance for more than a day prior to the surgery,
had been forced to submit to searches, x-rays, and invasive rectal examinations prior to his signing the consent form,
and had twice been forced to excrete on a floor in the presence of prison personnel.
The court held that the prisoner's allegations against correctional officers were sufficient to allege that the officers
caused the hospital's forced exploratory surgery on the prisoner, as required to state a § 1983 claim against the
officers. The prisoner alleged that the officers were directly involved in all phases of the search for contraband and in
the ultimate decision to transport the prisoner to the hospital for a rectal examination or a medical procedure to
remove the foreign object purportedly lodged in the prisoner's rectum.
According to the court, the prisoner's allegation that correctional officers exerted pressure on hospital physicians
that examined the prisoner was sufficient to allege the state compulsion necessary to state a claim of § 1983 liability
against a surgeon. The court found that correctional officers' conduct, in forcing the prisoner to undergo an invasive
abdominal surgery, was a violation of a clearly established constitutional right, such that the officers were not
entitled to qualified immunity from § 1983 liability. (Bayamón 501 Unit of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Administration of Corrections, and Río Piedras Medical Center)

39.80
XXII

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
TRANSFER

Savage v. Judge, 644 F.Supp.2d 550 (E.D.Pa. 2009). Prison inmates brought a civil rights action against prison officials for allegedly violating their civil rights in connection with reassignment of the inmates to different cells and
assaults allegedly committed upon them. Inmates not only asserted unlawful retaliation claims, but claimed that
officials exercised excessive force in violation of their Eighth Amendment rights and unlawfully conspired to violate
their rights. The officials 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 prison
officials, in separating the cellmates from each other and in transferring one to another facility, were retaliating
against the cellmates for their pursuit of grievances, or were taking necessary action to prevent the cellmates from
engaging in homosexual activity in a cell. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to how an inmate
sustained an injury to his face while he was being transferred to another cell. (Graterford L-Unit- RHU, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Serna v. Goodno, 567 F.3d 944 (8th Cir. 2009). A patient of a state mental hospital, involuntarily civilly committed
as a sexually dangerous person pursuant to a Minnesota sex offender program, brought a § 1983 action against a
program official and against the head of the state's Department of Human Services. The patient alleged that visual
body-cavity searches performed on all patients as part of a contraband investigation violated his Fourth Amendment
rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, and the patient appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that visual body-cavity searches performed on all patients of a state mental hospital, as part
of a contraband investigation following the discovery of a cell-phone case in a common area, did not infringe upon
the Fourth Amendment rights of the patient involuntarily civilly committed to the facility as a sexually dangerous
person. According to the court, even though facility-wide searches may have constituted a disproportionate reaction,
cell phones presented a security threat in the context of sexually violent persons, there was a history of patients' use
of phones to commit crimes, and the searches were conducted in a private bathroom with no extraneous personnel
present and in a professional manner with same-sex teams of two. (Minnesota Sex Offender Program, Moose Lake,)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Singson v. Norris, 553 F.3d 660 (8th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought an action against a state department of corrections, alleging its policy prohibiting in-cell use of tarot cards violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The prisoner was a follower of Wiccan and asserted that tarot cards were part of his religious practices. Following a trial, the district court ruled in favor of the department of corrections. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the policy did not violate RLUIPA, where the potential effect
of in-cell use of tarot cards on the guards and allocation of prison resources outweighed the restrictions felt by any
interested inmate-users. (Arkansas Department of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY PRACTICES

Sossamon v. Lone Star State of Texas, 560 F.3d 316 (5th Cir. 2009). A prison inmate brought a civil rights action
challenging prison officials' refusal to allow him to participate in religious services while he was on cell restriction,
and refusal to make a chapel available for religious services due to security concerns allegedly presented by holding
such services in the chapel. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court dismissed as moot in part, reversed in part, affirmed in part and remanded. The court held
that the state-wide cessation, in all correctional facilities in Texas, of the policy of preventing general-population
prisoners on cell restriction from attending religious services had the effect of mooting the civil rights claim. The
court found that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) did not create an individualcapacity cause of action in favor of the prison inmate against prison officials who had denied him access to a prison
chapel. According to the court, RLUIPA did not provide clear notice that, by accepting federal funds, the state was
waiving its sovereign immunity from liability for such monetary damages. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact on the inmate's claims for injunctive relief challenging the denial of
access to a chapel. The inmate alleged that his exercise of religion was substantially burdened because he could not
use the prison chapel where he could kneel in front of an alter in view of a cross, and due to his being able to attend
religious services only at other locations in the prison that were not specifically designed for Christian worship.
(Robertson Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division)

U.S. Appeals Court
ACCESS TO
ATTORNEY
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

U.S. v. Mikhel, 552 F.3d 961 (9th Cir. 2009). An alien inmate convicted of capital offenses moved to allow attorneyclient access without special administrative measures (SAM) restrictions that allegedly violated the Due Process
Clause and Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of appellate counsel. The appeals court held that modification of the SAM was warranted to permit the attorney to use a translator in a meeting with the inmate, and modification of the SAM was warranted to allow the attorney's investigators to disseminate the inmate's communications.
The court also found that modification of the SAM was warranted to allow the attorney's investigator to meet with
the inmate. The court found that the SAM was an exaggerated response to the prison's legitimate security interests
and unacceptably burdened the inmate's due process and Sixth Amendment rights. (Central District, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Vallario v. Vandehey, 554 F.3d 1259 (10th Cir. 2009). County jail inmates sued a county sheriff and a county's administrator of jail operations in their official capacities, alleging disregard of risks to inmates from restraint chairs
and other devices, and the denial of access to psychiatric care for indigent inmates. The district court granted the
inmates' motion for class certification and the defendants petitioned for interlocutory appeal. The appeals court
granted the petition and remanded the case. The court held that the district court abused its discretion by misconstruing the complaint as alleging that denial of adequate mental health treatment affected all inmates, and abused its
discretion by refraining from any consideration whatsoever of the action's merits. (Garfield County Jail, Colorado)
2010

U.S. District Court
MAIL
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS
XXIII

Akers v. Watts, 740 F.Supp.2d 83 (D.D.C. 2010). A federal inmate brought a civil rights action against various officials, employees, and agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United
States Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas, and the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in their individual capacities, alleging, among other things, that the defendants conspired to violate his constitutional rights by restricting his communications with persons outside the prison. The district court granted the federal defendants motion to dismiss. The court held that it did not have personal jurisdiction in the federal inmate's civil rights action

39.81

against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials, employees, and agents, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent,
a Kansas Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), or the United States marshals, where the complaint made no
allegations that such defendants had any personal connection with District of Columbia other than their federal employment, and the mere fact that the defendants were federal government employees, affiliated with agencies that
were headquartered or maintained offices in the District of Columbia, was insufficient to render them subject to suit
in their individual capacities. The court held that restrictions imposed upon, and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) interferences with, the correspondence of federal inmate, who had initiated fraudulent schemes from prison on more than
one occasion and used the mail in furtherance of his efforts, served a legitimate penological interest by limiting the
inmate's ability to manipulate or swindle others, and thus did not violate the inmate's First Amendment rights. The
court noted that the inmate had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his non-legal mail, and therefore restrictions
placed upon the inmate’s correspondence following his repeated efforts to initiate new fraudulent schemes while
incarcerated did not violate the Fourth Amendment. (Admin. Max., Florence, Colorado, Fed. Bureau of Prisons)

XXIII

U.S. District Court
LOCK DOWN
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
USE OF FORCE

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
LOCK DOWN
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Chappell v. Helder, 696 F.Supp.2d 1021 (W.D.Ark. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 suit claiming that religious
presentations in a dayroom during lockout times contravened the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution. The court
held that the presentations contravened the inmate's rights under the Free Exercise Clause. The court noted that although he was not told to sit and listen, nor was he forced to participate, there was a forced inculcation in the fact that
he was unable to remove himself to a place where he did not have to hear the presentations. The court found that
allowing only the “Holy Bible” to be possessed by inmates during a morning lockout violated the inmate's rights
under the Establishment Clause, but the inmate's right of meaningful access to the courts was not violated. (Washington County Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
EXPOSURE TO
CHEMICALS
CLEANING SUPPLIES

Christian v. Wagner, 623 F.3d 608 (8th Cir. 2010). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against jail officials
and employees, alleging a due process violation arising out of his exposure to a cleaning solvent. After a jury found
in favor of the defendants, the district court denied the detainee's motion for a new trial or judgment as a matter of
law. The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the jury could reasonably find
that the detainee failed to show that a physician or other medical personnel had diagnosed him with a serious medical need while incarcerated, as would support a finding that such need was objectively serious. The court noted that
medical personnel who examined the detainee found no objective evidence supporting a diagnosis, and the record
did not contain a medical order to jail employees. The court also held that evidence supported the finding that the
detainee's need for medical attention was not so obvious that a layperson must have recognized it, as would support a
finding that such need was objectively serious. According to the court, the detainee's testimony that he informed jail
employees that he coughed up blood and experienced difficulty breathing was corroborated only by his mother,
whereas several jail employees testified they did not observe the detainee suffering adverse reactions to cleaning
solutions and had no recollection of his complaining of a medical problem. (Johnson County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
BOOKS
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

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, the guidelines were reasonably
related to the legitimate penological goal of maintaining order and security, individual review of incoming publications was a rational means of achieving that goal and did not deprive the inmate of all means of exercising his religion, and allowing such materials would have a significant negative impact on other inmates and guards.
The court also found no violation from the officials’ denial of access to a book containing instructions for scaling
walls, traveling under or over barbed wire, and combat techniques, since preventing the book was the least restrictive
means of ensuring that the inmate did not receive information that would facilitate violence or escape.
But the court held that the officials failed to meet their burden to show that prohibiting a book about the warrior
ethos and the history of stoicism in the military was the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling interest, as
required for summary judgment on the inmate's RLUIPA claim. The court found that prison officials did not violate
the inmate's First Amendment rights by denying him meeting space and time in a prison chapel to conduct religious
classes or meetings, based on a state-wide policy of denying meeting space and time to the religious group due to the
racial and hate filled nature of the materials and doctrine of the group. But the court found that the officials failed to
meet their burden to show that banning the religious group from the chapel was the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling interest, as required for summary judgment on the inmate's RLUIPA claim.

39.82

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. District Court
BOOKS

Couch v. Jabe, 737 F.Supp.2d 561 (W.D.Va. 2010). An inmate, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action claiming
that prison officials violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they applied a Virginia Department of
Corrections (VDOC) regulation to exclude the books Ulysses and Lady Chatterley's Lover from the prison library
and prevented him from ordering those books from a private, approved vendor. The parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The district granted the inmate’s motion, finding that the regulation violated the First Amendment,
and that injunctive relief was warranted. The court held that the regulation was not reasonably related to legitimate
penological interests, and thus, was overbroad, in violation of the First Amendment. The court noted that legitimate
government interests in security, discipline, good order and offender rehabilitation were not rationally related to the
regulation, which forbid all “explicit ... descriptions of sexual acts” including “sexual acts in violation of state or
federal law,” and encompassed much of the world's finest literature, but did not extend to “soft core” pornography.
According to the court, while the inmate had no right to a general purpose reading library under the First Amendment, where the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) decided to provide a general literary library to offenders, VDOC officials were constrained by the First Amendment in how they regulated the library. The court concluded that the appropriate remedy following a determination that the First Amendment was violated by a prison regulation, which excluded the books Ulysses and Lady Chatterley's Lover from a prison library, was injunctive relief
against the enforcement and application of the regulation. (Augusta Correctional Center, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
ESCAPE
SECURITY PRACTICES

Dean v. Walker, 743 F.Supp.2d 605 (S.D.Miss. 2010). Motorists injured when a squad car commandeered by an e
scapee collided with their vehicle brought a § 1983 action in state court against a county sheriff and deputy sheriffs,
in their individual and official capacities, the county, and others, asserting various claims under federal and state law.
The case was removed to federal court where the court granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion for
summary judgment. The defendants moved to alter or amend. The court denied the motion. The court held that the
“public duty” doctrine did not relieve the county of tort liability to the motorists under the Mississippi Tort Claims
Act (MTCA). The court found that the county sheriff and deputy sheriffs who were in vehicular pursuit of the escaped jail inmate when the escapee's vehicle crashed into the motorists' vehicle owed a duty to the motorists as fellow drivers, separate and apart from their general duties to the public as police officers, and thus the “public duty”
doctrine did not relieve the county of tort liability in the motorists' claims under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act
(MTCA). (Jefferson–Franklin Correctional Facility, Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
DISTURBANCE
SEX OFFENDER
USE OF FORCE

Enriquez v. Kearney, 694 F.Supp.2d 1282 (S.D.Fla. 2010). A civil detainee brought a pro se civil rights action
against correctional facility officers and physicians, asserting claims for excessive force. The officers and physicians
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that officers did not use excessive force against the civil detainee in violation of his due process rights by spraying him with pepper spray, handcuffing him, and escorting him from a detention unit in restraints, where the detainee did not sustain any serious
injury, and the decision to use pepper spray was only made after officers attempted for more than one hour to verbally convince the detainee to cooperate and leave the unit where his interaction with officers was causing a disturbance. The court noted that there was no indication that the force was imposed as punishment rather than in a good
faith effort to further the need to maintain order and security on a unit where numerous sexually violent predators
(SVPs) were held. (Florida Civil Commitment Center, Arcadia, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS

Farid v. Ellen, 593 F.3d 233 (2nd Cir. 2010). A state prisoner brought suit against correctional officials under § 1983,
alleging that he was deprived of rights protected by the First Amendment when he was disciplined by prison officials
for possessing and distributing a booklet of which he was the principal author. The district court granted in part and
denied in part the parties' summary judgment motions. The parties appealed and cross-appealed. The appeals court
affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part. The court held that the prison disciplinary rule prohibiting contraband was unconstitutionally vague as applied to the state prisoner. The prisoner was disciplined for possessing
and distributing a brochure that violated an inmate group's internal bylaws by not having been approved by the
group's staff advisor. The court noted that the bylaws did not indicate that violation of the group's bylaws constituted
a violation of the prison contraband rule, thus exposing the prisoner to far greater penalties than the group could
have imposed, and prison rules conferred almost complete enforcement discretion on prison officials. According to
the court, the prisoner's right to not be punished under prison rules for violation of an inmate group's internal bylaws
was clearly established, weighing against the prison officials' claim of qualified immunity in the § 1983 action. The
court noted that the essence of constitutional prohibitions on vagueness was that the rules must give notice of conduct that they, rather than another set of rules, prohibit and must constrain discretion of officials who apply them.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether state prison
officials actually intended to punish the prisoner under the prison's contraband rule or for violating an internal bylaw
of an inmate group. (Woodbourne Correctional Facility, Clinton Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION
SEARCHES
STAFFING

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 non-emergency 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

39.83

regarding how and why the cross-gender 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 cross-gender pat searches. (Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut)
U.S. District Court
DISTURBANCE
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Gordon v. Caruso, 720 F.Supp.2d 896 (W.D.Mich. 2010). An inmate sued corrections officials under § 1983 and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), claiming that they violated his rights by preventing
him from engaging in group worship services with other adherents of his faith. Following denial of a defense motion
for summary judgment, officials moved for reconsideration. The appeals court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether prison officials' ban on Asatru group worship was the least
restrictive means of furthering their interest in maintaining prison security. The court found that prison officials who
banned Asatru group worship had a rational basis for treating members of the Asatru faith differently from other
groups that promoted racist and supremacist teachings, based on a demonstrated connection between the practice of
Asatru and violence and racial conflict in the prison setting, and thus, there was no violation of the inmate's equal
protection rights. The court noted that the other groups that were allowed to engage in group activity were not shown
to present similar security concerns. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

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. 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
RESTRAINTS
SAFETY

Gruenberg v. Gempeler, 740 F.Supp.2d 1018 (E.D.Wis. 2010). A prisoner, proceeding pro se, filed a § 1983 action
against various prison officials, guards and medical staff, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district
court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the prisoner did not have a clearly
established right to not be continually restrained without clothing or cover in a cell following his ingestion of a
handcuff key, a master key for belt restraints and one of the keys used for opening cell doors, and therefore, prison
officials were entitled to qualified immunity in the prisoner's § 1983 action alleging violations of the Eighth
Amendment. According to the court, continuous restraint of the prisoner without clothing or cover in a cell did not
violate the prisoner's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, where the prisoner was not restrained for a disciplinary reason, but to ensure prison staff was able to regain possession of a handcuff key, a master key for belt restraints and one of the keys used for opening cell doors following the prisoner's ingestion of them. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

Hanson v. U.S., 712 F.Supp.2d 321 (D.N.J. 2010). An inmate brought a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) action,
alleging that a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officer slammed his head on the floor and choked him in an attempt to force
the inmate to spit out contraband that the inmate was attempting to swallow. The government filed a motion for
summary judgment and the district court denied the motion. The court held, for the purposes of the inmate's FTCA
claim, under New Jersey law the BOP officers employed unreasonable force while attempting to search the inmate
for contraband. According to the court, summary judgment was precluded by material issues of fact regarding
whether the BOP officers used reasonable force in holding and searching the inmate. (Federal Correctional Facility
in Fort Dix, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY
TRANSFER

Hartry v. County of Suffolk, 755 F.Supp.2d 422 (E.D.N.Y.2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a sergeant and a county, alleging failure to protect him from harm and deliberate indifference to his health and safety.
The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the inmate's transfer
from one county prison to another county prison deprived him of a meaningful opportunity to pursue his administrative remedies following an attack by another inmate, and therefore, his failure to exhaust administrative remedies
prior to bringing his § 1983 action against the sergeant and the county was excused. The court noted that the inmate
handbook permitted an inmate five days to file a grievance, and the inmate was transferred within two days of the
attack. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
inmate faced a real and significant threat of harm from other inmates, and whether the prison sergeant was aware of
a substantial risk of harm to the inmate from other inmates. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as
to whether moving an inmate only in response to a direct threat, within or outside of the jail, was a reasonable protective measure. (Suffolk County Correctional Facility, New York)

39.84

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
SATANISM

Indreland v. Yellowstone County Bd. of Comr's, 693 F.Supp.2d 1230 (D.Mont. 2010). A state prisoner brought a §
1983 action against a county board of commissioners and prison officials, alleging, among other things, that the
defendants' actions, including denying him access to satanic materials and holding him in maximum security, interfered with his free exercise of religion in violation of First Amendment and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court held that prison officials' denial of access to his satanic medallion did not interfere
with his free exercise of religion in violation of First Amendment and RLUIPA, where the officials had a legitimate
penological interest in denying the prisoner a chain that the officials believed could be used to strangle another inmate. According to the court, prison officials segregated the prisoner because he was involved in fights with other
inmates, and not solely on account of his alleged satanic religion, and thus the prisoner's segregation did not interfere
with his free exercise of religion in violation of First Amendment and RLUIPA. The court held that the county detention facility was not required under the First Amendment or RLUIPA to purchase religious materials for the prisoner at its own expense. But the court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact
as to whether the prison chaplain was working in conjunction with prison staff to deny the prisoner, who claimed to
practice satanism, his free exercise of religion, and therefore, whether the chaplain was state actor. (Yellowstone
County Detention Facility, Montana)

U.S. District Court
DISTURBANCE
USE OF FORCE

Johnson v. Roberts, 721 F.Supp.2d 1017 (D.Kan. 2010). A former county jail inmate brought an action against a
deputy, sheriff, and county board of commissioners, alleging use of excessive force when the deputy used a stun gun
on the inmate. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the use of
a stun gun to subdue the county jail inmate was reasonable and did not violate the inmate's Eighth Amendment
rights. The court noted that the inmate had placed a towel in front of a security camera in violation of a jail rule, and
when deputies responded to the inmate's cell to confiscate the towel and the inmate's property box, the inmate refused to hand over the box and either dropped or threw the box to the floor and refused an order to pick it up, placing
the deputy in the position of bending down to retrieve the box from directly in front of the noncompliant inmate. The
court found that the use of a stun gun was not a clearly established violation of the Eighth Amendment at the time of
the incident and thus the deputy, sheriff, and county board of commissioners were entitled to qualified immunity.
The court noted that the deputy used the stun gun to ensure the inmate's compliance with orders and not to punish the
inmate. (Miami County Jail, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
MAIL
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
USE OF FORCE

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 held that the inmate failed to allege that she sustained an actual injury or that an Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) official denied her the opportunity to review her mail prior to its being confiscated, as
required to support a claim that the official violated the inmate's constitutional right of access to the courts and her
First Amendment right to send and receive mail. 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. The court found that summary judgment was precluded
by genuine issues of material fact as to whether there was a legitimate penological interest for the alleged destruction
of the prison inmate's bible, precluding summary judgment as to whether ADC employees violated the inmate's right
to freedom of religion by destroying her bible. (Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES
VISITS

Mashburn v. Yamhill County, 698 F.Supp.2d 1233 (D.Or. 2010). A class action was brought on behalf of juvenile
detainees against a county and officials, challenging strip-search procedures at a juvenile detention facility. The
parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The court held that the scope of an admission strip-search policy applied to juvenile detainees was excessive in relation to the government's legitimate interests, in contravention of the
Fourth Amendment. According to the court, notwithstanding the county's general obligation to care for and protect
juveniles, the searches were highly intrusive, the county made no effort to mitigate the scope and intensity of the
searches, and less intrusive alternatives existed. The court found that county officials failed to establish a reasonable
relationship between their legitimate interests and post-contact visit strip-searches performed on juvenile detainees,
as required under the Fourth Amendment. The court noted that the searches occurred irrespective of whether there
was an individualized suspicion that a juvenile had acquired contraband, and most contact visits occurred between
juveniles and counsel or therapists. (Yamhill County Juvenile Detention Center, Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
EXERCISE
LOCK DOWN

Norwood v. Vance, 591 F.3d 1062 (9th Cir. 2010). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action, alleging that corrections
officials violated the Eighth Amendment by depriving him of outdoor exercise. The district court denied the officials’ motion for summary judgment and, following a jury award of nominal and punitive damages, made an award
of attorney's fees. The officials appealed. The appeals court reversed and vacated the award of attorney’s fees. The
appeals court held that the district court erred in failing to include in jury instructions requested language regarding
the deference due to correction officials' decisions, and that the error was prejudicial. According to the court, failure
to give additional guidance on deference rendered the instruction incomplete and misleading, and jurors might well
have reached a different conclusion if properly instructed. The court held that correction officials were entitled to
qualified immunity in the inmate's § 1983 action alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated by restrictions placed on his outdoor exercise during prison lockdowns. According to the court, given the extraordinary
violence gripping the prison, it would not have been clear to a reasonable official that denying outdoor exercise was
unlawful, particularly since officials had a duty to keep inmates safe and their judgments as to how to do that were
entitled to wide-ranging deference. The court noted that while exercise is one of the basic human necessities protected by the Eighth Amendment, a temporary denial of outdoor exercise with no medical effects is not a substantial
deprivation. (California State Prison, Sacramento, California)

39.85

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES

Nunez v. Duncan, 591 F.3d 1217 (9th Cir. 2010). A federal inmate brought a pro se Bivens action against prison officials, alleging he was subjected to a random strip search in violation of his First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment
rights. The district court entered summary judgment for the officials, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court
affirmed, finding that the strip search of the inmate pursuant to a policy authorizing strip searches of inmates returning from outside work detail was reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest in controlling contraband
within the prison, and did not violate the inmate's Fourth Amendment rights. (Fed.Prison Camp, Sheridan, Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

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 his 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 appeals court accepted the depiction of events from closed-circuit
television 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 Co. Jail, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
EXERCISE
LOCK DOWN

Richardson v. Runnels, 594 F.3d 666 (9th Cir. 2010). An African-American state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against a prison warden and correctional officers, among others, alleging that he was subjected to racial discrimination during prison lockdowns, and that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his need to exercise, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The district court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether reasonable men and women could differ regarding the
necessity of state prison officials' racial classification in response to prison disturbances that were believed to have
been perpetrated or planned by prisoners who were African-American, and whether the officials' lockdown of all
African-American prisoners in the unit containing high-risk prisoners following disturbances was narrowly tailored
to further a compelling government interest. The court also found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether state prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the need for exercise of a
prisoner who was subjected to prison lockdowns. (High Desert State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
SAFETY REGULATIONS

Singer v. Raemisch, 593 F.3d 529 (7th Cir. 2010). An inmate, whose books, magazines and manuscript about the
fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons were confiscated by prison officials under a prison's policy banning fantasy games, filed a § 1983 action alleging violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. The district
court granted the defendants summary judgment. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held
that despite the inmate's contention that a fantasy role-playing game had never incited prison violence or motivated
devotees to form stereotypical street or prison gangs in the past, prison officials were rational in their belief that, if
left unchecked, fantasy role-playing games could lead to gang behavior among inmates and undermine prison security in the future. The court also found that, despite the inmate's contention that fantasy role-playing games had a positive rehabilitative effect on prisoners, prison officials were rational in their belief that fantasy role-playing games
could impede inmates' rehabilitation, lead to escapist tendencies or result in more dire consequences, and thus the
prison ban on fantasy role-playing games did not violate the inmate's First Amendment free speech rights. The court
noted that officials were concerned about potential inmate obsession with escape, both figurative and literal and
based the ban on the possibility that games could foster inmates' obsession with escaping from both real life and the
correctional environment, placing legitimate penological goals of prison security and inmate rehabilitation in peril.
According to the court, the prison policy prohibiting possession of fantasy role-playing game manuals, strategy
guides, character novellas, and other related materials was rationally related to the goal of preventing susceptible
inmates from embarking upon a dangerous escapist path, and thus confiscation of the inmate's role-playing books,
magazines and manuscript did not violate his First Amendment free speech rights. The court found that prison officials' ban on fantasy role-playing games and publications met the requirement that inmates have alternative means of
exercising a restricted right, under the Turner test for reviewing the reasonableness of prison regulations impacting
constitutional rights, since the inmate whose fantasy role-playing game materials were confiscated could express
himself by writing another work of fiction, could possess other reading materials, or could engage with other inmates
in allowable games. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
EVACUATION

Spotts v. U.S., 613 F.3d 559 (5th Cir. 2010). High-security inmates at a federal prison, who were not evacuated in the
aftermath of damage to the prison and the surrounding area caused by a hurricane, brought an action against the
United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The district court dismissed on jurisdictional grounds as
barred by the “discretionary function” exception to the FTCA. The inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the decision on the part of a regional director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), not to evacuate
high-security inmates from the prison when damage caused by the hurricane deprived the facility of electricity and
potable water for an extended period of time, was the type of policy decision protected by the “discretionary function” exception to the FTCA. (Federal Correctional Complex, United States Penitentiary, Beaumont, Texas)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER
USE OF FORCE

Tafari v. McCarthy, 714 F.Supp.2d 317 (N.D.N.Y. 2010). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against employees of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), alleging, among other things, that the employees violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to excessive force, destroying his personal property,
denying him medical care, and subjecting him to inhumane conditions of confinement. The employees moved for
summary judgment, and the prisoner moved to file a second amended complaint and to appoint counsel. The court
held that a state prison correctional officer's alleged throwing of urine and feces on the prisoner to wake him up,
while certainly repulsive, was de minimis use of force, and was not sufficiently severe to be considered repugnant to
the conscience of mankind, and thus the officer's conduct did not violate the Eighth Amendment. The court found

39.86

that officers who were present in the prisoner's cell when another officer allegedly threw urine and feces on the prisoner lacked a reasonable opportunity to stop the alleged violation, given the brief and unexpected nature of the incident, and thus the officers present in the cell could not be held liable for failing to intervene.
The court found that even if a correctional officers' captain failed to thoroughly investigate the alleged incident in
which one officer threw urine and feces on the prisoner to wake him up, such failure to investigate did not violate the
prisoner's due process rights, since the prisoner did not have due process right to a thorough investigation of his
grievances. According to the court, one incident in which state correctional officers allegedly interfered with the
prisoner's outgoing legal mail did not create a cognizable claim under § 1983 for violation of the prisoner's First and
Fourteenth Amendment rights, absent a showing that the prisoner suffered any actual injury, that his access to courts
was chilled, or that his ability to legally represent himself was impaired. The court held that there was no evidence
that the state prisoner suffered any physical injury as result of an alleged incident in which a correctional officer spit
chewing tobacco in his face, as required to maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on denial of medical care.
The court found that, even if a state prisoner's right to file prison grievances was protected by the First Amendment, a restriction limiting the prisoner's filing of grievances to two per week did not violate the prisoner's constitutional rights, since the prisoner was abusing the grievance program. The court noted that the prisoner filed an exorbitant amount of grievances, including 115 in a two-month period, most of which were deemed frivolous.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether state correctional officers used excessive force against the prisoner in the course of his transport to a different facility. The
court held that state correctional officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from the prisoner's § 1983 excessive force claim arising from his alleged beating by officers during his transfer to a different facility, where a reasonable juror could have concluded that the officers knew or should have known that their conduct violated the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights, and it was clearly established that prison official's use of force against an inmate for
reasons that did not serve penological purpose violated the inmate's constitutional rights. The inmate allegedly suffered injuries, including bruises and superficial lacerations on his body, which the court found did not constitute a
serious medical condition. The court held that state prison officials' alleged retaliatory act of leaving the lights on in
the prisoner's cell in a special housing unit (SHU) 24 hours per day did not amount to cruel and unusual treatment, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. According to the court, the prisoner failed to demonstrate a causal connection
between his conduct and the adverse action of leaving the lights on 24 hours per day, since the illumination policy
applied to all inmates in SHU, not just the prisoner, and constant illumination was related to a legitimate penological
interest in protecting both guards and inmates in SHU. (New York State Department of Correctional Services, Eastern New York Correctional Facility)
U.S. Appeals Court
EXERCISE
SEGREGATION

Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2010). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials,
alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted the officials' motion for summary judgment
and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the prison officials knew
that a serious risk of harm existed for the prisoner, who was denied exercise for nearly 14 months, as required for the
prisoner's § 1983 action. According to the court, officials made and reviewed a decision to keep the prisoner confined without out-of-cell exercise, and the prisoner submitted repeated written and oral complaints. The court found
that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether prison officials acted reasonably in confining the prisoner for nearly 14 months. The court noted that officials may be more restrictive than
they otherwise may be if a genuine emergency exists, and certain services may be suspended temporarily, but the
court found that even where security concerns might justify a limitation on permitting a prisoner to mingle with the
general prison population, such concerns do not explain why other exercise arrangements are not made. (Salinas
Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY
SEARCHES

U.S. v. Ghailani, 751 F.Supp.2d 508 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). A defendant, an alleged member of Al Qaeda charged with
conspiring to kill Americans abroad, moved for an order directing the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to cease from employing visual inspection of his rectal area when entering or leaving a correctional center for court appearances. The
district court denied the motion, finding that the search policy was justified by a legitimate governmental interest in
protecting the safety of prison and court personnel and other inmates. The court noted that the policy was adopted at
the national level in recognition of the substantial danger that inmates will secrete weapons or other contraband in
body cavities, that the government made a credible showing that ready alternatives were not available to protect this
important security interest, and that the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights would be protected adequately by existing procedures. (Metropolitan Correctional Center, Manhattan, New York)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Williams v. Ozmint, 726 F.Supp.2d 589 (D.S.C. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against correctional facility officials, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The officials filed a motion for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that sanctions imposed upon an inmate who committed sexual misconduct offenses while imprisoned, including wearing a pink jumpsuit for 90 days and eating meals
earlier, were rationally related to penological interests, and therefore, did not violate equal protection. According to
the court: (1) the jumpsuit provided visual identification to officials, especially female officers; (2) that the inmate
had a recent history of sexual misconduct; (3) activity and movement restrictions lessened the risk of the inmate
committing another offense that could result in transmission of blood-borne pathogens; and (4) the jumpsuit served
as disincentive to engage in the conduct in the first instance. The court found that the requirement that an inmate
who committed sexual misconduct offenses while imprisoned wear a pink jumpsuit did not create an objectively
intolerable risk of harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the policy was not applied maliciously and
sadistically, and absent an imminent and substantial risk of serious harm. (Ridgeland Corr'l Inst., South Carolina)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SEGREGATION
EXERCISE

Young v. Ericksen, 758 F.Supp.2d 777 (E.D.Wis. 2010). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action claiming correctional officers and staff violated his constitutional rights by refusing to allow him to exercise outside his cell for
almost an entire year and that they violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act (RLUIPA) by
refusing to allow him to attend religious services and meet with an Imam. The district court denied the defendants’
motion for summary judgment. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material

39.87

fact as to whether prison officials fairly denied the state prisoner out-of-cell exercise. According to the court, for the
purposes of the prison officials' claim of qualified immunity from the state prisoner's § 1983 claim, it was clearly
established that denying a prisoner out-of-cell exercise for almost an entire year without legitimate penological concerns would constitute a violation of the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether denying the state prisoner, who was on protective
confinement (PC) status, the opportunity to attend public worship services was reasonably related to the prison's
interest in protecting the prisoner and maintaining overall security. (Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
2011
U.S. Appeals Court
USE OF FORCE
VIDEO
SURVEILLANCE

Alspaugh v. McConnell, 643 F.3d 162 (6th Cir. 2011). A state prisoner filed a civil rights action alleging excessive
force and deliberate indifference against numerous state and private defendants. The district court granted summary
judgment against the prisoner. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The
appeals court held that the prisoner's request for a videotape of a fight was of the nature that it would have changed
legal and factual deficiencies of his civil rights action alleging excessive force, and thus the prisoner was entitled to
production of it, since the videotape would have shown how much force had been used in subduing the prisoner.
But the court held that the prisoner who was alleging excessive force and deliberate indifference was not entitled to
the production of his medical records before considering the state's motion for summary judgment, where the state
and private defendants produced enough evidence to demonstrate that medical personnel were not deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. (Ionia Maximum Security Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS
TELEPHONE CALLS

Aref v. Holder, 774 F.Supp.2d 147 (D.D.C. 2011). A group of prisoners who were, or who had been, incarcerated in
communication management units (CMU) at federal correctional institutions (FCI) designed to monitor high-risk
prisoners filed suit against the United States Attorney General, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and BOP officials, alleging that CMU incarceration violated the First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments. Four additional prisoners
moved to intervene and the defendants moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion to intervene, and
granted the motion to dismiss in part and denied in part. The court held that even though a federal prisoner who had
been convicted of solicitation of bank robbery was no longer housed in the federal prison's communication management unit (CMU), he had standing under Article III to pursue constitutional claims against the Bureau of Prisons
(BOP) for alleged violations since there was a realistic threat that he might be redesignated to a CMU. The court
noted that the prisoner had originally been placed in CMU because of the nature of his underlying conviction and
because of his alleged efforts to radicalize other inmates, and these reasons for placing him in CMU remained.
The court found that the restrictions a federal prison put on prisoners housed within a communication management unit (CMU), which included that all communications be conducted in English, that visits were monitored and
subject to recording, that each prisoner received only eight visitation hours per month, and that prisoners' telephone
calls were limited and subjected to monitoring, did not violate the prisoners' alleged First Amendment right to family
integrity, since the restrictions were rationally related to a legitimate penological interest. The court noted that prisoners assigned to the unit typically had offenses related to international or domestic terrorism or had misused approved communication methods while incarcerated. The court found that prisoners confined to a communication
management unit (CMU), stated a procedural due process claim against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) by alleging that
the requirements imposed on CMU prisoners were significantly different than those imposed on prisoners in the
general population, and that there was a significant risk that procedures used by the BOP to review whether prisoners
should initially be placed within CMU or should continue to be incarcerated there had resulted in erroneous deprivation of their liberty interests. The court noted that CMU prisoners were allowed only eight hours of non-contact
visitation per month and two 15 minute telephone calls per week, while the general population at a prison was not
subjected to a cap on visitation and had 300 minutes of telephone time per month. The court also noted that the administrative review of CMU status, conducted by officials in Washington, D.C., rather than at a unit itself, was allegedly so vague and generic as to render it illusory. The court held that the conditions of confinement experienced
by prisoners housed within a communication management unit (CMU), did not deprive the prisoners of the “minimum civilized measure of life's necessities” required to state an Eighth Amendment claim against the Bureau of
Prisons (BOP), since the deprivation did not involve the basics of food, shelter, health care or personal security.
The court found that a federal prisoner stated a First Amendment retaliation claim against the Bureau of Prisons
(BOP) by alleging: (1) that he was “an outspoken and litigious prisoner;” (2) that he had written books about improper prison conditions and filed grievances and complaints on his own behalf; (3) that his prison record contained
“no serious disciplinary infractions” and “one minor communications-related infraction” from 1997; (4) that prison
staff told him he would be “sent east” if he continued filing complaints; and (5) that he filed a complaint about that
alleged threat and he was then transferred to a high-risk inmate monitoring communication management unit (CMU)
at a federal correctional institution. (Communication Management Units at Federal Correctional Institutions in Terre
Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
GANGS
CLASSIFICATION
SEPARATION

Baker v. Kernan, 795 F.Supp.2d 992 (E.D.Cal. 2011.) A state inmate filed a § 1983 action against a prison official
alleging that a policy of separating members of rival prison gangs denied him equal protection, due process, and the
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The official moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that the state's policy of separating members of rival prison gangs did not deny
the inmate due process or violate his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, where the program was a
rational response to a legitimate security concern, and it preserved the inmate's ability to exercise regularly outside,
be considered for a job, use the facilities off the main yard, meet with a prison chaplain, and see visitors. The court
also found that the state's classification of prisoners by their gang affiliation did not violate the inmate's equal protection rights, even if members of a larger gang fared slightly better in some aspects of confinement, where the classification was not based on race. The court noted that there was a long history of gang members immediately attacking
members of rival gangs, and the policy of identifying and separating members of rival gangs advanced safety and
order by preventing them from violently attacking each other. (California State Prison, Sacramento)

39.88

U.S. District Court
SAFETY
USE OF FORCE

Bridgewater v. Taylor, 832 F.Supp.2d 337 (S.D.N.Y. 2011). A New York state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against prison officials and correctional officers, alleging excessive force, failure to protect, and failure to supervise
and properly train in violation of the Eighth Amendment. After the prisoner's motion for summary judgment against
an officer was preliminarily denied, the prisoner moved for reconsideration and the former prison superintendent and
another officer moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion for reconsideration and granted the motion to
dismiss. The court held that the prisoner did not properly serve the complaint on the officer or superintendent and
that the prisoner failed to state a failure to protect claim against the officer. The court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the correctional officer acted with malice or wantonness toward the prisoner necessary to constitute an Eighth Amendment violation, or whether he was applying force
in a good–faith effort to maintain discipline. The court also found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine
issues of material fact as to whether the correctional officer's use of physical force against the prisoner was more
than de minimus. (Sing Sing Correctional Facility New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
GANGS
VISITS

Bustos v. A & E Television Networks, 646 F.3d 762 (10th Cir. 2011). An inmate brought an action against a television
network, alleging defamation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the network and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the television network's statement in a broadcast
that the inmate was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang was not materially false, and therefore, was not
actionable for defamation under Colorado law, where the inmate engaged in recreation yard conversations with gang
members, engaged in a drug smuggling conspiracy with the gang in which he would receive drug filled balloons
from a visitor and distribute them to the gang, and the inmate sent a handwritten apology to the gang leader apologizing after the conspiracy failed and referred to leader repeatedly as “bro.” (Supermax, Florence, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
LOCKS

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,” “well-documented,” 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. District Court
ESCAPE
SECURITY PRACTICES

Dean v. Walker, 764 F.Supp.2d 824 (S.D.Miss. 2011). Vehicular accident victims brought an action against a county, sheriff and deputies, stemming from a head-on collision with an escaped inmate whom the defendants were chasing. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the accident victims failed to establish a pattern of unconstitutional conduct by county, as required to maintain a claim for municipal
liability under § 1983. The court noted that the victims introduced no evidence at all with respect to other police
pursuits in the county or other instances where inmates were not made to wear handcuffs. According to the court, the
victims failed to establish that the sheriff acted with an intent to harm, unrelated to his pursuit of the inmate, as required to maintain a substantive due process claim. The court noted that the sheriff's pulling in front of the inmate in
an attempt to stop him, even if reckless, was consistent with the sheriff's legitimate interest in apprehending the inmate. (Jefferson–Franklin Correctional Facility, Mississippi)

U.S. Appeals Court
STAFFING
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. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS

Hrdlicka v. Reniff, 631 F.3d 1044 (9th Cir. 2011). A publisher and his criminal justice publication brought two suits
claiming that their First Amendment rights were being violated by the mail policies at two county jails in California
that refused to distribute unsolicited copies of the publication to inmates. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the jails were justified in refusing
to distribute unsolicited copies of the publication to inmates. According to the court, the facts to be considered included the degree to which allowing distribution of the publication would produce additional clutter in cells or otherwise adversely affect jail security, the extent to which the jails would be forced to expend additional resources to
deliver the publication, and whether the publisher could effectively reach inmates by delivery only upon request.
(Sacramento County, Butte County, California)

39.89

U.S. District Court
MAIL
SECURITY PRACTICES

Hughbanks v. Dooley, 788 F.Supp.2d 988 (D.S.D. 2011.) A prisoner brought a § 1983 action alleging that the state
Department of Corrections' correspondence policy prohibiting the delivery of bulk-rate mail was unconstitutional.
The prisoner moved for preliminary injunctive relief and asked the court to invalidate portions of the policy. The
district court denied the motion. The court found that the prisoner's mere allegation that his First Amendment rights
were violated by the prison's denial of bulk-rate mail established the threat of irreparable harm, in determining
whether to grant the prisoner a preliminary injunction seeking to invalidate the prison's bulk-rate mail policy, but the
balance of hardships favored the prison in determining whether to grant the prisoner's request. The court noted that
the bulk-rate mail policy was a state policy, and suspension of the policy for all inmates in the state would compromise the safety and security of every institution in the state. The court found that the policy was rationally-related to
the prison's penological purpose of maintaining security and order, that prisoners could review catalogs in a prison
property office and could pre-pay postage on any catalog to have it mailed first or second class, that the challenged
policy was statewide and any accommodation would have a significant effect on state inmates and prison staff, and
the policy was not an exaggerated response to security and other concerns. Similarly, the court found that the prisoner's allegation that his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights were being violated by the prison's failure to notify
him when prohibited bulk-rate mail was not delivered established the threat of irreparable harm, in determining
whether to grant the prisoner a preliminary injunction requiring the prison to notify the intended recipient and sender
when bulk-rate correspondence was confiscated. The court again found that the balance of hardships favored the
prison, where the prison would have to expend substantial prison resources to implement the requested policy, and
the current policy was implemented to preserve a prison resource. (Mike Durfee State Prison, South Dakota)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACIAL HAIR
RELIGION
SECURITY PRACTICES

Kuperman v. Wrenn, 645 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2011). A Jewish former state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, alleging a prison regulation prohibiting inmates from growing facial hair longer than one quarter of an
inch violated his First Amendment exercise of religion rights, as well as Fourteenth Amendment equal protection
and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the regulation was reasonably related to the penological interests of prison safety and security and did not prohibit the inmate from alternative
means of exercising his rights. The court found that accommodating the inmate's desire to grow a beard would adversely impact prison resources and that there was no ready alternative to the prison regulation. According to the
court, the regulation did not violate the inmate’s Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights, and the regulation
furthered the compelling government interest of prison safety and security in the least restrictive means of doing so.
(New Hampshire State Prison)

U.S. District Court
TRANSFER
RESTRAINTS
USE OF FORCE

Maraj v. Massachusetts, 836 F.Supp.2d 17 (D.Mass. 2011). The mother of a deceased inmate brought an action, as
administratrix of the inmate's estate, against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a county sheriff's department, a
county sheriff, and corrections officers, alleging that the defendants violated the inmate's Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. She also brought common law claims of wrongful death, negligence, and assault and battery.
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 Commonwealth, in enacting legislation effectuating the assumption of county sheriff's
department by the Commonwealth, did not waive sovereign immunity as to § 1983 claims filed against the Commonwealth, the department, and corrections officers in their official capacities after the transfer took effect.
The court found that the correction officers who were no longer participating in the transfer of the inmate at the
time inmate first resisted and the officers who took the first responsive measure by “double locking” the inmate's
handcuffs were not subject to liability in their individual capacities as to the § 1983 substantive due process claim
brought by inmate's mother arising from the inmate's death following the transfer.
According to the court, corrections officers who applied physical force to the resisting inmate during the transfer
of the inmate, or were present when the inmate was unresponsive and requiring medical attention, were subject to
liability, in their individual capacities, as to the § 1983 substantive due process claim brought by the inmate's mother.
The court held that the county sheriff and corrections officers who participated in the transfer of the inmate, who
died following the transfer, were immune from negligence and wrongful death claims brought by the inmate's mother under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA) provision which categorically protected public employees
acting within the scope of their employment from liability for “personal injury or death” caused by their individual
negligence. But the court found that the mother properly alleged that county corrections officers' contact with the
inmate amounted to excessive force, and that a supervisor instructed the use of excessive force, as required to state a
claim for assault and battery, under Massachusetts law, against the officers. (South Bay House of Correction, Suffolk
County, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
WORK

Milligan v. Archuleta, 659 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 2011). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that prison officials took away his prison employment in retaliation for his grievance regarding his designation as a potential escape
risk, and in violation of his equal protection rights. The district court dismissed the complaint on its own motion and
the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that the district court erred in
dismissing the equal protection claim, even though the complaint was deficient because it did not plead facts sufficient to show that the inmate's classification as an escape risk lacked a rational basis or a reasonable relation to a
legitimate penological interest. According to the court, amendment of the complaint would not necessarily be futile,
and the claim was not based on an indisputably meritless legal theory. The court noted that the fact that the state
inmate did not have a constitutional right to employment did not foreclose his retaliation claim against the prison
official arising from loss of his prison job after he filed a grievance. (Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS
RELIGION
VISITS
WORK

Murphy v. Lockhart, 826 F.Supp.2d 1016 (E.D.Mich. 2011). An inmate at a maximum correctional facility in Michigan brought a § 1983 action against various Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) employees alleging that
his placement in long-term and/or indefinite segregation was unconstitutional, that he was prohibited from communicating with his friends and family, and that his ability to practice his Christian religion was being hampered in
violation of his First Amendment rights. The inmate also alleged that the MDOC's mail policy was unconstitutional.
The defendants moved for summary judgment and for a protective order. The court held that the prisoner's state-

39.90

ments in a published magazine article discussing an escape attempt were protected speech, and that a fact issue precluded summary judgment on the retaliation claims against the other facility's warden, resident unit manager, and
assistant resident unit supervisor stemming from the prisoner's participation in that article. The Esquire Magazine
article discussed security flaws at the correctional facility, detailing the prisoners' escape plan and revealing which
prison staff he manipulated and how he obtained and built necessary tools to dig a tunnel. The court noted that the
prisoner's statements were not directed to fellow inmates, and rather he spoke on issues relating to prison security
and was critical of the conduct of Michigan Department of Corrections personnel, which resulted in his nearsuccessful prison break. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact,
as to whether the defendants' proffered legitimate grounds for removing the prisoner from his coveted administrative
segregation work assignment as a porter/painter/laundry worker--discovery that he possessed contraband--were a
pretext to retaliate for his protected speech in the published magazine article. The court found that the alleged violation of the prisoner's right to free exercise of his religion from the rejection of a claimed religious publication, Codex
Magica, was justified by the prison's legitimate penological interest in limiting prisoners' access to books that included instructions on how to write in code. According to the court, because the prison had a valid penological interest in restricting access to the publication, which contained instructions on how to write in code, the prisoner mail
regulation used to censor that book could not be unconstitutional as applied on the ground that it prevented the prisoner's access to that publication. (Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility, Kinross Correctional Facility, Standish
Correctional Facility, Michigan)
U.S. Appeals Court
EXERCISE
RIOT
LOCK DOWN
SECURITY PRACTICES

Noble v. Adams, 646 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2011). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison officials who
were responsible for a post-riot lockdown of a prison, alleging that the lockdown resulted in denial of his Eighth
Amendment right to outdoor exercise. The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment and
subsequently denied the officials' motion for reconsideration. The officials appealed. The appeals court reversed and
remanded with instructions. The appeals court held that the state prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity
from the inmate's § 1983 claim that the post-riot lockdown of prison resulted in denial of his Eighth Amendment
right to outdoor exercise because it was not clearly established at the time of the lockdown, nor was it established
yet, precisely how or when a prison facility housing problem inmates must return to its normal operations, including
outdoor exercise, during and after a state of emergency called in response to a major riot. (Corcoran State Prison,
California)

U.S. Appeals Court
MAIL

Perry v. Secretary, Florida Dept. of Corrections, 664 F.3d 1359 (11th Cir. 2011). An individual who operated two
pen pal services that solicited pen pals for prisoners, as well as another pen pal service, brought a civil rights action
challenging the constitutionality of a Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) rule prohibiting inmates from soliciting pen pals. The district court granted the FDOC's motion for summary judgment and the plaintiffs appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the plaintiffs, whose interests as publishers in accessing prisoners
had been harmed, had standing to bring their claims, but that the FDOC rule at issue was rationally related to a legitimate penological interest. The court found that the plaintiffs had a liberty interest in accessing inmates and they
were afforded constitutionally required due process. The court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in
Procunier v. Martinez set forth a three-part test to decide whether there are proper procedural safeguards for inmate
correspondence of a personal nature: (1) the inmate must receive notice of the rejection of a letter written by or addressed to him, (2) the author of the letter must be given reasonable opportunity to protest that decision, and (3)
complaints must be referred to a prison official other than the person who originally disapproved the correspondence. (Florida Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS
SAFETY
TRANSPORTATION

Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976 (8th Cir. 2011). A state prisoner filed a pro se § 1983 action against a prison
warden and correctional officers (COs), asserting Eighth Amendment claims arising from refusal to remove the
prisoner's restraints on a day-long journey to a medical appointment, and from his alleged injuries from falling five
feet into a sally port pit designed to facilitate visual inspections of vehicle undercarriages at an entryway into the
prison. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The prisoner appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that the prisoner's complaint was devoid of any allegation suggesting that correctional officers acted with deliberate indifference to the prisoner's safety
in restraining him throughout the day, as required to support an Eighth Amendment claim in his § 1983 action, since
the complaint merely alleged that the officers refused to remove the prisoner's restraints. But the court held that the
prisoner's complaint sufficiently alleged claims of deliberate indifference to his safety in violation of the Eighth
Amendment by two correctional officers, but not the other three officers who were simply on duty in the vicinity of
the prisoner's accident in which he fell five feet into a sally port pit. According to the court, the complaint sufficiently pleaded that the two officers were aware of a substantial risk to the prisoner's safety but recklessly disregarded
that risk. The prisoner alleged that one officer parked the prison van about three feet from edge of the pit, that the
prisoner was obliged to back out of the van, using a stool to descend from the vehicle, with his legs shackled and his
arms secured by a black box restraint, that the second officer supervising the prisoner's exit started backing away
rather than assisting the prisoner, and that officers knew about the hazard because another prisoner had fallen into
the same pit on the same day. (Northeast Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
SECURITY PRACTICES
PROTECTION

Shields v. Dart, 664 F.3d 178 (7th Cir. 2011). A pretrial detainee brought a pro se § 1983 action against prison officials who allegedly were deliberately indifferent in failing to protect him from an attack by other inmates at a county
jail. The prison officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officials were unaware of a substantial risk of serious
injury to the pretrial detainee, and thus the officials were not deliberately indifferent in failing to protect the detainee
from the attack. According to the court, a corrections officer on duty during the two inmates' attack did not act with
deliberate indifference by failing to enter a day room where the attack was occurring. The officer verbally commanded the inmates to stop the attack. The officer was alone, intervened by promptly calling for back-up and monitoring the fight from a secure area until other officers arrived, and was not required to put herself in significant jeopardy by attempting to break up fight herself. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

39.91

U.S. Appeals Court
WORK
PROTECTION
SAFETY

Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418 (7th Cir, 2011). A state prisoner brought an action against prison employees, alleging
that the employees violated the Eighth Amendment by forcing him to work at hard labor in dangerous conditions,
and violated the First Amendment by penlizing him for questioning the propriety of the work assignment and preparing to sue. The district court dismissed the complaint. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the prisoner stated a claim against prison employees for violating his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by forcing him to work at hard labor in dangerous conditions. The prisoner alleged that he was assigned to uproot tree stumps in cold weather, without being given any protective gear, that he developed blisters from handling heavy tools in the cold without gloves, and that he was subjected to the risk of getting hit by the blades of the tools because they slipped from their handles as prisoners hacked
away without proper training. The court found that the prisoner stated a claim against prison employees for violating
his First Amendment right to free speech, by alleging that the employees penalized him for questioning the propriety
of his work assignment and preparing to sue. (Branchville Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND

U.S. v. Franco, 632 F.3d 880 (5th Cir. 2011). An inmate in a privately owned and operated county jail, who had paid
a corrections officer to bring contraband into a county correctional facility, was convicted after a district court jury
trial of aiding and abetting in the bribery of a public official. The defendant appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that it was constitutional to apply the federal bribery statute to the defendant, even though he used his
own money, and not federal funds, to pay the corrections officer. The officer had been paid a total of $425 over a
period of time to bring peanut butter, tuna fish, and other small food items, a cell phone, enchiladas and a box containing marijuana. (Ector County Correctional Center, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS

Van den Bosch v. Raemisch, 658 F.3d 778 (7th Cir. 2011). The publisher of a newsletter about the Wisconsin state
prison system and a pro se state prisoner who wrote an article for that newsletter brought separate actions challenging a regulation imposed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) on distribution of incoming prisoner
mail. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the DOC officials. The plaintiffs appealed and the
actions were consolidated for appeal. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officials' decision to bar
distribution of the newsletter to prisoners did not violate the First Amendment and the officials' refusal to deliver
copies of the article that the state prisoner had written to the newsletter did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights. The court noted that one newsletter article described the Wisconsin parole commission as totalitarian
and abusers of prisoners, and another urged its readers to employ any and all tactics to bring about change in prison
life, so that it was reasonable for the officials to perceive the newsletter articles as posing a potential threat to rehabilitation and security. (Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Green Bay Correctional Institution)
2012

U.S. Appeals Court
PUBLICATIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Al-Owhali v. Holder, 687 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2012). A federal inmate brought a suit against the Attorney General,
the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a prison warden, and the FBI, alleging that several special
administrative measures imposed upon him violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. The inmate had been
convicted of several terrorism-related offenses stemming from the 1998 bombing of the United States embassy in
Nairobi, Kenya. The district court dismissed the complaint and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
appeals court held that: (1) the inmate failed to address whether the ban on his communications with his nieces and
nephews was supported by a rational penal interest; (2) the measure preventing the inmate's subscription to two Arabic–language newspapers fell within the warden's broad discretion to limit incoming information, and was rationally
related to a penal interest to prevent the inmate from acting upon contemporary information or receiving coded messages; and (3) the inmate offered only a vague allegation regarding the measure that purportedly barred him from
obtaining a book authored by former President Jimmy Carter, where the inmate offered no factual context to show
that the measure was unrelated to any legitimate penal interest, and instead merely implied the existence of a secret
list of banned publications. (United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
SAFETY
SECURITY RESTRICTIONS
TELEPHONE CALLS

Beaulieu v. Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017 (8th Cir. 2012). Patients who were civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex
Offender Program (MSOP) brought a § 1983 action against Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) officials and Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) officials, alleging that various MSOP policies and practices
relating to the patients' conditions of confinement were unconstitutional. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the patients appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that:
(1) the MSOP policy of performing unclothed body searches of patients was not unreasonable; (2) the policy of
placing full restraints on patients during transport was not unreasonable; (3) officials were not liable for using excessive force in handcuffing patients; (4) the officials' seizure of televisions from the patients' rooms was not unreasonable; (5) the MSOP telephone-use policy did not violate the First Amendment; and (6) there was no evidence that
officials were deliberately indifferent to the patients' health or safety. According to the court, the MSOP identified
reasons for its policy requiring 13–inch clear-chassis televisions or 17– to 19–inch flat-screen televisions--that the
shelves in patients' rooms could safely hold those televisions, and that a clear-chassis or flat-screen television would
reduce contraband concealment. According to the court, those justifications implicated both patient safety and
MSOP's interest in maintaining security and order at the institution and making certain no contraband reached patients. The court also found that the (MSOP) telephone-use policy did not violate the First Amendment free speech
rights of patients who were civilly committed to MSOP. According to the court, the policy of monitoring patients'
non-legal telephone calls and prohibiting incoming calls was reasonably related to MSOP's security interests in detecting and preventing crimes and maintaining a safe environment. The court upheld the 30-minute limit on the
length of calls, finding it was reasonably related to the legitimate governmental interest of providing phone access to
all patients, and that patients had viable alternatives by which they may exercise their First Amendment rights, including having visitors or sending or receiving mail, and patients had abused telephone privileges prior to implementation of the policy by engaging in criminal activity or other counter-therapeutic behavior by phone. (Minnesota Sex
Offender Program)

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U.S. District Court
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGION

Benning v. Georgia, 864 F.Supp.2d 1358 (M.D.Ga. 2012). A Jewish inmate brought an action against the State of
Georgia, the Georgia Board of Corrections, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), and its Commissioner, in
his official capacity, alleging that the defendants violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA) by refusing to allow him to grow earlocks in accordance with his religious beliefs. The court held that:
(1) the inmate's religious belief that he was forbidden from shaving his earlocks was sincerely held; (2) the inmate's
religious beliefs were substantially burdened by the defendants' refusal to allow him to grow earlocks; (3) uniformity
was not a compelling government interest justifying the defendants' refusal to allow the inmate to grow earlocks; and
(4) the defendants failed to prove that banning earlocks completely was the least restrictive means of furthering
compelling governmental interests. (Autry State Prison, Georgia)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Davis v. Powell, 901 F.Supp.2d 1196 (S.D.Cal. 2012). A state prisoner who was a Muslim brought a pro se § 1983
action against a prison warden and other prison employees for claims arising out of the prison's ban on prayer oil.
The court held that allegations that a prison warden issued an addendum to a Department Operations Manual (DOM)
that implemented a policy that only orders for certain religious items would be counted under the quarterly package
program was sufficient to state First Amendment retaliation claim against warden. The court noted that: (1) the policy made it more burdensome to obtain items required for the inmate to practice his religion or practice it as easily as
inmates of different faiths; (2) that there existed a causal link between the policy and his faith; (3) that his required
religious oil was banned approximately five months after the inmate appealed the policy; (4) that the policy would
chill a person of ordinary firmness from practicing his religion, and (5) that a legitimate penological interest was not
furthered by the policy. The court found that the inmate’s allegation that a prison warden enacted a policy which
considered special orders for religious packages to be counted as quarterly packages for inmates, because of its adverse effects on plaintiffs of a particular religion, stated an equal protection claim. According to the court, the articles listed in the policy were those ordered by only prisoners of that religion. The court held that the warden and
officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from the inmate's claim alleging a violation of the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), where a reasonable person in the position of the prison warden and
related officials would believe that his or her conduct in enacting a policy banning the purchase and receipt of prayer
oil by inmates for 14 months violated inmates' First Amendment right to freely exercise his or her religion and of the
inmate’s Equal Protection rights. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATIONS
GANGS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Facey v. Dickhaut, 892 F.Supp.2d 347 (D.Mass. 2012). A prisoner at a state correctional institution filed a pro se §
1983 action against the prison and officials alleging his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment was violated when officials knowingly placed him in danger by assigning him to a housing unit where
he was violently attacked by members of a rival gang. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted
the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the complaint stated a claim against the deputy superintendent and an assistant for violation of the Eighth Amendment, by alleging that officials were aware of the feud between two rival prison gangs, that the prisoner was a known member of one of the gangs, that despite this knowledge
officials had assigned the prisoner to a section of the prison where a rival gang was housed, and as a result he was
violently attacked and sustained permanent injuries. The court found that the official who had instituted the gang
housing policy could not be held personally liable, since he did not implement the policy, nor was he deliberately
indifferent in supervising or training those who did. According to the court, state prison officials who had placed the
prisoner known to be a gang member in danger by assigning him to a housing unit where he was violently attacked
by members of a rival gang, were not entitled to qualified immunity in the prisoner's § 1983 suit. The court noted
that clearly established law provided that the Eighth Amendment was violated if officials disregarded a known, substantial risk to an inmate's health or safety, and the officials had disregarded this risk, as well as violated a prison
policy, by placing rival gang members in same housing unit. (Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, Mass.)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
VIDEO
SURVEILLANCE

Ferencz v. Medlock, 905 F.Supp.2d 656 (W.D.Pa. 2012). A mother, as administrator for her son’s estate, brought
deliberate indifference claims under a wrongful death statute against prison employees, and the prison's medical
services provider, following the death of her son when he was a pretrial detainee in a county prison. The employees
and provider moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The district court
held that under Pennsylvania law, the mother lacked standing to bring wrongful death and survival actions in her
individual capacity against several prison employees for her son's death while he was in prison, where the wrongful
death and survival statutes only permitted recovery by a personal representative, such as a mother in her action as
administratrix of her son's estate, or as a person entitled to recover damages as a trustee ad litem. The court found
that the mother's claims that a prison's medical services provider had a policy, practice, or custom that resulted in her
son's death were sufficient to overcome the provider's motion to dismiss the mother's § 1983 action for the death of
her son while he was in prison. Upon admission to the facility, the detainee had been evaluated and scored a 12 on a
scale, which was to have triggered classification as suicidal (a score of 8 or more). The Classification Committee
subsequently did not classify the detainee as suicidal as they were required to do under the jail classification policy,
and no member of the Committee communicated to medical contractor staff or correctional officers responsible for
monitoring the detainee that he was suicidal and going through drug withdrawal. At the time, the jail was equipped
with an operational and working video surveillance system and there was a video camera in the detainee’s cell. The
video surveillance of the cell was broadcast on four different television monitors throughout the jail, all of which
were working and manned by officers. Additionally, the work station thhhattt was located around the corner from the
cell, approximately 20 feet away, was equipped with one of the four television monitors. The monitor was situated
on the wall above the desk at the work station, such that it would be directly in front of the officer manning the station if he was sitting facing his desk.
The detainee attempted suicide by trying to hang himself with his bed sheet from the top of the cell bars, which
took several minutes and was unsuccessful. After the attempt, however, the detainee left the bed sheet hanging from
the top of his cell bars and started to pace in his cell in visible mental distress. This suicide attempt, as well as the
hanging bedsheet were viewable from the nearby work station video surveillance monitor as well as the other three
monitors throughout the jail. A few minutes later the detainee attempted to commit suicide a second time by hanging

39.93

himself with his bed sheet from the top of his cell bars. This suicide attempt took several minutes, was unsuccessful,
and was viewable from the work station video surveillance monitor as well as the other three monitors throughout
the jail. A few minutes later, the detainee attempted to commit suicide a third time by hanging himself with his bed
sheet. This time, he hung himself from his bed sheet for over twenty minutes, without being noticed by any of the
four officers who were manning the four video surveillance monitors. In fact, one officer admitted he was asleep at
his work station at the time. By the time another officer noticed the hanging, nearly 30 minutes had passed. The
detainee was cut down and transported to a local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead due to asphyxiation by hanging. (Fayette County Prison, Pennsylvania, and PrimeCare Medical, Inc.)
U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS
RELIGION
SAFETY

Forter v. Geer, 868 F.Supp.2d 1091 (D.Or. 2012). A state inmate, who was a member of the Christian Identity Faith
and proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983 action against department of corrections (DOC) employees, 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 to dismiss and for summary judgment. The district court granted the motions. The court held that the inmate did not file grievances for most claims, even though such procedures were
available to him, and he did not appeal those grievances that he did file, and therefore failed to exhaust his administrative remedies under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
The court held that withholding of a religious poster did not substantially burden the religious exercise of the
inmate, who was a member of the Christian Identity Faith, as would violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court also held that size restrictions which prevented the inmate from possessing
the religious poster did not violate his First Amendment free exercise rights, where the regulations prevented any
items, except subscription newspapers, over a certain size. According to the court, prison officials withholding of
certain religious pamphlets from the mail of the inmate, was validly and rationally connected to a legitimate interest
in ensuring order and safety, for the purposes of the inmate's § 1983 claim alleging that the withholding violated his
First Amendment free exercise and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights. The court noted that the pamphlets contained racially inflammatory material and that the prison population was racially mixed. (Oregon Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Grayson v. Schuler, 666 F.3d 450 (7th Cir. 2012). A former state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a correctional officer, alleging the forcible shearing of his dreadlocks violated the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The former prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that while the prisoner's Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) claim against the correctional officer in his official capacity was
barred by the state's sovereign immunity, the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity. The court noted that the
Act does not create a cause of action against state employees in their personal capacity. The court held that the taking of a Nazirite vow, which barred the cutting of hair, by the state prisoner who was a member of the orthodox
African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem was religiously motivated, for purposes of the prisoner's claim that prison
officials failed to accommodate his religious beliefs and thus violated the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. The court found that the officer was not entitled to quality immunity because there was no suggestion that the
officer who ordered shearing of prisoner's dreadlocks due to a reasonable belief that the prisoner was insincere in his
religious beliefs, or was a security threat. (Big Muddy Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING
KEYS
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Gruenberg v. Gempeler, 697 F.3d 573 (7th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner, proceeding pro se, filed a § 1983 action
against various prison officials, guards, and medical staff, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district
court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that: (1) the prisoner did not have a clearly established right to not be continually restrained without clothing or cover in a cell for five days following his ingestion of a handcuff key, the master key for belt restraints, and
the key used for opening cell doors, where restraint had been imposed to keep the prisoner from re-ingesting those
keys; (2) the continuous restraint of the prisoner without clothing or cover in a cell for five days did not violate his
Fourteenth Amendment due process rights; (3) the prisoner's Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claims were barred; and (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion by ruling that the prisoner was competent to advance his case and was not entitled to appointed counsel. (Waupun Correction Institution,
Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
EXERCISE
LOCK DOWN
RIOT
SECURITY
PRACTICES

Hayes v. Dovey, 914 F.Supp.2d 1125 (S.D.Cal. 2012). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a prison's
former warden, chief deputy warden, and associate warden alleging they deprived him of outdoor exercise for approximately nine months in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion. The court held that prison officials did not act with deliberate indifference when
they precluded outdoor exercise for nine months, and that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity. Officials had stopped providing outdoor exercise for general population prisoners during a state of emergency at the
facility following a major riot. During this time, the prisoner was allowed to work in a program office for approximately 30 hours per week. The court noted that the riot involved a concerted and organized attack on prison officials,
the lockdown was imposed to investigate and prevent continued violence, and despite the lockdown and exercise
restrictions there were many instances of violence, including two incidents of attempted murder on a peace officer,
20 incidents of battery on a peace officer or prison staff member, and 46 instances of inmates in possession of weapons or metal stock. According to the court, it was not clearly established at the time of the lockdown precisely how
or when a prison that houses problem inmates must return to its normal operations, including outdoor exercise, during and after a state of emergency called in response to a major riot. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

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

39.94

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. District Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Joseph v. Fischer, 900 F.Supp.2d 320 (W.D.N.Y. 2012). A state prisoner who observed the Nation of Gods and
Earths (NGE) faith brought an action against correctional officials, alleging that the officials violated his right to
practice his religion, denied his right of access to courts, and retaliated against him. The prisoner sought declaratory
and injunctive relief, as well as money damages. The officials moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the issue of whether correctional officials'
restrictions on NGE activities were adequately justified by legitimate security concerns, as required under the First
Amendment and RLUIPA, could not be resolved on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, since it was not possible, based solely on the pleadings, to determine whether the actions of the officials had unjustifiably burdened the
prisoner's religious exercise. The court held that individual correctional officials were qualifiedly immune from the
prisoner's claim for damages based on the officials' preventing the prisoner from participating in such activities,
where the rights of the prisoner, who observed the NGE faith, to hold study group classes, wear certain articles of
clothing or emblems, and observe NGE holy days, were not clearly established First Amendment rights, given that
department of corrections protocols did not specifically protect such religious activities. The court found that the
prisoner's allegations, that he was denied access to courts due to a correctional official's confiscation or destruction
of documents, failed to state a claim for denial of access to courts, where the allegations were conclusory, and the
prisoner failed to show what prejudice he suffered as a result of the official's alleged actions. (Attica Correctional
Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
SAFETY REGULA
TIONS

McFaul v. Valenzuela, 684 F.3d 564 (5th Cir. 2012). A prisoner brought a pro se civil rights action against prison
officials who had denied his request for a religious medallion to use in Celtic Druid ceremonies. The district court
entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding
that the prison's prohibitions on nonconforming neo-Pagan medallions and medallions costing more than $25 did not
violate the prisoner's First Amendment right to free exercise of religion, and the prisoner failed to meet his burden of
showing that the prohibitions substantially burdened his ability to practice his religion, in violation of the Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The appeals court also held that enforcement of the prohibitions against the prisoner did not violate equal protection. Officials had prevented the prisoner from having a black
onyx pentagram for use in Celtic Druid ceremonies, and the court found that the prohibitions were reasonably related
to penological interests, including safety, security, and discipline, did not discriminate against nontraditional religions, and did not prevent the prisoner from performing some religious rituals. The court noted that permitting prisoners to possess nonconforming medallions would have forced guards to determine whether the items were permitted religious medallions or contraband items. (Preston Smith Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION

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 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. District Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

Native American Council of Tribes v. Weber, 897 F.Supp.2d 828 (D.S.D. 2012). A Native American organization
and inmates brought an action against the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Corrections, alleging the
Department's policy banning all tobacco from its facilities violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court found that the inmates' use of tobacco was a religious exercise protected
under RLUIPA, that the policy placed a substantial burden on the inmates' exercise of their religious beliefs, and the
policy was not supported by a compelling governmental interest where there was little evidence that tobacco from
the Native American religious ceremonies created a security or safety risk. According to the court, the Native American inmates' use of tobacco in pipes, tobacco ties, and prayer flags was a religious exercise protected under
RLUIPA, notwithstanding the use of red willow bark instead of tobacco by other members of their tribe. The court
noted that the inmates used tobacco prior to their incarceration as part of traditional healing and other religious ceremonies. (South Dakota Department of Corrections)

39.95

U.S. District Court
GANGS
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Panayoty v. Annucci, 898 F.Supp.2d 469 (N.D.N.Y. 2012). Inmates in a state prison who were affiliated with the
religious group Nation of Gods and Earth filed a § 1983 action against prison officials seeking declarative and injunctive relief concerning constraints the prison placed on the practice of their religion, which allegedly violated the
First Amendment and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), as well as the equal protection clause of Fourteenth Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court found that the inmates' practice of congregating with each other and
wearing crowns, as part of their affiliation with the Nation of Gods and Earth group, was religious in the inmates'
scheme of beliefs, and sincerely held, as required to demonstrate a prima facie showing of First Amendment free
exercise and RLUIPA violations against the prison officials who had established protocols prohibiting such practices. The court noted that one inmate had a twelve-year history of the religious practice, dating back to before he was
incarcerated, another inmate's practice extended back 25 years, and both expressed that the Nation of Gods and Earth
religion had helped them draw closer to a life of righteousness and had shaped their character. The court held that
there was no evidence that the inmates' practice of displaying the Nation of Gods and Earth's Universal Flag, symbols, and texts in their cells, as part of their affiliation with the group, was religious in the inmates' scheme of beliefs,
and sincerely held, and the inmates failed to adequately assert First Amendment free exercise and RLUIPA violations against prison officials. Although the inmates asserted that the prison's prohibition of this practice required
them to live under a shroud of secrecy, members of the group were required to register with the facility deputy superintendent for programs, so their practice was well known.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prison
prohibition on the practice of congregating with each other and wearing religious crowns was reasonably related to
security concerns that the religion was affiliated with gang activity, and whether the measures were the least restrictive means of accomplishing security concerns. (New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Mid–Orange Correctional Facility, Riverview Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
MEDIA ACCESS

Philadelphia Inquirer v. Wetzel, 906 F.Supp.2d 362 (M.D.Pa. 2012). A newspaper brought an action against the
secretary of a state department of corrections (DOC), alleging the First Amendment guaranteed the right to observe a
prisoner's execution without obstructions. The newspaper moved for a preliminary injunction. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that the historical practice in Pennsylvania indicated that the public and press
traditionally enjoyed a right of access to executions and that permitting the press to view an entire execution without
visual or auditory obstruction contributed to the proper functioning of the execution process. The court found that
the state's significant interest in protecting the identities of employees taking part in lethal injections did not outweigh the newspaper's right of access to observe executions, and that the newspaper demonstrated that granting a
preliminary injunction would not result in harm to the state. The court noted that “… allowing the press to report on
the entire method of execution may promote a more informed discussion of the death penalty… and it may promote
the public perception of fairness and transparency concerning the death penalty, which can only be achieved by
permitting full public view of the execution…. Allowing the press to view the entire execution also provides significant community therapeutic value, as well as exposes the execution process to public scrutiny.” (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
SAFETY REGULA
TIONS
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Prison Legal News v. Livingston, 683 F.3d 201 (5th Cir. 2012). A non-profit publisher of a magazine about prisoners'
rights filed a § 1983 suit claiming violation of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) book censorship policy and procedures, as applied to the publisher that was
prohibited from distributing five books to prisoners. The district court granted the TDCJ summary judgment. The
publisher appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the TDCJ book censorship policy that prohibited
the publisher's distribution of two books graphically depicting prison rape was rationally related to a legitimate
penological goal of protecting prisoners from a threat to safety and security by use of descriptions as templates to
commit similar rapes, and thus, the policy as applied to the publisher's distribution of the two books to prisoners did
not contravene the publisher's First Amendment right to free speech. According to the court, the TDCJ book censorship policy that prohibited the publisher's distribution of a book containing racial slurs and advocating overthrow of
prisons by riot and revolt was rationally related to the legitimate penological goal of protecting the prison's safety
and security from race riots, and thus, the policy as applied to the publisher's distribution of book to prisoners did not
contravene the publisher's First Amendment right to free speech. The court also noted that the prison had a legitimate
penological goal of protecting prisoners from the threat of violence due to the existence of race-based prison gangs
and the prevalence of racial discord. The court found that the TDCJ book censorship policy that formerly prohibited
the publisher's distribution of a book recounting sexual molestation of a young child was rationally related to the
legitimate penological goal of protecting the prison from impairment of the rehabilitation of sex offenders and from
disruptive outbursts by prisoners who were similarly victimized, and thus, the policy as applied to the publisher's
distribution of the book to prisoners did not contravene the publisher's First Amendment right to free speech. The
court noted that the TDCJ policy left prisoners and the publisher with ample alternatives for exercising their free
speech rights by permitting prisoners to read the publisher's newsletter and the majority of books that the publisher
distributed. (Prison Legal News, Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

U.S. District Court
SECURITY PRACTICES
DISCRETION

Sledge v. U.S., 883 F.Supp.2d 71 (D.D.C. 2012). A federal inmate's relatives brought an action under the Federal
Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against the United States, alleging claims for personal injury and wrongful death based on
the failure of Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees to prevent or stop an attack on the inmate. The attack resulted in
the inmate’s hospitalization and death. The relatives also sought to recover for emotional distress that the inmate and
his mother allegedly suffered when BOP employees denied bedside visitation between the mother and the inmate.
Following dismissal of some of the claims, the United States moved to dismiss the remaining claims based on
FTCA's discretionary function exception. The district court granted the motion. The court found that a correction
officer's decision to position himself outside the housing unit, rather than in the sally port, to smoke a cigarette during a controlled move was discretionary, and thus the United States was immune from liability under the Federal
Tort Claims Act's (FTCA) discretionary function exception. The court noted that the prison lacked mandatory guidelines that required correctional staff to follow a particular course of action regarding supervision of inmates during
controlled moves, and the officer's decision implicated policy concerns, in that it required consideration of the risks

39.96

posed by inmates moving throughout prison, and required safety and security calculations. The court held that the
mother of the deceased federal inmate failed to state a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, under
Missouri law, arising from the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) denial of bedside visitation between the mother and inmate,
absent allegations that the BOP should have realized that its failure to complete a visitation memorandum involved
an unreasonable risk of causing distress, or facts necessary to demonstrate that the mother's emotional distress was
“medically diagnosable” and was of sufficient severity as to be “medically significant.”
The court found that the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) alleged decision not to allow the mother of federal inmate,
who was in coma after being severely beaten by a fellow inmate, to visit her son after the BOP allegedly failed to
complete a visitation memorandum, was not so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond
all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in civilized community, thus
precluding the mother's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim under Missouri law. (Federal Correctional
Institution, Allenwood, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS GROUPS
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY PRACTICES

Sweet v. Northern Neck Regional Jail, 857 F.Supp.2d 595 (E.D.Va. 2012). An inmate, proceeding in forma pauperis,
brought a § 1983 action against a sergeant and a jail, alleging that a prohibition against speaking in Arabic during
prayer violated his First Amendment rights. The district court dismissed the case. The court held that the jail policy
requiring prayers or services be spoken in English when inmates from different housing units and classification levels congregated, but allowing prayers to be offered in Arabic within individual housing units, was reasonably related
to legitimate penological interests of security and did not substantially burden inmates' right to free exercise of their
First Amendment rights. The court noted that the jail was concerned about inmates plotting riots or escapes while
congregating with other units, jail officers did not speak Arabic, and inmates could gather within their housing units
and pray in Arabic. (Northern Neck Regional Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
GANGS

Toston v. Thurmer, 689 F.3d 828 (7th Cir. 2012). A state prison inmate brought a pro se civil rights complaint under
§ 1983 against prison officials, alleging that his rights of free speech and due process were violated when a disciplinary proceeding found him guilty of possession of gang literature and sentenced him to 90 days confinement in segregation. The inmate's due process claim was dismissed, and the district court granted summary judgment for officials on the free speech claim. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and vacated in part. The
appeals court held that the limitation of the state prison inmate's right of free speech, as a result of a disciplinary
proceeding that found him guilty of possession of gang literature, was adequately justified by prison officials' legitimate concern that the inmate copied from a prison library book a ten-point program by the founder of a hate group's
predecessor in order to show it to others that the inmate hoped to enlist in a prison gang, with the program to serve as
the gang's charter. The court noted that a prison librarian's decision that on the whole a book is not gang literature
does not preclude disciplinary proceedings against an inmate who copies incendiary passages from it. The inmate
had purchased, with prison permission, “To Die for the People: The Writings of Huey P. Newton” the founder of the
Black Panthers, and he had checked out two books from the prison library about the Black Panthers. The court vacated the district court decision regarding the alleged due process violation. The inmate alleged that his due process
rights were violated because he had no notice that copying passages from prison library books or a book he had been
allowed to purchase could subject him to a sentence of 90 days' confinement in segregation for possessing gang
literature. The appeal court ordered the district court to determine whether a 90–day sentence to segregation was, or
was not, a deprivation of liberty. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
SECURITY PRACTICES
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER

U.S. v. Bout, 860 F.Supp.2d 303 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). A federal prisoner convicted of multiple conspiracies to kill United States nationals, kill officers and employees of the United States, acquire, transfer, and use anti-aircraft missiles,
and provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, who had been held in solitary confinement, moved to be transferred to the general prison population. The motion was construed as a habeas petition. The
district court held that continued solitary confinement violated the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. According to
the court, the decision of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to indefinitely hold the federal prisoner in solitary
confinement was not rationally related to any legitimate penological objectives and thus violated the prisoner's
Eighth Amendment rights. The court found that although the BOP argued that the prisoner's release from solitary
confinement would pose a high security risk, there was no evidence that the prisoner had a direct affiliation with any
member of a terrorist organization, or that he personally engaged in violent acts. The court concluded that the prisoner did not present an unusually high risk of escape or harm to others, any involvement that the prisoner had with
the former Liberian dictator, Charles Taylor, occurred several years ago and was not the basis of his criminal conviction, and the prisoner's release into the general population would have minimal impact on guards, other inmates, and
prison resources. (Special Housing Unit, Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
MAIL

U.S. v. Ligambi, 886 F.Supp.2d 492 (E.D.Pa. 2012). A detainee who was charged with various crimes, including
racketeering, moved to suppress an outgoing prison letter seized by prison officials. The district court denied the
motion. The court held that the defendant, who was in prison while charged with various crimes, including racketeering, did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his outgoing non-privileged mail. The court noted that
prison regulations permitted officials to seize correspondence when it might contain information concerning criminal
activities, it was established practice to inspect non-privileged mailings to promote discipline in the institution, and
the defendant had a reputation for involvement with organized crime. (South Woods State Prison, Southern State
Correctional Facility, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

U.S. v. Tyerman, 701 F.3d 552 (8th Cir. 2012). A defendant was convicted in district court of being a felon in possession of a firearm and he appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. After a trial, the defendant was convicted in the district court of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possession of a stolen
firearm. His motion for acquittal or new trial was denied and the defendant appealed. The appeals court affirmed.
The court held that the government's passive conduct in receiving information regarding the location of the defendant's gun, from the defendant's counsel, did not violate the defendant's Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel. The court
found that the defendant's conduct in creating handcuff keys and practicing the use of them constituted a substantial

39.97

step, as an element of attempt, with respect to escaping from pretrial incarceration, for purposes of using attempted
escape as the basis for a sentence enhancement for obstruction of justice. At sentencing, a U.S. Marshal testified that
prison guards discovered two homemade handcuff keys in the defendant’s cell. According to the Marshal, during the
investigation, other inmates revealed the defendant’s plans to escape from jail and his use of the law library (which
lacked surveillance) to practice removing handcuffs. Finding the Marshal credible, the district court applied a twolevel adjustment for obstruction of justice based on the attempted escape, sentencing the defendant 72 months' imprisonment. (U. S. District Court, Iowa)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
SECURITY PRACTICES
SUPERMAX
TRANSFER

Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679 (7th Cir. 2012). Past and present inmates in the custody of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (IDOC), who had been incarcerated in a supermax prison, brought a § 1983 action against IDOC officials and employees, alleging that defendants violated their right to procedural due process by employing unconstitutionally inadequate procedures when assigning inmates to the supermax prison, and seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. The district court granted injunctive relief, and the defendants appealed. The appeals court vacated and
remanded with instructions. The appeals court held that the scope and specificity of the district court's injunction
exceeded what was required to remedy a due-process violation, contrary to the terms of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (PLRA) and cautionary language from the Supreme Court about remedial flexibility and deference to prison
administrators. The court held that the IDOC's ten–point plan should be used as a constitutional baseline, revising the
challenged procedures and including a detailed transfer-review process. According to the court, this would eliminate
the operational discretion and flexibility of prison administrators, far exceeding what due process required and violating the mandate of the PLRA. The court found that, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), injunctive
relief to remedy unconstitutional prison conditions must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to
remedy the constitutional violation, and use the least intrusive means to correct the violation of the federal right. The
court noted that informal due process, which is mandatory for inmates transferred to a supermax prison, requires
some notice of the reasons for the inmate's placement and enough time to prepare adequately for the administrative
review. The court found that, to satisfy due process regarding inmates transferred to a supermax prison, only a single
prison official is needed as a neutral reviewer, not necessarily a committee, noting that informal due process requires
only that the inmate be given an opportunity to present his views, not necessarily a full-blown hearing. Similarly, the
informal due process does not necessarily require a written decision describing the reasons for an inmate's placement, or mandate an appeal procedure. (Closed Maximum Security Unit, Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY REGULA
TIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES

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 firstdegree 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
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY
TRANSPORTATION
WHEELCHAIR

Woods v. City of Utica, 902 F.Supp.2d 273 (N.D.N.Y. 2012). A wheelchair-using, paraplegic arrestee sued a city,
police officer, a county, a former sheriff, and county corrections officers, bringing federal causes of action for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process. The arrestee alleged that he was lifted out of his wheelchair and placed on the floor of a
sheriff's van, forcing him to maneuver himself onto a bench seat which caused his pants and underwear to fall, exposing his genitals, that he was not secured to the bench with a seatbelt, causing him to be thrown about the passenger compartment and suffer leg spasms during his ride to the jail, that he was forced to urinate into an empty soda
bottle and handle his sterile catheter with his hands that were dirty from moving himself around the floor of the van,
and that the county corrections officers stood by as he struggled to maneuver himself out of the van and into his
wheelchair while other inmates watched. The city and county defendants moved for summary judgment. The district
court held that: (1) the city did not fail to accommodate the arrestee's disability, for purposes of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims; (2) summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the arrestee was denied the
benefit of safe and appropriate transportation by the county on the day of his arrest when he was moved from a police station to a county jail; (3) the county was entitled to summary judgment to the extent the arrestee's claims involved his transportation from the jail to court proceedings on two other dates; (4) fact issues existed as to whether
the county defendants were deliberately indifferent to the paraplegic inmate's known medical need for suppositories
every other day, in violation of due process, but they were not deliberately indifferent to his need for catheters and
prescription pain medication; and (5) the county defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity. The court noted
that while the county defendants disputed the arrestee's version of the facts, corrections officers all denied receiving
any training regarding how to transport disabled inmates. (Utica Police Dept., Oneida Co. Corr’l. Facility, N.Y.)

39.98

2013
U.S. District Court
SAFETY
REGULATIONS

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
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Aref v. Holder, 953 F.Supp.2d 133 (D.D.C. 2013). Current and former prisoners brought an action against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), BOP officials, and the Attorney General, claiming that their First and Fifth Amendment
rights were violated when they were placed in Communications Management Units (CMUs), in which their ability to
communicate with the outside world was seriously restricted. Following dismissal of all but the procedural due process and First Amendment retaliation claims, the defendants moved to dismiss the First Amendment claims. The
district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the prisoner's release from BOP
custody rendered moot his official-capacity claims for equitable relief; (2) a second prisoner sufficiently alleged a
First Amendment retaliation claim; but (3) the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) barred the prisoners' individual-capacity claims against a BOP official for mental or emotional injury. (Federal Correctional Institutions in Terre
Haute, Indiana, and Marion, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEARCHES
SEX OFFENDER
VIDEO
SURVEILLANCE

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 single-user 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
LOCKS
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY

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. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
GANGS

Castro v. Terhune, 712 F.3d 1304 (9th Cir. 2013). A state inmate brought an action challenging his validation as an
“associate” of a recognized prison gang on due process grounds. The district court granted the defendants' motion for
summary judgment. The appeals court reversed and remanded. On remand, the district court again entered summary
judgment for the defendants. The appeals court again reversed and remanded. Following a bench trial on remand, the
district court granted the inmate prospective relief, requiring prison officials to determine whether an inmate was a
gang associate under a new validation procedure. After officials validated the inmate as a “prison-gang associate” for
a second time, the district granted the defendants' motion to terminate the case. The inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The appeals court held that the California prison regulation relating to validation of inmates as prison
gang affiliates was not facially vague. The court found that the district court erred by not evaluating whether “some
evidence” supported the inmate's validation, but because the record contained “some evidence” that inmate was
involved with a gang, remand was not warranted. (SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTACT VISITS
CONTRABAND
RESTRAINTS

Chappell v. Mandeville, 706 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2013). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity and the district court granted summary judgment as to some, but not all,
of the claims. The defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed. The appeals court held that: (1) it was not clearly established that subjecting the prison inmate to a contraband watch violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition
against cruel and unusual punishment, and thus prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the Eighth
Amendment claim; (2) the contraband watch was not such an extreme change in conditions of confinement as to
trigger due-process protection; and (3) it was not clearly established whether a state-created liberty interest existed
with regard to the contraband watch, and thus officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the claim that the
inmate's right to due process was violated because he was not provided with an opportunity to be heard by the official who ordered contraband watch. The inmate’s fiancée had visited him, and when she entered the prison she was

39.99

wearing a ponytail hairpiece. The next day the hairpiece was discovered in a trash can near the visiting room. Prison
officials then searched the entire visiting area and found spandex undergarments in the women's bathroom. Both the
hairpiece and the undergarments tested positive for cocaine residue. Prison staff conducted a search of the inmate’s
cell, during which they notified him that they believed that someone had introduced drugs through a hairpiece. The
officials discovered three unlabelled bottles of what appeared to be eye drops in the inmate’s cell. The liquid in the
bottles tested positive for methamphetamine. The inmate was then placed on a contraband watch. The contraband
watch conditions included 24-hour lighting, mattress deprivation, taping the inmate into two pairs of underwear and
jumpsuits, placing him in a hot cell with no ventilation, chaining him to an iron bed, shackling him at the ankles and
waist, and forcing him to eat “like a dog.” (California State Prison, Sacramento)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

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
CROWDING

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. (Calif. Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections)

U.S. District Court
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. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
SEARCHES-CELL

Denny v. Schultz, 708 F.3d 140 (3rd Cir. 2013). A federal prisoner petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus challenging
findings made by Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) that he had possessed weapons in violation of a prison regulation and sanctioned him with forfeiture of 40 days of good time credit and the imposition of 60 days in disciplinary

39.100

segregation. The district court dismissed the petition and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
appeals court held that the DHO did not violate the federal prisoner's due process rights when it found that the prisoner had committed the prohibited act of “Possession of a Weapon,” on the basis that two homemade shanks had
been found in a cell that he shared with another prisoner. The court noted that, although those weapons may have
belonged to his cellmate, all prisoners had an affirmative responsibility to keep their “area” free from contraband and
the collective responsibility theory applied. (Federal Correctional Institution, Fairton, New Jersey)
U.S. Appeals Court
FIRE SAFETY
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
ITEMS PERMITTED
SEARCHES- CELL

Devbrow v. Gallegos, 735 F.3d 584 (7th Cir. 2013). A prisoner brought a § 1983 claim against two prison officials,
claiming that the officials denied him access to the courts by confiscating and then destroying his legal papers in
retaliation for a prior lawsuit he filed. The district court granted the prison officials' motion for summary judgment,
and denied the prisoner's motion for reconsideration. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that the prisoner failed to authenticate a purported e-mail from a prison official to a law librarian supervisor, where there was no circumstantial evidence that supported the authenticity of the e-mail, and no evidence that
the prisoner or anyone else saw the official actually compose or transmit the purported e-mail. The court held that
the official's removal of the prisoner's excessive legal materials from his cell, to eliminate a fire hazard and to make
it easier for officials to conduct searches and inventories of the prisoner's property during prison searches, was not
retaliation for the prisoner's filing of a prior lawsuit. According to the court, the prisoner's speculation regarding the
officials' motive could not overcome the officials' sworn statements on the motion for summary judgment. (Westville
Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
GANGS
PROTECTION
SAFETY

Dunn v. Killingsworth, 984 F.Supp.2d 811 (M.D.Tenn. 2013). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging that the officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by not providing him with adequate protection from gang-related violence. The district court conducted an initial review of the prisoner’s complaint, pursuant
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The court held that the prisoner's allegations: (1) that a gang member
threatened his personal safety: (2) that the prisoner's family paid other inmates for the prisoner's personal safety; (3)
that the prisoner repeatedly requested to be placed in protective custody; and (4) that prison officials denied such
requests, were sufficient to state the serious deprivation prong of his claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment
rights. The court also found that the prisoner's allegations that prison officials denied his requests for protection
despite the stabbing of prisoners and a guard at the prison, and that prison officials failed to take any effective steps
to provide better protection for all inmates, were sufficient to state a deliberate indifference prong of his claim for
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. (South Central Correctional Center, Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

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
CROWDING
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY
SAFETY
REGULATIONS

E.A.F.F. v. U.S., 955 F.Supp.2d 707 (W.D.Tex. 2013). Unaccompanied alien minors brought an action against Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) officials, alleging they were physically and sexually abused while they were in
detention awaiting final adjudication of their immigration status. The officials moved for partial summary judgment.
The district court granted the motions. The court noted that a person detained for deportation is equivalent to a pretrial detainee, and a pretrial detainee's constitutional claims are considered under the Due Process Clause. The court
held that the officials could not be held liable for due process violations that occurred when the unaccompanied alien
minors were physically and sexually abused as a result of alleged overcrowding at a detention facility, where they
were being held while awaiting final adjudication of their immigration status, and where there was no evidence that
the officials were responsible for decisions regarding the facility's capacity. According to the court, isolated incidents
of physical and sexual abuse by staff members at the detention facility were insufficient to put the officials on notice
of a substantial risk of future abuse, as required to hold the officials liable for deliberate indifference in failing to
protect the minors' safety in violation of their due process rights. The court noted that other incidents of alleged
abuse were investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and did not result in any abuse
findings. The court found that officials' failure to systematically interview minors concerning their abuse allegations

39.101

did not amount to deliberate indifference to their safety in violation of their due process rights, where officials spoke
to some of the minors during their monitoring visits, and clinicians were on-site and available to speak with the minors on a regular basis. The court held that the officials could not be held liable in their supervisory capacities on a
theory of failure to train or supervise, for due process violations arising from alleged physical and sexual abuse by
staff members at the detention facility, where staff members received training in behavior management and de-escalation techniques, officials responded to reports of abuse by recommending or providing further training, officials
adopted safety policies designed to prevent abuse, and officials recommended that staff members work in pairs and
they were unaware that staff members were working individually. (Nixon Facility, Away From Home, Inc., Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
ITEMS PERMITTED

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. District Court
CLEANING SUPPLIES
SAFETY

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
TRANSPORTATION

Fluker v. County of Kankakee, 741 F.3d 787 (7th Cir. 2013). An inmate and his wife filed a § 1983 action against a
county and the county sheriff's office to recover for injuries the inmate suffered when a correctional officer who was
driving a jail transport vehicle was required to brake suddenly, causing the inmate to hurtle forward and hit his head
on a metal divider. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the district court had the ability, in the interests of judicial economy and finality, to address the merits of the suit once it determined that the inmate had not exhausted his remedies
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Kankakee County, Jerome Combs Detention Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION

Fluker v. County of Kankakee, 945 F.Supp.2d 972 (C.D.Ill. 2013). An inmate and his wife filed a § 1983 action in
state court against a county and the county sheriff's office to recover for injuries the inmate suffered when a correctional officer who was driving his prison transport vehicle was required to brake suddenly, causing the inmate to
hurtle forward and hit his head on a metal divider. The case was removed to federal court. The district court granted
the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that: (1) the officials' failure to fasten the inmate’s
seatbelt did not violate the Eighth Amendment; the official's alleged driving above the posted speed limit did not
violate the Eighth Amendment; and the officials' failure to immediately call for an ambulance did not violate the
Eighth Amendment. The court noted that the officials, who were not medically trained, called a supervisor for guidance within one minute of the accident, and were told to continue to the jail where a trained first responder immediately assessed the inmate and cleaned and bandaged a laceration on his head when the transport van arrived 7 to 10
minutes later. The inmate was transported to a hospital within 10 to 15 minutes of arriving at the jail. (Jerome
Combs Detention Center, Kankakee County, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
FACIAL HAIR
RELIGION
SECURITY PRACTICES

Garner v. Kennedy, 713 F.3d 237 (5th Cir. 2013). A Muslim state prisoner brought an action against prison officials
alleging the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) policy of prohibiting prisoners from wearing beards for
religious reasons violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and his constitutional
rights. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court
affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. On remand, and after a bench trial, the district court granted declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of the prisoner. The defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that TDCJ's no-beard policy was not the least restrictive means of advancing the compelling government
interest in controlling costs, and the no-beard policy was not the least restrictive means of advancing the compelling
government interest in security. According to the court, although prison officials testified that there would be additional costs from allowing prisoners to wear quarter-inch beards for religious reasons due to the construction of barbershops, the purchase of barbering supplies, or the creation of new identification cards, almost all of that testimony
was speculative, the officials admitted that no specific studies of costs had been done, and there was no evidence that
TDCJ, which already imposed limits on hair length, would encounter greater or added difficulty if it enforced a onequarter-inch as opposed to a clean-shaven rule. Although TDCJ presented evidence that allowing inmates to have
beards hindered inmate identification, TDCJ allowed inmates to shave their heads, and there was testimony that
shaved heads posed just as many identification problems as allowing prisoners to grow and shave beards. (Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, McConnell Unit, Beeville, Texas)

39.102

U.S. Appeals Court
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
PUBLICATIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Gray v. Cannon, 974 F.Supp.2d 1150 (N.D.Ill. 2013). State inmates brought an action against prison officials, alleging that the officials' refusal to let them receive mail that included photographs depicting nudity and sexual activity
violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and that grievance procedures for challenging the refusals
violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court granted the officials’ motion for
summary judgment. The court held that a state prison regulation preventing inmates from obtaining nude or sexually
explicit photographs was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and thus did not violate the inmates'
First Amendment rights. The court noted that: (1) the regulation was expressly aimed at protecting prison security;
(2) the regulation permitted withholding reading materials only if it furthered interests in security, good order, or
discipline, and there existed a valid and rational connection between the regulation and prison security; (3) the prison
left open alternative means of exercising the restricted right by permitting inmates to receive a wide range of publications; (4) the restrictions fell within the broad limits of deference to prison officials regarding what was detrimental to security; and (5) the inmates did not point to an alternative that fully accommodated inmates' rights at a de
minimus cost to valid penological interests. The court found that there was no evidence regarding how the state prison's grievance and appeal procedures operated, as required to support the inmates’ claim that they were provided
with insufficient opportunities to challenge prison's rejections of sexually explicit photographs and publications sent
to them, in violation of due process. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CHEMICAL AGENTS

Hannon v. Beard, 979 F.Supp.2d 136 (D.Mass. 2013). Twenty-seven state inmates filed a § 1983 action against the
Massachusetts Department Of Correction (MDOC), UMass Correctional Health (UMCH), the governor, and prison
officials, alleging violations of their right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment by exposing them to harmful
environmental conditions, First Amendment rights by retaliating against them for filing grievances and law suits,
fundamental right of access to courts, and due process and equal protection rights. The officials moved to dismiss.
The district court granted the motion, finding that the Eleventh Amendment barred claims against MDOC and
UMCH, and that the inmates failed to state plausible Eighth Amendment claims and First Amendment retaliation
claims. According to the court, the inmates' allegations that they were exposed to unsafe levels of toxins at a facility
were not enough to show that the alleged deprivation was objectively serious, and thus were insufficient to state a
plausible Eighth Amendment claim. The court noted that the inmates did not allege specific facts that would support
a finding that environmental toxins were actually present, that the inmates were actually exposed to those substances, and that exposure caused injury. (UMass Correctional Health, and Massachusetts Dept. of Correction, Souza
Baranowski Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCKS
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY
SECURITY PRACTICES

Junior v. Anderson, 724 F.3d 812 (7th Cir. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought a suit under § 1983 against a guard
who allegedly failed to protect him from an attack by other inmates. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the guard, and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the guard acted with a conscious
disregard of a significant risk of violence to the detainee, when she noted that two cells in the corridor where she was
posted were not securely locked, but only noted that this was a “security risk” in her log. The guard then let several
of the inmates who were supposed to remain locked up out of their cells, let them congregate in a darkened corridor,
and then left her post, so that no guard was present to observe more than 20 maximum-security prisoners milling
about. The court found that the detainee was entitled to appointed counsel in his § 1983 suit against a prison guard.
According to the court, although the case was not analytically complex, its sound resolution depended on evidence to
which detainee in his distant lockup had no access, and the detainee needed to, but could not, depose the guard in
order to explore the reason for her having left her post and other issues. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
BOOKS
JEWELRY
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Kaufman v. Pugh, 733 F.3d 692 (7th Cir. 2013). A state prisoner brought an action against prison officials, challenging their refusal to permit a weekly atheist study group, their refusal to allow the prisoner to wear a “knowledge
thought ring” that he regarded as a religious symbol, and their failure to make atheist books that he donated available
in the prison library. The prisoner asserted claims under the Free Exercise Clause, the Establishment Clause, and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment to
the prison officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The
appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issue as to how many prisoners in the state prison
would be interested in forming a weekly atheism study group.
The court found that refusal to allow the prisoner to wear a “knowledge thought ring” did not discriminate against
atheism. The court noted that the prisoner conceded that the ring was an individualized symbol, thereby admitting
that his inability to wear the ring did not impose a substantial burden on his ability to practice atheism. According to
the court, the prison officials were entitled to draw a distinction between, on the one hand, religious emblems that
were common to members of other umbrella religious groups, easy to recognize, and difficult to abuse as a gang
symbol, and on the other hand, emblems that were unique to each prisoner and that posed a potential security risks.

39.103

According to the court, prison officials' refusal to allow the state prisoner to form a weekly atheism study group did
not violate the prisoner's rights under the Free Exercise Clause or the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), in the absence of evidence that the prisoner would be unable to practice atheism effectively
without the benefit of a weekly study group. The court found that the alleged failure of state prison officials to make
available in the prison library three used books on atheism that had been mailed to the prisoner, did not violate the
prisoner's rights under the Free Exercise Clause and the RLUIPA, absent evidence of a substantial burden on the
prisoner's ability to follow his atheistic beliefs. (Stanley Correctional Facility, Wisconsin)
U.S. District Court
STAFFING

Kelly v. Wengler, 979 F.Supp.2d 1104 (D.Idaho 2013). Prisoners brought a civil contempt action against a private
prison contractor, alleging the contractor violated a settlement agreement that required it to comply with the staffing
pattern specified in its contract with the Idaho Department of Correction. The district court found that the contractor
was in civil contempt for violating the settlement agreement, that the contractor's non-compliance with staffing requirements were significant, and the contractor did not promptly take all reasonable steps to comply with settlement
agreement. The court held that a two-year extension of the consent decree was a proper sanction for the contractor's
civil contempt in willfully violating the settlement agreement, where the contractor's failure to comply with a key
provision of the settlement agreement had lasted nearly as long as the duration of the agreement. According to the
court, the use of an independent monitor to ensure the private prison contractor's compliance with the settlement
agreement was an appropriate resolution, where such duty was most fairly handled by a monitor with a direct obligation to the district court and to the terms of the settlement agreement. The court noted that “…it is clear that there
was a persistent failure to fill required mandatory positions, along with a pattern of CCA staff falsifying rosters to
make it appear that all posts were filled.” The state assumed operation of the facility in July 2014, changing the
name to the Idaho State Correctional Center. (Corrections Corp. of America, Idaho Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGION
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Knight v. Thompson, 723 F.3d 1275 (11th Cir. 2013). Native American inmates brought an action against the Alabama Department of Corrections, challenging its short-hair policy under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court entered judgment for the Department and the inmates appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the Department’s short-hair policy for male inmates furthered
compelling governmental interests in security, discipline, hygiene, and safety, as required to survive a challenge
under RLUIPA by inmates who wished to wear their hair long in accordance with dictates of their Native American
religion. The court noted that long hair was used to conceal weapons and contraband, it concealed inmates' fungus
outbreaks, sores, cysts, and tumors, and it impeded the ability of prison staff to identify inmates. According to the
court, allowing an exception for Native American inmates would not eliminate the Department's concerns, as inmates could manipulate searches of their own hair to conceal weapons, and it would do nothing to assuage the Department's concerns about hair-pulling during fights. The court held that the Department’s short-hair policy, which
applied to all male inmates without exception, did not discriminate on the basis of race or religion in violation of the
Native American inmates' equal protection rights. (Alabama Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
BOOKS
CONTRABAND
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS

Kramer v. Conway, 962 F.Supp.2d 1333 (N.D.Ga. 2013). A pretrial detainee at a county jail brought an action
against the jail, the jail administrator, and a county sheriff, alleging that conditions of his confinement violated his
right to practice his Orthodox Jewish faith, that the defendants violated his right to possess legal reference books,
and that the defendants failed to accommodate his physical disabilities. The detainee moved for a preliminary and a
permanent injunction and moved for leave to file a second amendment to his verified complaint. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motions in part and granted the motion in part. The court
held that the pretrial detainee’s allegation that the county jail denied him books needed to practice his Orthodox
Jewish religious faith failed to establish a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA), absent evidence that the county jail received federal funds in connection with its policies limiting the
number and type of books allowed in cells. The court held that the county jail's policy of limiting the number of
religious books that the pretrial detainee, an Orthodox Jew, could keep in his cell, but providing him access to others
that were not in his cell, was based on legitimate penological interests, and thus, did not violate the detainee's rights
under the Free Exercise Clause. According to the court, a uniformly applied books-in-cell limitation was reasonable
in a facility that housed 2,200 inmates, the limitation was applied in a neutral way and the expressive content of
books was not considered, books in sufficient quantities could be used as weapons and presented fire and obstacle
hazards, access to other books was made by exchanging out titles and by allowing the copying of parts or all of a
text, and the detainee was not denied access to nine religious books he claimed were required in practicing his faith,
but rather, argued only that access was required to be more convenient.
The court found that the jail's policy of prohibiting hard cover books in cells, including limiting religious texts
to those that did not have hard covers, was based on legitimate penological interests, and thus, did not violate rights
of the pretrial detainee, an Orthodox Jew, under the Free Exercise Clause. The court noted that evidence at hearing
on the detainee's motion for injunctive relief showed that hardcover books posed safety and security risks because
hard covers could be used to conceal contraband and because of their potential use as weapons, the policy was applied in a neutral way, and the expressive content of books was not considered. The court found that the jail's policy
of limiting package mail to four pounds was based on legitimate penological interests, and thus, did not violate rights
as applied to the pretrial detainee, an Orthodox Jew, under the Free Exercise Clause when the jail rejected one of
detainee's packages that contained more than four pounds of books. The court noted that the jail received a large
volume of mail and other items each day, all of which had to be searched for contraband and threats their contents
could pose to the safety and security of inmates and jail officials, the policy was applied in a neutral way, and the
expressive content of books was not considered. The court held that the jail's policy that limited the number and type
of books allowed in a cell did not violate the pretrial detainee's Due Process rights, where there was no evidence that
the policy was intended to punish the detainee, the jail's policies prohibiting hard cover books and limiting the number of books allowed in a cell were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and the jail gave the detainee substantial access to legal materials by increasing the time he was allowed in the library and liberally allowing
him to copy legal materials to keep in his cell. The court held that the jail, the jail administrator, and the county sheriff's denial of a typewriter in the pretrial detainee's cell to accommodate his alleged handwriting disability did not

39.104

violate the detainee's rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The court noted that the
detainee was able to write by hand, although he stated he experienced pain when doing so. According to the court, if
the detainee chose to avoid writing by hand he had substantial access to a typewriter in the jail's law library, there
was no permanent harm from the handwriting he performed, there was no evidence the detainee was not able to
adequately communicate with lawyers and jail officials without a typewriter in his cell, and the accommodation of an
in-cell typewriter would impose an undue burden on jail personnel because metal and moving parts of typewriter
could be used as weapons. (Gwinnett County Jail, Georgia)
U.S. Appeals Court
HAIR LENGTH
RELIGION

Lewis v. Sternes, 712 F.3d 1083 (7th Cir. 2013). A state prisoner brought an action against prison officials under §
1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), alleging removal of his dreadlocks
violated his religious rights and denied him equal protection. The district court granted the defendants' motion for
summary judgment. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that there was no
evidence that the prison did not need to regulate hair length or hairstyle, or that the need was not great enough to
warrant interference with the inmate's religious observance. (Dixon Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
USE OF FORCE

Maraj v. Massachusetts, 953 F.Supp.2d 325 (D.Mass. 2013). The estate of a deceased inmate brought a § 1983 excessive-force action against county corrections officers and others, alleging that they used excessive force and were
deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s medical needs, in violation of the Constitution. The district court partially
granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss and the defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The defendants allegedly caused the inmate's death by using an emergency restraint belt and
delaying medical treatment, but a prison medical examiner determined that the inmate had a pre-existing heart condition that ultimately led to the inmate's cardiac arrest, and the manner of death could not be determined. (Suffolk
County House of Correction, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING
PUBLICATIONS
SEARCHES

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
PUBLICATIONS

Prison Legal News v. Babeu, 933 F.Supp.2d 1188 (D.Ariz. 2013). A non-profit organization that produced and distributed a monthly journal and books to inmates brought an action against county jail officers and mailroom employees, alleging that the defendants violated its First Amendment and due process rights by failing to deliver its materials to its subscribers at the jail. The parties cross-moved for partial summary judgment. The court granted the motions in part, denied in part, and deferred in part. The court held that the jail's policy limiting incoming inmate correspondence to one-page and postcards did not violate the First Amendment, where there was an apparent commonsense connection between the jail's goal of reducing contraband and limiting the number of pages a particular piece
of correspondence contained, and sufficient alternative avenues of communication remained open for publishers who
wished to communicate with inmates at the jail. But the court held that the jail’s failure to give the non-profit organization notice and the opportunity to appeal the jail's refusal to deliver its materials to inmates violated the organization's procedural due process rights. The court ruled that the blanket ban on newspapers and magazines violated
clearly established law, and therefore neither the county jail mailroom employees nor their supervisors were entitled
to qualified immunity from the § 1983 First Amendment claim arising from employees' failure to deliver the organization's materials to inmates. According to the court, the law was clear that blanket bans on newspapers and magazines in prisons violated the First Amendment, and it was objectively unreasonable for the employees to throw away
mail, or refuse to deliver it, based upon a perceived blanket ban on newspapers and magazines. Because the county
jail mailroom uniformly enforced the unconstitutional county policy and allowed books from only four publishers,
the county was subject to liability for First Amendment violations in § 1983 action. The court held that there was no
evidence that mailroom employees, their supervisors, or command staff at the county jail were motivated by evil
motive or intent when they violated the non-profit publisher's First Amendment and due process rights by discarding
publisher's materials without providing the publisher opportunity to contest or appeal the non-deliverability decision,
or that those individuals' unconstitutional actions involved reckless or callous indifference to the publisher's federally
protected rights, as would support an award of punitive damages against the individuals in the publisher's § 1983
action. (Pinal County Jail, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Prison Legal News v. Columbia County, 942 F.Supp.2d 1068 (D.Or. 2013). A publisher filed a § 1983 action alleging that a county and its officials violated the First Amendment by rejecting dozens of its publications and letters
mailed to inmates incarcerated in its jail and violated the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to provide it or the inmates with the notice of, and opportunity to, appeal the jail's rejection of its publications and letters. A bench trial
was held, resulting in a judgment for the publisher. The court held that: (1) the policy prohibiting inmates from receiving mail that was not on a postcard violated the First Amendment; (2) the county had a policy of prohibiting
inmates from receiving magazines; (3) the county failed to provide adequate notice of withholding of incoming mail
by jail authorities; (4) entry of a permanent injunction prohibiting officials from enforcing the postcard-only policy
was warranted; and (5) a permanent injunction prohibiting officials from enforcing the prohibition against magazines
was not warranted. (Columbia County Jail, Oregon)

39.105

U.S. District Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY
SEGREGATION
USE OF FORCE

Randle v. Alexander, 960 F.Supp.2d 457 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). An African-American state inmate with a history of serious mental illness brought an action against officials of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), correctional officers, and mental health personnel, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and that he was retaliated against, in violation of
his First Amendment rights, among other claims. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the correctional officers' alleged actions in forcing the inmate
to fight a fellow inmate, and threatening to beat the inmate with a baton and engage in a joint cover-up if the two
inmates did not “finish” their fight within a specified area of the prison, which ultimately resulted in the fellow inmate sustaining fatal injuries in the fight, had no legitimate penological purpose, and was far afield of the species of
force employed to restore or maintain discipline. The court held that the alleged actions reflected indifference to
inmate safety, if not malice toward the inmate, as supported the inmate's § 1983 Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim. According to the court, the alleged forced fight between the inmate and a fellow inmate, orchestrated,
condoned, and covered up by correctional officers was an objectively serious violation of the inmate's Eighth
Amendment right to reasonably safe conditions of confinement, and the intent evinced by such activity was, at the
very least, one of indifference to inmate safety, supporting the inmate's § 1983 Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claim against the officers.
The court held that the African-American state inmate's allegations in his complaint that a correctional officer
arranged inmates in his company so that white inmates were close to officers' posts, whereas black inmates were
placed further away, that white inmates were given superior jobs, that the officer's efforts in forcing a fight between
the inmate and a fellow inmate were done purposefully for his amusement because both inmates were black, and that
the officer's treatment of the inmate and other black inmates was motivated by his intent to discriminate on the basis
of race and malicious intent to injure inmates, stated a § 1983 equal protection claim against the officer.
The court ruled that the correctional officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from the inmate's § 1983
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims because inmates had a clearly established right to remain incarcerated in
reasonably safe conditions, and it was objectively unreasonable to threaten inmates until they agreed to fight each
other in front of prison officials. The court found that the inmate stated an Eighth Amendment inadequate medical
care claim against mental health personnel. The inmate alleged that he had a history of serious mental illness, that his
symptoms increased following a forced fight with a fellow inmate, that the inmate attempted suicide on three occasions, two of which required his hospitalization, that prison mental health personnel evidenced deliberate indifference to his medical needs, as they recklessly disregarded the risk the inmate faced as result of special housing unit
(SHU) confinement, and that the inmate was confined to SHU despite a recommendation that he be placed in a lessrestrictive location. (Green Haven Corr'l. Facility, Protective Custody Unit, N.Y. State Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSPORTATION
RESTRAINTS
SAFETY

Rogers v. Boatright, 709 F.3d 403 (5th Cir. 2013). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against corrections officers and their supervisor, alleging that he was seriously injured when the prison van in which he was riding stopped
abruptly, and that he was provided with inadequate and untimely medical care for his injuries. The district court
dismissed the suit. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The
appeals court held that the prisoner stated a non-frivolous claim that an officer acted with deliberate indifference to
his safety in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The prisoner alleged that he sustained a serious injury while being
transported in a prison van because a corrections officer operated the van recklessly and had to brake suddenly to
avoid hitting another vehicle, that he was shackled in leg irons and handcuffs and was not provided with a seatbelt
and thus could not protect himself when the prison van stopped abruptly, and that the officer had told another officer
that other inmates similarly had been injured the prior week and during other incidents. A dissenting appeals judge
asserted that “…there is no constitutional requirement that inmates be buckled with seatbelts during transportation.
Nearly all courts have rejected such claims, because the use of seatbelts on shackled prisoners presents inevitable,
non-trivial security concerns for other passengers and the guards.” The appeals court held that the corrections officers transporting the prisoner to a hospital in a prison van did not show deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious
medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when, after the prisoner was injured, the officers proceeded to
the hospital, had the prisoner checked by a physician, but then failed to take the prisoner to the emergency room for
treatment of his bleeding wounds as that physician had directed, but instead brought the prisoner to the prison's medical facility, where he was treated some five hours later. (Eastham Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,
Correctional Institutions Division)

U.S. District Court
SAFETY
REGULATIONS
SECURITY
RESTRICTIONS
SEGREGATION
TELEPHONE CALLS
VISITS
VIDEO
SURVEILLANCE

Royer v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 933 F.Supp.2d 170 (D.D.C. 2013). A federal prisoner brought an action against
Bureau of Prisoners (BOP), alleging classification as a “terrorist inmate” resulted in violations of the Privacy Act
and the First and Fifth Amendments. The BOP moved for summary judgment and to dismiss. The district court
granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that BOP rules prohibiting contact visits and limiting
noncontact visits and telephone time for federal inmates labeled as “terrorist inmates”, more than other inmates, had
a rational connection to a legitimate government interest, for the purpose of the inmate's action alleging the rules
violated his First Amendment rights of speech and association. According to the court, the prison had an interest in
monitoring the inmate's communications and the prison isolated inmates who could pose a threat to others or to the
orderly operation of the institution. The court noted that the rules did not preclude the inmate from using alternative
means to communicate with his family, where the inmate could send letters, the telephone was available to him, and
he could send messages through others allowed to visit. The court found that the inmate's assertions that the prison
already had multiple cameras and hypersensitive microphones, and that officers strip searched inmates before and
after contact visits, did not establish ready alternatives to a prohibition on contact visits for the inmate and limits on
phone usage and noncontact visits due to being labeled as a “terrorist inmate.” The court noted that increasing the
number of inmates subject to strip searches increased the cost of visitation, and microphones and cameras did not
obviate all security concerns that arose from contact visits, such as covert notes or hand signals.
The court held
that the inmate's allegations that he was segregated from the prison's general population for over six years, that he
was subject to restrictions on recreational, religious, and educational opportunities available to other inmates, that
contact with his family was limited to one 15 minute phone call per week during business hours when his children

39.106

were in school, and that he was limited to two 2-hour noncontact visits per month, were sufficient to plead harsh and
atypical conditions, as required for his Fifth Amendment procedural due process claim. According to the court, the
inmate's allegations that he was taken from his cell without warning, that he was only provided an administrative
detention order that stated he was being moved due to his classification, that he was eventually told he was classified
as a “terrorist inmate,” that such classification imposed greater restrictions upon his confinement, and that he was
never provided with a hearing, notice of criteria for release from conditions, or notice of a projected date for release
from conditions were sufficient to plead denial of due process, as required for his claim alleging violations of the
Fifth Amendment procedural due process. (Special Housing Units at FCI Allenwood and USP Lewisburg, CMU at
FCI Terre Haute, SHU at FCI Greenville, Supermax facility at Florence, Colorado, and CMU at USP Marion)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
SEPARATION

Smith v. Sangamon County Sheriff's Dept., 715 F.3d 188 (7th Cir. 2013). A pretrial detainee filed suit under § 1983
against a sheriff's department to recover for injuries sustained when he was severely beaten by another inmate
housed in a maximum-security cellblock. The district court entered summary judgment for the sheriff's department,
and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the detainee failed to establish that the
security classification policy used by the sheriff's department to assign inmates to cellblocks within the jail was deliberately indifferent to inmate safety in violation of his due-process rights. The court noted that: (1) the detainee
presented no evidence that the classification policy created a serious risk of physical harm to inmates, much less that
the sheriff's department knew of it and did nothing; (2) the attack by the detainee's cellmate was not enough to establish that the policy itself systematically exposed inmates like the detainee to a serious risk of harm; and (3) it was
unclear that a policy strictly segregating those accused of nonviolent crimes from those accused of violent crimes
would do a better job of ensuring inmate safety than the multiple-factor classification system used by the sheriff's
department. The detainee claimed that the Department's approach to classifying inmates for cellblock placement
ignored serious risks to inmate safety because the security classification policy fails to separate “violent” from “nonviolent” inmates and thus fails to protect peaceful inmates from attacks by inmates with assaultive tendencies. The
appeals court described the classification practices: “A classification officer interviews each new detainee and reviews a range of information, including the inmate's age, gender, gang affiliation, medical concerns, current charge,
criminal history, behavioral and disciplinary history within the jail, and any holds due to parole violations. Pursuant
to standards recommended by the American Correctional Association, the classification policy assigns point values
within these categories, with higher point values corresponding to lower security risks.” (Sangamon County Detention Facility, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCK DOWN

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
CONTRABAND
SAFETY
SECURITY PRACTICES

U.S. Dept. of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Complex Coleman, Fla. v. Federal Labor
Relations Authority 737 F.3d 779 (D.C.Cir. 2013). The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) petitioned for review, and
the BOP and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) cross-applied for enforcement of FLRA's order stating
that the BOP was required to bargain with a labor union over proposals relating to the BOP's use of metal detectors
at a high security prison. The BOP moved to dismiss on the grounds of mootness. The appeals court denied the motion, granted a motion to vacate in part, and granted a motion to enforce, and remanded. The court held that the decision to use the federal prison's compound metal detectors to screen only those inmates suspected of carrying contraband did not render moot the FLRA decision stating that the BOP was required to bargain with the employee union
over proposals relating to safety issues arising out of the prison's use of metal detectors, absent a showing that there
was no reasonable expectation that the union's safety concerns would not recur. The court found that the FLRA's
determination that the BOP was required, under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Act (FSLMRA),
to bargain with the labor union over a proposal that prison management have inmates turn in all watches that did not
clear the compound metal detector, treat such watches as contraband, and assure that watches sold in the prison store
would not set off the metal detectors, in order to avoid bottlenecks of inmates at the entrance to the compound/detector area, was eminently reasonable and supported by the record. According to the court, the proposal was
sufficiently tailored to target employees likely to be harmed by the installation of outdoor metal detectors, was intended to reduce nuisance alarms triggered by prohibited watches, thereby moving inmates through the compounddetector bottlenecks more quickly, and would not excessively interfere with the BOP's management rights.
The court found that the FLRA determination that the labor union's proposal requiring construction of a block
and mortar officer's station near one of the prison's two metal detectors was non-negotiable as a whole under
FSLMRA. (Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Complex Coleman, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLEANING SUPPLIES
CROWDING
SAFETY

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

39.107

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. Appeals Court
EXPOSURE TO
CHEMICALS

Cantley v. West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, 771 F.3d 201 (4th Cir. 2014). Two arrestees brought a § 1983 action for damages and declaratory and injunctive relief against a regional jail authority and
three of its former or current executive directors, challenging the constitutionality of visual strip searches and delousing of the arrestees. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants. An arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that: (1) the post-arraignment visual strip search of one arrestee did not violate
the Fourth Amendment; (2) the pre-arraignment visual strip search of the other arrestee did not violate a clearly
established right where the arrestee was strip-searched in a private room, and he was to be held until the next morning in a holding cell where he might interact with up to 15 other arrestees; (3) delousing of the arrestees did not violate a clearly established right; and (4) declaratory and injunctive relief would be premature. The court noted that the
delousing was done in a private room with only one officer, who was of the same sex as the arrestees, and it did not
entail the officer himself touching either arrestee. (West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
SEX OFFENDER

Danser v. Stansberry, 772 F.3d 340 (4th Cir. 2014). A federal inmate who was attacked in a recreation cage brought
a Bivens action alleging that officials were deliberately indifferent to his safety. The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. The officials appealed. The appeals court vacated
and remanded with instructions. The court held that a corrections officer did not disregard an excessive risk to the
safety of the inmate in violation of the Eighth Amendment when he placed the inmate, a convicted sex offender, in a
recreation cage with a fellow inmate, a violent gang member, and left the recreation area unsupervised, during which
time the gang member attacked the inmate. According to the court, the officer was not aware that the inmate was a
sex offender or that he was required to check prison databases in which that information was contained, there were
no orders issued requiring that the inmate and gang member be separated from each other, and the officer's dereliction of duty in leaving the recreation area did not constitute anything other than negligence. (Federal Correctional
Institution, Butner, North Carolina)

U.S. District Court
VIDEO
SURVEILLANCE

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, 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. District Court
LOCKS
SECURITY PRCTICES

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 Corr'l. Complex, W. V.)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
GANGS
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER

Griffin v. Gomez, 741 F.3d 10 (9th Cir. 2014). A state inmate filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging
his placement in a security housing unit (SHU). After the writ was issued, the district court ordered the state to release the inmate from segregated housing conditions, and the state appealed. The appeals court vacated, reversed,
and remanded. The appeals court held that the district court abused its discretion by finding that the state had violated its order issuing a writ of habeas corpus requiring the state to release the inmate from the facility's security housing unit (SHU). According to the court, the state subsequently placed the inmate in the facility's administrative segregation unit (ASU) and then in another facility's SHU. The court noted that the inmate had been released into federal custody before the order was issued, his placement in ASU after he was released from federal custody pending
evaluation of his gang status was standard procedure, and the inmate was validated as an active gang member and
placed in other SHU. According to the court, the district court improperly impeded state prison management. (Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

39.108

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTION
SAFETY
SECURITY PRACTICES
WEAPON

Harrison v. Culliver, 746 F.3d 1288 (11th Cir. 2014). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, relating to an inmate-on-inmate assault with a box cutter, and asserting an Eighth Amendment violation based
on deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm. The district court granted summary judgment to the
prison officials and denied the prisoner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. The prisoner appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1) past incidents of inmate-on-inmate violence involving weapons did
not constitute a substantial risk of serious harm; (2) the prison's policies for monitoring a back hallway in which the
prisoner was attacked did not create a substantial risk of serious harm; (3) lack of oversight of the prison's hobby
craft shop did not create a substantial risk of serious harm; and (4) prison officials were not deliberately indifferent
with respect to oversight of the hobby shop. (W.C. Holman Correctional Facility, Alabama)

U.S. Appeals Court
ITEMS PERMITTED

Johnson v. Conner, 754 F.3d 918 (11th Cir. 2014). The mother and personal representative of a mentally ill inmate
who committed suicide by hanging himself with bed sheet while in custody at a county jail filed suit against corrections personnel working at the jail at the time of the suicide, as well as various county entities. The mother alleged
that jailers were responsible for administering her son’s medication daily, and failed to do so, that her son had previously attempted to commit suicide with a bed sheet while incarcerated, and that the jailers failed to take appropriate
precautions with her son following that suicide attempt. The district court denied immunity to the jailers and the
jailers appealed. The appeals court certified questions to the Alabama Supreme Court, which the Supreme Court
declined to answer. The appeals court held that the statute extending immunity to county jailers did not apply retroactively to conduct which occurred prior to its enactment. (Barbour County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCKS

Lakin v. Barnhart, 758 F.3d 66 (1st Cir. 2014). State inmates filed § 1983 actions alleging that prison officials acted
with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk that inmates would use padlocks issued to them by the prison to
assault fellow inmates, in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the Maine Civil Rights Act. The district court
entered summary judgment in the officials' favor, and the inmates appealed. The appeals were consolidated, and the
appeals court affirmed. The court held that the inmates did not face a substantial risk of being assaulted with padlocks by their fellow inmates, and thus the prison officials did not violate the Eighth Amendment by failing to discontinue the practice of providing padlocks to inmates to secure their personal items, where annual occurrences of
padlock assaults at the prison had generally been few, both in absolute number and as a percentage of total inmate
violence. (Maine State Prison)

U.S. District Court
LOCK DOWN

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 lockdown. (N.Y. City Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS

Reid v. Donelan, 2 F.Supp.3d 38 (D.Mass. 2014). Following the grant of a detainee's individual petition for habeas
corpus, and the grant of the detainee's motion for class certification, the detainee brought a class action against,
among others, officials of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), challenging the detention of individuals who
were held in immigration detention within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for over six months and were not
provided with an individualized bond hearing. The detainee also moved, on his own behalf, for a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from shackling him during immigration proceedings absent an individualized determination that such restraint was necessary. The defendants cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the defendants’ motion. The court held that an individual assessment is required before a detainee may be
shackled during immigration proceedings, but that the individual assessment performed by ICE satisfied the detainee's procedural due process rights, such that an assessment by an independent Immigration Judge was unnecessary in
the detainee's case. The court denied the motion for an injunction, finding that the detainee would not suffer irreparable harm absent a permanent injunction. The court noted that the detainee had an interest in preservation of his
dignity, but ICE had safety concerns about his immigration proceedings, including the logistical issues of escorting
the detainee through multiple floors and public hallways, and an Immigration Judge would be unlikely to overturn a
decision by ICE to shackle the detainee, given the detainee's extensive criminal history. (Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PROTECTION
SAFETY REGULATIONS
USE OF FORCE
RESTRAINTS

Shreve v. Franklin County, Ohio, 743 F.3d 126 (6th Cir. 2014). A detainee brought an action against a county, its
sheriff, and sheriff's deputies, alleging that the deputies used excessive force against him when they subdued him
with a stun gun while he was in custody. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment.
The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the sheriff's deputies did not act with
deliberate indifference towards the detainee's federally protected rights when they subdued the detainee with a stun
gun while he was in custody, and therefore the deputies did not use excessive force against the detainee under the
Fourteenth Amendment. According to the court: (1) the deputies tried to handcuff the detainee several times before
using the stun gun, showing that they sought to minimize the stun gun's use; (2) the deputies also warned the detainee that the stun gun would hurt and that he did not want to have the gun used on him, which showed that they
were trying to avoid unnecessary harm; and (3) the deputies faced an ongoing danger with the detainee thrashing
about on the cell floor with a loose handcuff, as the deputies had been trained never to lose control of an inmate with

39.109

a loose handcuff because it could be used as a weapon. The court held that the incident, in which the detainee lunged
towards a sheriff's deputy with his hands raised after a hospital examination, was a rapidly evolving, fluid, and dangerous predicament which precluded the luxury of a calm and reflective pre-response deliberation, and therefore the
detainee was required to show that the deputy's actions involved force employed maliciously and sadistically for the
very purpose of causing harm, rather than in a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, in order to establish
the use of excessive force under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court noted that the detainee lunged toward the
deputy after asking the deputy “Do you want a piece of me?” and the deputy explained that he had “no way of retreating” because of the cramped quarters and the detainee's position over him while standing on the hospital bed.
(Franklin County Corrections Center II, Ohio)
U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

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. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
GANGS
PROTECTION

Thornton v. Jackson, 998 F.Supp.2d 1365 (N.D.Ga. 2014). An inmate and his wife brought a § 1983 action against
various prison employees and officials, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment, as well as negligence and
intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that the inmate, who was housed at the prison as a visiting-inmate while testifying against another member of the inmate's gang, was not incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of
harm, as required to establish the objective requirement for his § 1983 claim against various prison officials and
employees. The inmate alleged violation of the Eighth Amendment after he was assaulted by three other inmates.
The inmate claimed that his different color jumpsuit identified him as snitch and as a target for violence. The court
noted that the prison's inmates did not have a history of attacking visiting inmates, the prison had an order requiring
the inmate be kept separate from one other inmate, but did not require protective custody or isolation, the inmate did
not have problems with anybody for seven days, and the inmate saw some other inmates talking and reported that he
suspected that they were talking about him, but he did not hear what they were saying. (Fulton County Jail, Atlanta)

U.S. District Court
TRANSPORTATION

Torres v. Amato, 22 F.Supp.3d 166 (N.D.N.Y. 2014). The administrator of a pretrial detainee's estate brought a §
1983 action against corrections officers, a sheriff, government officials, and a county, alleging deliberate indifference to the serious risk of harm in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and various state claims. The defendants
moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court held that: (1) disputes of material fact
as to whether the door to a transport van was improperly latched or the officer was operating the van in a reckless
manner precluded summary judgment on the deliberate indifference claim against the officers; (2) a dispute of material fact as to the personal involvement of government officials in the alleged conduct precluded summary judgment
on deliberate indifference claim against the officials and the county; and (3) the defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity from the § 1983 claim. The court noted that the detainee's right to be free from deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm was clearly established at the time the detainee suffered fatal injuries after falling
out of transport van driven by corrections officers, and thus, officers and government officials were not entitled to
qualified immunity from the § 1983 claim of deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. (Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, New York)

U.S. District Court
WHEELCHAIR
TRANSPORTATION

Turner v. Mull, 997 F.Supp.2d 985 (E.D.Mo. 2014). An inmate, who suffered from a demyelinating neurological
disorder of unknown etiology, brought an action against a correctional officer, a warden, a transportation officer, and
a health services administrator, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
granted the motion. The district court held that: (1) the prison's policy that inmates were not permitted to be transported in a handicapped-accessible van unless they appeared at the pickup area in a wheelchair did not violate the
inmate's rights; (2) the warden failing to take action in response to letters by the inmate was not deliberate indifference; (3) a correctional officer and a transportation officer who did not transport the inmate in a handicappedaccessible van were not deliberately indifferent; (4) a supervisor was not deliberately indifferent; (5) the alleged
exposure to urine and vomit during a van ride did not violate the Eighth Amendment; (6) the prison did not discriminate against inmate based on his disability by not transporting the inmate in a handicapped-accessible vehicle; and
(7) the administrator did not discriminate against the inmate. (Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center,
Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

U.S. v. Batts, 758 F.3d 915 (8th Cir. 2014). A defendant pleaded guilty in the district court to escape of a prisoner in
custody. He appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the prison camp from which the defendant walked
away was not a non-secure facility, as required in order to make the defendant eligible for a sentence reduction on
such basis at sentencing. (Federal Correctional Institution, Forrest City, Arkansas)

39.110

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY PRACTICES

Walker v. Artus, 998 F.Supp.2d 18 N.D.N.Y. 2014). A Muslim inmate housed in a state prison special housing unit
(SHU) brought a § 1983 action alleging that state prison officials deprived him of his rights in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that denial of the
inmate's requests to participate in congregate religious services by audio or video feed was reasonably related to
legitimate security and cost concerns, and the inmate had adequate means to exercise his burdened right, including
weekly visits from an Imam, and thus denial of the inmate's requests did not violate the inmate's free exercise rights
under the First Amendment. The court also found that the officials' denial furthered compelling government interests
of promoting prison security and managing costs, and the burden placed on the inmate was the least restrictive
means necessary to serve those interests, and thus denial of inmate's requests did not violate RLUIPA. (Clinton Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS SERVICES
SECURITY PRACTICES
SEGREGATION
STAFFING

Yellowbear v. Lampert, 741 F.3d 48 (10th Cir. 2014). A state prisoner brought an action against individual prison
officials, seeking prospective injunctive relief against them for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by a
factual issue as to whether preventing the state prisoner from exercising his sincerely held religious belief --using a
sweat lodge -- served a compelling governmental interest, and that it was the least restrictive means of furthering that
interest. The appeals court began its opinion by stating: “Andrew Yellowbear will probably spend the rest of his life
in prison. Time he must serve for murdering his daughter. With that much lying behind and still before him, Mr.
Yellowbear has found sustenance in his faith. No one doubts the sincerity of his religious beliefs or that they are the
reason he seeks access to his prison's sweat lodge—a house of prayer and meditation the prison has supplied for
those who share his Native American religious tradition. Yet the prison refuses to open the doors of that sweat lodge
to Mr. Yellowbear alone, and so we have this litigation.” The prison's sweat lodge is located in the general prison
yard and Yellowbear was housed in a special protective unit because of threats against him, not because of any disciplinary infraction he had committed. Prison officials asserted that the cost of providing the necessary security to
take the prisoner from the special protective unit to the sweat lodge and back was “unduly burdensome.” (Wyoming
Medium Correctional Institution)
2015

U.S. District Court
RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Ajala v. West, 106 F.Supp.3d 976 (W.D. Wisc. 2015). An inmate brought an action against prison officials for alleged violation of his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Free
Exercise Clause, the Establishment Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause. The inmate challenged a prison policy
that allegedly prohibited the inmate from wearing a “kufi,” a head covering worn by some Muslims, unless he was in
his cell or participating in congregate services. The prison officials moved for summary judgment, and the inmate
moved for an extension. The district court held that: (1) the policy imposed a substantial burden on the inmate’s
religious exercise; (2) the policy was not the least restrictive means of furthering the prison’s interest of preventing
prisoners from using a religious head covering as a potential gang identifier; (3) the policy was not the least restrictive means of furthering the prison’s interest in preventing prisoners from hiding contraband; (4) the policy was not
the least restrictive means of furthering the prison’s interest in preventing prison violence; and (5) prison officials
were entitled to qualified immunity from the inmate’s constitutional claims. The court noted that the law was not
clearly established that the inmate had a constitutional right to wear a kufi at all times. (Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND

Barouch v. United States Department of Justice, 87 F.Supp.3d 10 (D.C.D.C, 2015). A prisoner who was convicted
of bribing a public official and conspiracy to commit bribery moved for acquittal. The district court denied the motion, finding that evidence was sufficient to establish that the prisoner induced a prison official to assist in smuggling
contraband. According to the court, the prisoner found a lucrative business opportunity in the institution’s ban on
tobacco and cell phones. He paid a prison nurse to smuggle this contraband into the prison and to look the other way
when it came to reporting his illegal possessions to other prison authorities. The prisoner and nurse were eventually
caught and prosecuted. Following a two-day jury trial, the prisoner was convicted. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Penitentiary–Lee County, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
ITEMS PERMITTED

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. (Suffolk County House of Correction, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

Coley v. Lucas County, Ohio, 799 F.3d 530 (6th Cir. 2015). The administrator of a pretrial detainee’s estate brought a
state court action against a county, county sheriff, police officer and police sergeant, alleging § 1983 violations of
the detainee’s constitutional rights and various state law claims. The district court denied the defendants’ motions to
dismiss and denied individual defendants’ requests for qualified immunity. The defendants appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The court held that a police officer’s act of shoving a fully restrained pretrial detainee in a jail booking area, causing the detainee to strike his head on the wall as he fell to the cement floor without any way to break
his fall, constituted “gratuitous force” in violation of the detainee’s Fourteenth Amendment right to be free from
excessive force. The court noted that the detainee’s state of being handcuffed, in a belly chain and leg irons, led to a
reasonable inference that the officer’s actions were a result of his frustration with the detainee’s prior restraint be-

39.111

havior, since the detainee was not in any condition to cause a disruption that would have provoked the officer to use
such force. The court held that the police officer was on notice that his actions were unconstitutional, and therefore
he was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability under § 1983. According to the court, the officer’s attempts
to cover up the assault by filing false reports and lying to federal investigators following the death of the detainee led
to a reasonable conclusion that the officer understood that his actions violated the detainees’ clearly established right
not to be gratuitously assaulted while fully restrained and subdued.
The court held that a police sergeant’s continued use of a chokehold on the unresisting, fully-shackled pre-trial
detainee, after hearing the detainee choke and gurgle, and when a fellow officer was urging him release his chokehold, was objectively unreasonable, in violation of the detainee’s Fourteenth Amendment right to be free from excessive force. The court noted that the sergeant’s subsequent acts of telling other officers to leave the medical cell
after the detainee was rendered unconscious, failing to seek medical help, and refusing to mention the use of a
chokehold in incident reports, led to the inference the that sergeant was aware he violated the law and sought to
avoid liability. According to the court, the police sergeant was on notice that his actions were unconstitutional, and
therefore, he was not entitled to qualified immunity under § 1983.
The court found that the county sheriff could be held personally liable under § 1983, based on his failure to train
and supervise employees in the use of excessive force, the use of a chokehold and injuries derived therefrom, and to
ensure that the medical needs of persons in the sheriff’s custody were met. According to the court, evidence that the
sheriff helped his employees cover up their unconstitutional actions by making false statements to federal officials
about his knowledge of his employees’ assault, chokehold, and deliberate failure to provide medical attention to the
detainee demonstrated that the sheriff at least implicitly authorized, approved or knowingly acquiesced in the unconstitutional conduct of the offending employees. The court noted that under Ohio law, allegations by the estate of the
pretrial detainee that the county sheriff had full knowledge of the assault but intentionally and deliberately made
false statements to federal officials were sufficient to state a claim that the sheriff ratified the conduct of his officers
and, thus, was potentially personally liable for his officers’ actions. The court concluded that the officers’ use of
excessive force, failure to provide medical care, assault and battery, and wrongful death could be imputed to the
sheriff in his official capacity since the sheriff’s false statements to federal investigators were a position that was
inconsistent to non-affirmance of the officers’ actions. (Lucas County Jail, Ohio)
U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Cortez v. Skol, 776 F.3d 1046 (9th Cir. 2015). The mother of a state inmate who suffered severe brain damage, after
he was attacked by two fellow prisoners while being escorted through an isolated prison passage by a corrections
officer, brought an action alleging a § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim against the officer and a gross negligence
claim against the state. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the mother appealed. The appeals court reversed, finding that summary judgment was precluded by issues of material fact as to
whether the corrections officer exposed the high-security inmate to a substantial risk of serious injury when he: (1)
escorted the inmate and two fellow high-security prisoners through the isolated prison passage by himself; (2) did
not require the prisoners to wear leg restraints; and (3) failed to physically intervene once the prisoners attacked the
inmate. The court also found fact issues as to whether the officer was subjectively aware of the risk involved in the
escort and acted with deliberate indifference to the inmate’s safety. The court held that the mother was not the prevailing party for purposes of awarding attorney’s fees. (Morey Unit, Lewis Prison Complex, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
STAFFING
PROTECTION

Cotta v. County of Kings, 79 F.Supp.3d 1148 (E.D.Cal. 2015). An inmate’s mother, individually and as representative of the inmate’s estate, as well as the prisoner’s two daughters, brought an action against a county, and county
jail officials, alleging that inadequate safety at the jail violated the inmate’s constitutional rights and ultimately led to
his death when he was killed by a cellmate. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted
the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the inmate’s due process right to protection from violence was violated; (2) the jail’s staffing policy on the night the inmate was murdered was not lacking, such that any
need to remedy the staffing policy was not obvious; (3) an official’s decision to house the inmate together with the
cellmate was a ministerial determination that was not entitled to immunity; (4) an official did not breach her duty of
care to protect the inmate from any foreseeable harm; and (5) summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether the county’s lack of a policy requiring its employees to report safety risks was the cause
of the inmate’s murder and whether the county’s conduct shocked the conscience. (Kings County Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
PUBLICATIONS

Crime, Justice & America, Inc. v. Honea, 110 F.Supp.3d 1027 (E.D. Cal. 2015). The publisher of a magazine intended for newly arrested county jail detainees awaiting trial brought an action against a county alleging violation of
the right to free speech protected under the First Amendment after the county barred general distribution of unsolicited paper products to detainees. After a bench trial, the district court held that: (1) the county jail’s policy of limiting
written publications was rationally related to legitimate a penological interest in preventing inmates from using paper
to conduct illicit activity; (2) electronic touch-screen kiosks that displayed the publisher’s magazine in the jail were
sufficient alternative means; (3) the impact of accommodating the asserted right weighed in favor of the county policy; and (4) the policy was not an exaggerated response. The court found that a corrections officer’s testimony regarding the nefarious uses of paper in county jails, including that he could not recall a time when the publisher’s
law-oriented magazine had been used by detainees for such purposes was not, without more, sufficient to refute the
county’s explanation that its policy limiting detainee’s access to paper was rationally related to a legitimate
penological interest. The court ruled that the publisher’s proposal to provide two copies of the publisher’s laworiented magazine in the county jail law library, standing alone, was not a sufficient alternative means for the publisher to communicate the existence of the magazine to county jail detainees, where most inmates would likely have
left the jail before they would receive it from the library. (Butte County Jail, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS
SECURITY PRACTICES

Davis v. Wessel, 792 F.3d 793 (7th Cir. 2015). A civil detainee brought a pro se action under § 1983 against security
guards employed at civil detention facility for sexually violent persons, operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The detainee alleged violation of his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court entered judgment on a jury verdict in favor of the detainee and the security guards appealed.
The appeals court vacated and remanded. The court held that the issue of whether security guards employed at the

39.112

civil detention facility refused to remove the detainee’s handcuffs with the intent of humiliating him, by preventing
him from using the restroom and forcing him to urinate on himself, was for a jury to decide. The court found that the
security guards were not entitled to qualified immunity from the claim by the detainee under § 1983 alleging excessive use of restraints in violation of the Due Process Clause after the guards refused to remove the detainee’s handcuffs because it was clearly established at the time the detainee requested to use the restroom, which had no windows, that keeping the handcuffs on was not rationally related to a legitimate non-punitive purpose absent an indication that the detainee was a security risk. (Illinois
Department of Human Services, Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility)
U.S. District Court
GANGS
CLASSIFICATION
PROTECTION

Facey v. Dickhaut, 91 F.Supp.3d 12 (D.Mass. 2014). A prisoner at a state correctional institution filed a pro se §
1983 action against corrections officials, alleging that the officials knowingly placed him in danger by assigning him
to a housing unit where he was violently attacked by members of a rival gang, in violation of his Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Both parties filed motions to strike, and the officers moved for
summary judgment. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by issues of fact as to whether corrections
officials knew that the prisoner faced a substantial risk of serious harm, and whether the officials violated clearly
established rights (Souza–Baranowski Correctional, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOCKDOWN

Harrington v. Scribner, 785 F.3d 1299 (9th Cir. 2015). An African-American inmate brought a § 1983 action against
state prison officials, alleging that a race-based lockdown at the prison violated his equal protection rights, and that
he suffered injuries related to shower restrictions in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court entered
judgment on a jury verdict in favor of the officials. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed
in part, and remanded. The court noted that racial classifications in prisons are immediately suspect and subject to
strict scrutiny, for equal protection purposes, which requires the government to prove that the measures are narrowly
tailored to further a compelling government interest. The court found that the jury instructions erroneously diluted
the narrow tailoring requirement for the strict scrutiny test that applied to the race-based Equal Protection claim.
(California State Prison–Corcoran)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS

Hinojosa v. Davey, 803 F.3d 412 (9th Cir. 2015). A state prisoner petitioned for federal habeas relief, challenging a
state statutory amendment modifying the credit-earning status of prison-gang members and associates in segregated
housing, so that such prisoners could no longer earn any good-time credits that would reduce their sentences. The
district court denied the petition and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded with instructions to the district court. The court held that the amendment disadvantaged the offenders it affected by increasing
the punishment for their crimes, an element for an ex post facto violation. The court noted that even if a prisoner
could easily opt out of his prison gang, a prisoner who continued doing what he was doing before the statute was
amended would have his prison time effectively lengthened. (Special Housing Unit, Corcoran State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
VISITS

Jackson v. Humphrey, 776 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2015). A wife brought an action under § 1983 against corrections
officials, claiming that revocation of her visitation privileges with her incarcerated husband who was on a hunger
strike violated the First Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment, based on qualified immunity, in
favor of the officials, for their decision to terminate the wife’s visitation privileges during the time of hunger strike.
The court denied summary judgment to the officials for the period following the end of the hunger strike, ruling that
the question of whether the officials continued to enjoy qualified immunity after the hunger strike ended was one for
a jury. The officials appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the officials were entitled to
qualified immunity. According to the court, the officials’ decision had been motivated by lawful considerations even
though it had consequences in the future, where the husband had a considerable amount of influence over other prisoners and considered himself, and was viewed by others, to be the leader of the hunger strike. The court noted that
evidence suggested that the wife had urged her husband to prolong that strike after the strike had ended, and the
officials were legitimately concerned that the strike might spread, about the disruption caused by the strike, and
about the security and safety of staff and inmates. (Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Diagnostic and
Classification Prison Special Management Unit)

U.S. Appeals Court
CONTRABAND
CELL PHONE

Johnson v. American Towers, LLC, 781 F.3d 693 (4th Cir. 2015). Prison guard who was shot multiple times in his
home at the direction of an inmate who ordered the attack using a contraband cellular telephone, together with his
wife, brought a state-court action for negligence and loss of consortium against several wireless service providers
and owners of cell phone towers, asserting that they were liable for the guard’s injuries because they were aware that
their services facilitated the illegal use of cell phones by inmates and yet failed to take steps to curb that use. Following removal to federal court and denial of the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, the defendants filed a joint motion to
dismiss. The district court granted the motion and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held the plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient facts to set forth a plausible claim for relief. The court noted that
although the complaint contained a bare assertion that “an inmate at the prison using a cell phone ordered a coconspirator outside of the prison to kill [the guard],” the plaintiffs failed to offer any further factual enhancement to
support their claims, such as by identifying the wireless service provider that carried the alleged call or when the
alleged call occurred, such that a wireless service provider would likely be unable to determine whether it carried the
alleged call without more identifying information. (Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina)

U.S. District Court
VISITS
SEARCHES

Knight v. Washington State Department of Corrections, 147 F.Supp.3d 1165 (W.D. Wash. 2015). A prison visitor
who suffered from a seizure disorder, and was subjected to a strip search and pat-down searches, brought an action
against the state Department of Corrections (DOC) and DOC officials, alleging that the searches violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, finding that: (1)the strip search and pat-down searches did not violate ADA; (2) guards did not act with deliberate indifference in conducting a strip search; (3) the prison was not a place of public accommodation, under the
Washington Law Against Discrimination, as to visitors participating in an extended family visitation program; (4)

39.113

the guards' conduct was not sufficiently extreme to support an outrage claim; and (5) the guards' conduct did not
support a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. According to the court, there was no showing that the
guards proceeded in conscious disregard of a high probability of emotional distress when ordering the strip search,
as the visitor suggested the strip search as an alternative to a pat search and the guards followed this suggestion, and
all visitors were subjected to pat-down searches, which were justified on safety grounds. (Monroe Correctional
Complex, Washington)
U.S. District Court
BOOKS

Minton v. Childers, 113 F.Supp.3d 796 (D. Md. 2015). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials,
seeking injunctive relief, along with nominal and punitive damages, after the officials barred his receipt of used
books pursuant to prison directives. The officials and the prisoner both filed motions for summary judgment. The
district court granted the officials’ motion and denied the prisoner’s motion. The court held that the prisoner failed to
exhaust administrative remedies under Maryland law prior to filing the § 1983 action in federal court, in violation of
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The court found that a prison directive banning inmate possession of
incoming used books not sent directly by a publisher was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, as
required by due process. The court noted that the prisoner was allowed to receive new books sent directly from a
publisher, the ban was expressly aimed at advancing jail security and protecting the safety of jail personnel and other
inmates, the ban was logically connected to those goals, to allow inmates to possess used books from stores or ecommerce companies could have had significant impact on the safety and security of prison personnel and other
inmates. The court noted that the prisoner did not point to an alternative that fully accommodated his rights while at
same time imposed de minimis cost to valid penological interests. (Eastern Correctional Institution, Maryland)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL PHONE

Santiago-Lugo v. Warden, 785 F.3d 467 (11th Cir. 2015). A prisoner filed a habeas corpus petition, seeking relief on
due process grounds for disciplinary sanctions he received for possession of a cellular telephone, which included
revocation of his good time credits. The district court denied the prisoner’s petition and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoner was given sufficient notice of the charges against him, as required
by due process. (Federal Correctional Complex at Coleman Medium Prison, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGIOUS ARTICLES

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
SECURITY PRACTICES

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 Co. Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
RESTRAINTS
USE OF FORCE

Shuford v. Conway, 86 F.Supp.3d 1344 (N.D.Ga. 2015). Pretrial detainees brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff
and other county jail officials and employees, alleging excessive force in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, finding that the jail employees
did not apply force maliciously and sadistically against any detainee. According to the court, in shooting the pretrial
detainee with a non-lethal chemical agent projectile, taking him to the floor, and placing him in restraint chair, the
employees did not apply force maliciously and sadistically. The court noted that the detainee had hit a wall and metal partition, creating a risk of self-harm, the restraints reduced or eliminated the detainee’s ability to inflict harm
against himself, and the detainee did not suffer serious or permanent injuries. (Gwinnett County Jail, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
WHEELCHAIR
TRANSPORTATION

Turner v. Mull, 784 F.3d 485 (8th Cir. 2015). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that correctional officials
violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA), and Rehabilitation Act by failing to transport him in wheelchair-accessible van, exposing him to unsanitary conditions in the van, and retaliating against him for filing a complaint. The district court entered summary
judgment in the officials’ favor and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the
officials were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s serious medical needs when they precluded him from using
a wheelchair-accessible van, even if the inmate was required to crawl into the van and to his seat. The court noted
that the inmate was able to ambulate, stand, and sit with the use of leg braces and crutches, the inmate did not ask to
use a readily available wheelchair, no physician ordered or issued a wheelchair for the inmate, and improperly using
or standing on a lift was considered dangerous due to the possibility of a fall. According to the court, officials were

39.114

not deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of the inmate in violation of Eighth Amendment when they
required him to be transported and to crawl in an unsanitary van, where the inmate was exposed to unsanitary conditions on a single day for a combined maximum of approximately six hours. The court found that prison officials did
not discriminate against the inmate on the basis of his disability, in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, when they
refused to transport him in a wheelchair-accessible van, where the prison’s wheelchair-users-only policy was rooted
in concerns over undisputed safety hazards associated with people standing on or otherwise improperly using a lift,
and the inmate did not use a wheelchair or obtain a physician’s order to use a wheelchair-accessible van. (Eastern
Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center, Missouri)
U.S. Appeals Court
ESCAPE

U.S. v. Goad, 788 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2015). After a federal district court denied a motion to dismiss an indictment,
the defendant conditionally pled guilty to escape from custody. The defendant appealed. The appeals court affirmed,
finding that the defendant was in “custody” at a residential reentry center, such that his unauthorized departure from
the center constituted an escape from custody. The court noted that a person may be in custody for the purposes of a
statute prohibiting escape from custody, even though the physical restraints upon him are minimal and even though
the custody may be deemed constructive, rather than actual. (Gerald R. Hinzman Residential Reentry Center, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
SECURITY RESTRICTIONS

U.S. v. Mohamed, 103 F.Supp.3d 281 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). A defendant who was indicted for murder of an internationally protected person and attempted murder of an internationally protected person, filed a motion to vacate or modify
special administrative measures governing conditions of his pretrial detention. The district court denied the motion,
finding that the measures were rationally connected to the legitimate government objective of preventing the detainee from coordinating violent attacks. The detainee had been placed in a special housing unit and limitations on
communications between him and people inside or outside the prison were limited. The court noted that the detainee
had admitted allegiance to terrorist organizations, had previously broken out of prison two times, one escape was
allegedly coordinated between the defendant and a terrorist organization, and three prison guards had been killed
during one escape. (Metropolitan Correctional Center, Manhattan, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
RESTRAINTS

U.S. v. Sanchez-Gomez, 798 F.3d 1204 (9th Cir. 2015). Defendants filed challenges to a federal district court policy,
adopted upon the recommendation of the United States Marshals, to place defendants in full shackle restraints for all
non-jury proceedings, with the exception of guilty pleas and sentencing hearings, unless a judge specifically requests
the restraints be removed in a particular case. The district court denied the challenges. The defendants appealed. The
appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court found that the defendants’ challenges to the shackling policy
were not rendered moot by the fact that they were no longer detained. The court held that there was no adequate
justification of the necessity for the district court’s generalized shackling policy. According to the court, although the
Marshals recommended the policy after some security incidents, coupled with understaffing, created strains in the
ability of the Marshals to provide adequate security for a newly opened, state-of-the-art courthouse, the government
did not point to the causes or magnitude of the asserted increased security risk, nor did it try to demonstrate that
other less restrictive measures, such as increased staffing, would not suffice. (Southern District of California, United
States Marshals, San Diego Federal Courthouse)

U.S. District Court
ACCESS TO ATTORNEY
ITEMS PERMITTED
SECURITY PRACTICES

United States v. Rivera, 83 F.Supp.3d 1154 (D.Colo. 2015). A prisoner moved for a standing order directing the
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to permit counsel and a defense investigator to bring laptop computers into the facility
during the remaining pendency of his criminal action. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the
BOP reasonably refused to allow defense counsel and defense investigators to bring their laptop computers into the
maximum security facility, and instead permitted them to download materials from their own computers onto the
BOP’s “clean” computer that did not store downloaded information. The court noted that the increased staff and
equipment necessary to thoroughly inspect every laptop for weapons and other contraband to ensure the security of
staff and inmates would be a burden. The court noted that counsel could print a hard copy of any materials that
could not readily be downloaded onto a clean computer. (Administrative Maximum Facility Florence, and FCI Englewood, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
WHEELCHAIR
TRANSPORTATION

Wagoner v. Lemmon, 778 F.3d 586 (7th Cir. 2015). A paraplegic inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that a state
department of corrections and its commissioner failed to properly accommodate his disability, in violation of his
constitutional rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act. The district court entered summary judgment in the defendants’ favor and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court
found that the officials did not violate the paraplegic inmate’s rights under Title II of ADA or the Rehabilitation Act
as a result of their failure to provide him with an adequate wheelchair backrest or a wheelchair-ready van, despite the
inmate’s allegation that he was inconvenienced with longer waits and humiliation, as when he had to crawl off a
regular van because it did not accommodate his wheelchair. The court noted that the inmate did not assert that he
was denied all access to some programs and activities, or that his access to others was severely limited, and the state
provided the inmate with a new wheelchair before he filed his grievance about the backrest. (Indiana Dept. of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
EXERCISE
WEAPON

Williams v. Hampton, 797 F.3d 276 (5th Cir. 2015). Inmates and parents of a deceased inmate, as wrongful death
beneficiaries, brought a § 1983 action against a state correctional officer for the death of one inmate and the injuries
of two other inmates arising out of an inmate-on-inmate attack. The district court entered judgment against the officer and she appealed. The appeals court reversed, finding that the corrections officer who was guarding a prison
exercise yard was not deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of inmate-on-inmate violence when she failed to
ascertain if her single-shot, nonlethal block gun was loaded and later took two rubber bullets for the gun with her
back into the prison building and did not give them to the officer who relieved her. According to the court, although
three inmates were subsequently attacked by other inmates who escaped from their exercise pens, there was no evidence that the officer realized that the gun was unloaded, that she knew there was a risk that inmates could escape
from the pens, or that a loaded block gun could have prevented the assaults. (State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi)

39.115

39.116

U.S. Appeals Court
RODENTS/PESTS

Gates v. Cook, 376 F.3d 323 (5th 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 an Eighth Amendment violation due to mosquito infestation coupled
with insufficient screen gauge, which exacerbated the heat problems by deterring death row inmates from opening their
windows to increase circulation. The court noted that pest infestation problems were linked to chronic sleep deprivation,
which exacerbated the symptoms of mental illness. The court found a violation due to "ping-pong" toilets, and that corrections officials were deliberately indifferent to the risk of harm that these toilets presented to death row inmates. Experts
established that a serious health hazard resulted when the feces of one inmate bubbled up in the neighboring cell, and that
this was exacerbated when toilets overflowed. According to the court, the State Department of Health warned corrections
officials every year for the past eleven years that the malfunctioning toilets were a critical public health problem that
required immediate attention. (Mississippi Department of Corrections, Unit 32-C, State Penitentiary in Parchman)

U.S. District Court
TOILETS

Masonoff v. Dubois, 336 F.Supp.2d 54 (D.Mass. 2004). State inmates filed a class action under § 1983 alleging that
conditions of their confinement violated their Eighth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment for
the defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that the facility’s superintendent and administrator were not
entitled to qualified immunity because a prisoner’s right to adequate and hygienic means to dispose of his bodily wastes
was clearly established in 1991. The court noted that a state court had required prison officials to inspect toilets at least
twice per month and issued specific directions regarding their inspection, cleaning and replacement. The officials
allegedly did nothing to alleviate obvious sanitation problems associated with the cleaning and maintenance of the toilets.
(Southeast Correctional Center, Massachusetts)
2005

U.S. District Court
WATER

Brown v. Williams, 399 F.Supp.2d 558 (D.Del. 2005). A detainee brought an in forma pauperis action against prison
officials alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
officials. The court held that the detainee was not exposed to unreasonably high levels of contaminated water, although
water from his cell sink was allegedly discolored, and the detainee fainted shortly after he drank the water. A sample of
the water was taken to a laboratory for independent testing and it met or exceeded requisite standards. (Howard R. Young
Correctional Institution, Delaware)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELLS
SINKS
TOILETS
WATER

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 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
CELLS
TOILETS
WATER

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)
2006

U.S. District Court
FOOD SERVICE

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. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CELLS

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 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. (California Institution for Women, Chino)

40.19
XXI

U.S. District Court
RODENTS/PESTS
CELLS

Murray v. Edwards County Sheriff's Dept., 453 F.Supp.2d 1280 (D.Kan. 2006). A former pretrial detainee at a county jail
brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff's department, sheriff, undersheriff, and county attorney, alleging various
constitutional violations. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that
alleged inadequate temperature-control and ventilation, the presence of insects, and a lack of cleaning at the county jail
did not violate the due process rights of pretrial detainee, where jail cells were heated and cooled by air conditioning that
was on the same ventilation system as the rest of the courthouse in which the jail was located, detainees had the ability to
open cell windows and had fans to use in the Summer, detainees were allowed additional blankets in Winter, the jail and
courthouse were treated for insects on a monthly basis, and cleaning materials were provided to detainees to use in their
cells. (Edwards County Jail, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
RODENTS/PESTS

Poole v. Taylor, 466 F.Supp.2d 578 (D.Del. 2006). A former pretrial detainee filed a § 1983 action alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement, and that he was denied adequate medical care. The district court granted the defendants’
motion for summary judgment. The court held that the detainee’s due process rights were not violated when he was required to sleep on a mattress on the floor for over six months in an overcrowded facility that experienced sporadic hot and
cold temperatures and insect and rodent infestations. The court noted that the officials had issued numerous work orders
for temperature repairs and pest control, the detainee was not denied access to toilet facilities, the officials determined that
triple-celling pretrial detainees was a method to deal with their overcrowded facilities, and there was no evidence of intention on the officials’ part to punish the detainee. (Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice Facility, Delaware)
2007

U.S. District Court
SHOWERS
BEDDING
RODENTS/PESTS

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.
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. (Central Detention Facility. D.C. and Correctional Treatment Facility operated
by the Corrections Corporation of America)

U.S. District Court
WATER
SINKS

Desroche v. Strain, 507 F.Supp.2d 571 (E.D.La. 2007). A pre-trial detainee brought a pro se, in forma pauperis action
against prison officials, alleging improper conditions of confinement, negligent medical treatment, invasion of privacy,
and excessive force. The district court dismissed the action. The court held that the alleged conditions of the detainee's
confinement, including being required to sleep on the floor of an overcrowded holding tank, being deprived of a mattress,
and being provided with water only in a dirty sink, if proven, did not violate his Eighth Amendment or due process rights,
given that he experienced such conditions for only ten days, and that use of sink did not cause him to suffer disease or
other serious harm. (River Parish Correction Center, Louisiana)

U.S. Appeals Court
KITCHEN
FOOD SERVICE

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. Appeals Court
SHOWERS

Polanco v. Hopkins, 510 F.3d 152 (2nd Cir. 2007). A prisoner filed a pro se § 1983 action against several correctional
employees claiming violations of his First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments rights for his alleged exposure to mold in
a gym shower and for unjust discipline. The district court denied the prisoner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis and
granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. The prisoner appealed, and the appeals court dismissed the appeal. The appeals
court held that the prisoner was not in imminent danger of a serious physical injury as required for in forma pauperis
status under the exception to the three-strikes rule of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The court found that the
imminent danger exception does not violate equal protection and that the in forma pauperis statute is not overbroad.
(Auburn Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
TOILETS
CELLS
SEWERAGE

Vinning-El v. Long, 482 F.3d 923 (7th Cir. 2007). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against two prison officers, alleging
that they violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to inhumane conditions of confinement in a
disciplinary-segregation unit. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officers based on qualified
immunity, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that summary judgment was
precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the officers were deliberately indifferent to a serious condition.
The prisoner alleged that, after a fight with his cellmate, he was stripped of his clothing and placed in a cell in the
disciplinary-segregation unit where he was not permitted to take any personal property with him. The prisoner asserted
that the floor of the cell was covered with water, the sink and toilet did not work, and the walls were smeared with blood
and feces. He was allegedly forced to remain in the cell without a mattress, sheets, toilet paper, towels, shoes, soap,
toothpaste, or any personal property, for six days. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

40.20
XXI

2008

XXIII

U.S. District Court
SEWERAGE
TOILETS

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. The court found that the
official was not entitled to qualified immunity from the state prisoner's § 1983 claim that the official was deliberately
indifferent to his safety. The court held that the prisoner's § 1983 claim that a prison official was deliberately indifferent to
his safety, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, was not barred by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provision
that a prisoner may not bring an action for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing
of physical injury, even though the prisoner never suffered any physical injury as a result of the official's alleged acts. The
prisoner alleged that the official disclosed to three other inmates that they had been placed on his enemy list at his request,
and that this caused him to be considered an informant, which in turn caused him to place nine more inmates on his
enemy list. (Pelican Bay State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING
SHOWERS

Dolberry v. Levine, 567 F.Supp.2d 413 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials
asserting his constitutional rights were violated in a number of ways. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The
court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part and denied in part. The court held that denial of showers and
cleaning supplies for several weeks did not give rise to a violation under the Eighth Amendment. The court found that a
skin rash suffered by the prisoner, allegedly due to the lack of showers, was a de minimis injury insufficient to satisfy the
“physical injury” requirement for a prisoner bringing a civil action for a mental or emotional injury under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Wyoming Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
BEDDING
CROWDING

Hubbard v. Taylor, 538 F.3d 229 (3rd Cir. 2008). Pretrial detainees filed suit under § 1983, challenging conditions of their
confinement on Fourteenth Amendment due process grounds. The district court granted the defendants' motion for
summary judgment and the detainees appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. On remand the district court
granted the defendants’ renewed motions for summary judgment and the detainees again appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that triple-celling of the pretrial detainees was rationally related to prison officials' legitimate
governmental interest in trying to manage overcrowding conditions at the prison, for the purposes of the detainees' claim
that triple-celling violated their Fourteenth Amendment due process right. The court found that requiring the detainees to
sleep on a mattress on the floor of their cells for a period of three to seven months did not violate the detainees' Fourteenth
Amendment due process rights. The court noted that although many pretrial detainees did spend a substantial amount of
time on floor mattresses, they also had access to 3,900 square foot dayrooms, there was no evidence that the use of the
floor mattresses resulted in disease or the splashing of human waste upon the detainees, and over $2.8 million dollars had
been spent on capital improvements during the past five years to maintain or elevate the living conditions for prisoners.
The court noted that even if the detainees' due process constitutional rights were violated by requiring them to sleep on
mattresses on the floor, the law was not sufficiently clear so that a reasonable official would understand that what he was
doing violated a constitutional right, entitling the prison officials to qualified immunity in the detainees' suit under § 1983
challenging conditions of their confinement. (Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice Facility, Delaware)

U.S. Appeals Court
RODENTS/PESTS
SANITATION

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
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 and Detention Facility, Illinois Department of Human Services)

U.S. District Court
SANITATION
TOILETS

Spotts v. U.S., 562 F.Supp.2d 46 (D.D.C. 2008). Federal inmates brought an action against the United States under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging that Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials acted negligently by failing to evacuate
the prison prior to the landfall of a hurricane. The government moved to transfer venue and the district court transferred
the venue to the Eastern District of Texas. The court noted that although the BOP resided in the District of Columbia, the
decision to keep the prisoners at the prison before and during the hurricane was made by the BOP's Regional Director in
Texas, and sufficient activities giving rise to the inmates' tort claims did not occur in the District of Columbia. The
inmates alleged that the warden failed to respond to their concerns about the hurricane, that prison officers handed out
plastic bags for the inmates to fill with human waste, that prison officials denied the inmates access to food and medical
attention, and that prison staff discouraged the filing of tort claims. The inmates also alleged that BOP agents failed to
properly supply the prison during the month that followed the hurricane, and that during that time inmates were forced to
live in substandard conditions and suffered various physical and emotional injuries as a result. (United States Penitentiary
in Beaumont, Texas)

U.S. District Court
BEDDING
HOUSEKEEPING
TOILETS

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

40.21

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 Facil., New York)
2009
U.S. District Court
SANITATION

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. (Maricopa County Sheriff and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
SHOWERS

Gray v. Hernandez, 651 F.Supp.2d 1167 (S.D.Cal. 2009). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action, seeking damages and
declaratory and injunctive relief, against an acting warden, captain, and two employees in a prison library. The prisoner
alleged he was placed in administrative segregation pending the investigation of rule violation charges filed by the two
employees, accusing him of attempting to extort money from them by offering to settle his potential suit against them.
The district court held that the prisoner sufficiently alleged a chilling of his First Amendment right to file grievances and
pursue civil rights litigation by alleging that his placement in administrative segregation caused him mental and financial
harms. The court held that the prisoner's allegations that his placement in administrative segregation forced him to endure
24-hour lock-down, lack of medical treatment, only one shower every three days, and lack of exercise did not constitute
an allegation of a dramatic departure from the standard conditions of confinement, as would invoke procedural due
process protections. The court noted that an inmate does not have a liberty interest, for purposes of procedural due
process, in being housed at a particular institution or in avoiding isolation or separation from the general prison
population, unless the proposed transfer will subject the inmate to exceptionally more onerous living conditions, such as
those experienced by inmates at a “Supermax” facility. (Mule Creek State Prison, High Desert State Prison, Donovan
State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
WATER

Jackson v. Goord, 664 F.Supp.2d 307 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). A state prisoner brought an action against correctional staff and
officials, alleging that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights. After granting summary judgment for the
defendants with respect to all of the prisoner's claims, except for his environmental claims, the defendants filed a
supplemental motion for summary judgment on the environmental claims. The district court denied the motion. The court
held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to conditions in the prison auto body
shop when the inmate worked there, the risk that the toxic materials in the shop created, and whether the inmate's alleged
headaches, nosebleed, and nausea were related to his work at the auto body shop. The court also found that summary
judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prisoner was exposed to asbestos for four to
five hours a day over an extended period of time, and whether there was a risk to his health as a result of such exposure.
According to the court, summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the prisoner
was exposed to an unreasonable risk of serious harm from the prison's water quality or from exposure to cigarette smoke,
and whether the prison defendants knew that the prisoner faced substantial risks of serious harm and disregarded those
risks by failing to take reasonable measures to abate the risks. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether the prison superintendent knew of the allegedly ongoing constitutional violations and had the authority to correct
the problems and failed to do so. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
BEDDING
RODENTS/PESTS
WATER

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)
2010

U.S. District Court
SEWERAGE
SHOWERS

XXIII

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 prisoner alleged that he was housed in segregation/isolation, leading to a mental health
breakdown, and: (1) that he was seen by mental health professionals eight times over a five year period instead of every
90 days as required by administrative regulations; (2) that mental health professionals recommended he pursue art and
music for his mental health but that prison officials denied him the materials; (3) and that the officials' actions resulted in

40.22

the need to take anti-psychotic and anti-depression medications due to suffering from bouts of aggression, extreme
depression, voices, paranoia, hallucinations, emotional breakdowns and distress, unreasonable fear, and systematic
dehumanization. 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. The court found that the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim
for violation of his right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment where the prisoner alleged the exercise provided to
him was to stand in a completely enclosed cage alone, in extreme heat or cold without water, shade, exercise equipment or
urinals, and that as a result he suffered sunburns, cracked and bleeding lips and a lack of desire to exercise, resulting in a
loss of physical and mental health. (High Desert State Prison, Nevada)
U.S. Appeals Court
COMMON 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. District Court
PLUMBING
RODENTS/PESTS

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 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
FOOD SERVICE
KITCHEN

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.)
2011

U.S. District Court
RODENTS/PESTS

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)

40.23

2012
U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING
ISOLATION
RESTRAINTS

Gruenberg v. Gempeler, 697 F.3d 573 (7th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner, proceeding pro se, filed a § 1983 action against
various prison officials, guards, and medical staff, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted
summary judgment for the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1)
the prisoner did not have a clearly established right to not be continually restrained without clothing or cover in a cell for
five days following his ingestion of a handcuff key, the master key for belt restraints, and the key used for opening cell
doors, where restraint had been imposed to keep the prisoner from re-ingesting those keys; (2) the continuous restraint of
the prisoner without clothing or cover in a cell for five days did not violate his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights;
(3) the prisoner's Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claims were barred; and (4) the
district court did not abuse its discretion by ruling that the prisoner was competent to advance his case and was not
entitled to appointed counsel. (Waupun Correction Institution, Wisconsin)
2013

U.S. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING
RODENTS/PESTS
SANITATION

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)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING

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
BEDDING
CELLS
CROWDING
FOOD SERVICE
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)

40.24

U.S. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING
SANITATION
TOILETS

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. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING
TOILETS

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 five-day 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. Appeals Court
BEDDING
CROWDING
HOUSEKEEPING

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. (Fed. Corr. Inst. Ray Brook, N.Y.)

U.S. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING
SEWERAGE

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.
The court held that the inmate's allegations that he was charged with disobeying a direct order after he refused to clean
feces, that he was found guilty by a biased hearing officer, and that the hearing officer called the inmate a “little monkey”
and warned that there was “more retaliation on the way” were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim for violations of
Fourteenth Amendment due process against the hearing officer. The court also found that the inmate's allegations that he
filed a grievance against a prison employee, that the employee told the inmate he was “nuts” and that the inmate “was
playing with the wrong one,” and that the employee issued a false misbehavior report against the inmate the next day,
were sufficient to state a § 1983 retaliation claim in violation of the First Amendment. (Southport Corr. Facility, N.Y.)
2014

U.S. District Court
FOOD SERVICE
RODENTS/PESTS
TOILETS
WATER

Cano v. City of New York, 44 F.Supp.3d 324 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). Pretrial detainees brought an action against a city and
police officers, alleging that inhumane conditions at a detention facility violated due process. The city and the officers
moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion, finding that the detainees alleged objectively serious conditions
that deprived them of basic human needs, that the officers and the city were deliberately indifferent to conditions at the
facility, and that there was punitive intent. The detainees alleged that, over a 24-hour period, they were subjected to
overcrowded cells, insects, rodents, extreme temperatures, unsanitary conditions, sleep deprivation, lack of adequate food
and water, lack of access to bathroom facilities, and lack of protection from the conduct of other inmates. (Brooklyn
Central Booking, New York)

U.S. District Court
WATER
TOILETS

Imhoff v. Temas, 67 F.Supp.3d 700 (W.D.Pa. 2014). A pretrial detainee brought an action against employees of a county
correctional facility, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical need, violation of his rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment with regard to conditions of his confinement, and excessive force in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. The employees moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The
detainee had initially been refused admission to the jail because he displayed signs of a drug overdose and he was

40.25

admitted to a local hospital. After hospital personnel determined he was stable he was admitted to the jail. At one point in
his confinement, the detainee acted out and banged his cell door with a plastic stool. This resulted in the retrieval of the
stool by jail officers and, while he was held down by one officer, he was kicked in the face by another officer. When he
yelled for help, an officer responded by choking the detainee and then spraying him with pepper spray, and he was not
permitted to shower to remove the pepper spray for thirty minutes. The court found that the detainee’s allegations against
the employees in their individual capacities regarding the intentional denial of medical treatment, excessive use of force,
and violation of his rights under Fourteenth Amendment with regard to conditions of his confinement were sufficient to
set forth a plausible claim for punitive damages. The detainee alleged that he was denied basic human needs such as
drinking water, access to a toilet and toilet paper, and toiletries such as soap and a toothbrush. (Washington County
Correctional Facility, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
TOILETS
SEWERAGE

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
PESTS/RODENTS

Sherley v. Thompson, 69 F.Supp.3d 656 (W.D.Ky. 2014). A state prisoner filed a pro se § 1983 action against the
Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC), a prison warden, and other prison officials, alleging
that his conditions of confinement violated his Eighth Amendment rights, that he was deprived of medical treatment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, and was subjected to race discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
The district court dismissed the case, in part. The court held that the prisoner stated claims against the warden and prison
administrators for violation of his equal protection rights and his conditions of confinement. According to the court, the
prisoner stated an Eighth Amendment claim against one prison nurse by alleging that the nurse failed to provide him with
appropriate medical treatment for ant bites he sustained, due to his inability to pay for treatment. (Little Sandy
Correctional Complex, Green River Correctional Complex, Kentucky)
2015

U.S. District Court
SEWERAGE
HOUSEKEEPING

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 facefirst 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 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. Appeals Court
SHOWERS
HOUSEKEEPING

Brauner v. Coody, 793 F.3d 493 (5th Cir. 2015). A state prisoner, who was a paraplegic, brought an action against a prison
medical director, assistant warden, and prison doctors, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition.
The district court denied the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. The defendants appealed. The appeals court
reversed, finding that: (1) prison doctors were not deliberately indifferent to the prisoner’s serious medical needs by
failing to provide him with adequate pain management; (2) officials were not deliberately indifferent by subjecting the
prisoner to unsanitary showers; and (3) doctors did not fail to provide adequate training and supervision regarding proper
wound care, even if the prisoner’s wound care by nurses and other subordinates was occasionally sporadic, where the
doctors were active in managing it, and they regularly changed the prescribed frequency of the bandage changes based on
the changing condition of the prisoner’s wounds, and also prescribed antibiotic therapy regimens to assist with healing.
The court noted that it was undisputed that the showers were cleaned twice per day with bleach, that the prisoner was
given a disinfectant spray bottle for his personal use, and that the prisoner was permitted to enter the showers before the
other prisoners so that he could clean himself without interference, and there was no showing that the prisoner was ever
prohibited from using the showers. (R.E. Barrow Treatment Center, Louisiana)

40.26

U.S. District Court
RODENTS/PESTS
CROWDING

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
WATER
CLOTHING
HYGIENE ITEMS

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) allegations that correctional officers deprived the prisoner
of potable water were sufficiently serious so as to reach level of an Eighth Amendment violation; and (2) 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. 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. District Court
BEDDING
CLOTHING
WATER
SHOWERS

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 and conditions of confinement were sufficient to state a plausible claims for Due
Process violations; and (4) 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, Mo.)

U.S. District Court
HOUSEKEEPING

Montoya v. Newman, 115 F.Supp.3d 1263 (D. Colo. 2015). A former county jail detainee brought a § 1983 action against
a sheriff, jail detention officer, and jail medical staff member, and a physician, alleging deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The court held that the summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
a county jail detention officer was aware of the detainee’s serious medical need and was deliberately indifferent to that
need when he failed to arrange for the detainee to see a doctor for at least two days, despite knowing that the detainee was
coughing up bloody phlegm, had trouble breathing, and was not eating. The officer was also allegedly told by two other
detainees, as well as the detainee’s sister, and the detainee himself, the detainee needed to see a doctor. The court found
that evidence did not support the detainee’s § 1983 municipal liability claim based on failure to abate unsanitary
conditions and disease in the county jail, where there was no evidence that, prior to the detainee’s incarceration in the
county jail, the sheriff was aware of a mold or sanitation problem in the jail that presented a serious risk to the health of
detainee or other inmates, that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to those conditions, or that those conditions were a
cause of the detainee’s illness. (Huerfano County Jail, Colorado)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
HOUSEKEEPING
CLOTHING

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

40.27

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
WATER
RODENTS/PESTS

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. The court held that the detainee failed to allege harm stemming from the presence of spider
nests, cockroaches, and mice, and thus failed to state a claim under § 1983 for deliberate indifference to his health in
violation of the right to provision of adequate medical treatment under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The court noted that the detainee did not allege that pests were present in his cell, or that pests had ever
come into contact with his person or his property, or that he’d been bitten or stung or otherwise suffered physical or
psychological harm, or that his property had been damaged. The court found that the detainee’s claims that prison water
contained cyanide, lead, and “alpha and beta radiation,” if true, were sufficient to allege deprivation of drinkable water, as
required to state a claim under § 1983 for deliberate indifference to his health in violation of the right to provision of
adequate medical treatment under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
HOUSEKEEPING

Turner v. Mull, 784 F.3d 485 (8th Cir. 2015). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that correctional officials
violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), and Rehabilitation Act by failing to transport him in wheelchair-accessible van, exposing him to unsanitary
conditions in the van, and retaliating against him for filing a complaint. The district court entered summary judgment in
the officials’ favor and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the officials were not
deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s serious medical needs when they precluded him from using a wheelchairaccessible van, even if the inmate was required to crawl into the van and to his seat. The court noted that the inmate was
able to ambulate, stand, and sit with the use of leg braces and crutches, the inmate did not ask to use a readily available
wheelchair, no physician ordered or issued a wheelchair for the inmate, and improperly using or standing on a lift was
considered dangerous due to the possibility of a fall. According to the court, officials were not deliberately indifferent to
the serious medical needs of the inmate in violation of Eighth Amendment when they required him to be transported and
to crawl in an unsanitary van, where the inmate was exposed to unsanitary conditions on a single day for a combined
maximum of approximately six hours. (Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELLS
SEWERAGE

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 stated a claim of unsanitary conditions of
confinement against the defendants by alleging that while being kept naked, he had been exposed, at a minimum, to seven
days of human waste in a shielded cell that would have “exponentially amplified the grotesquerie of odor” of the
accumulating waste, which resulted in mental-health problems and attempted suicide. (Wende Correctional Facility, New
York)

40.28

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XIX

XIX

XIX

XIX

XIX

warrant.” (U.S. District Court, Nevada)
U.S. Appeals Court
PAROLEE

U.S. v. Trujillo, 404 F.3d 1238 (10th Cir. 2005). A parolee whose home was searched sought to

suppress evidence from the search, which resulted in his conviction of being a felon in possession
of a firearm and ammunition. His motion was denied and he appealed. The appeals court
affirmed, finding that the parolee’s parole agreement was still in effect after he had been placed
under arrest, so the warrantless search of his residence did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s
prohibition against unreasonable searches. (West Valley City Police Department, Utah)
2006

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCH
PRIVACY

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 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. District Court
STRIP SEARCH
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

Dare v. Knox County, 465 F.Supp.2d 17 (D.Me. 2006). In a class action, persons strip-searched by
jail officials agreed to a consent decree. The district court approved the agreement, issuing an
injunction ensuring compliance with the Fourth Amendment law governing strip searches of
certain arrestees. The court enjoined the county from strip searching any persons charged with a
crime that does not involve weapons, violence or controlled or scheduled substances during the
jail admission process, while they are being held awaiting bail or a first court appearance, or after
being arrested on a default or other warrant, unless the officer or person conducting the strip
search has reasonable suspicion to believe the person does possess a weapon, controlled or
scheduled substances, or other contraband. The court ordered the sheriff and his successors to
keep a written log that records every instance in which a newly-admitted individual is subject to
a strip search procedure, with the following information: (1) the date and time of the search
procedure; (2) the name of each officer participating in the search procedure; (3) a brief statement
of facts found to constitute “reasonable suspicion” for a strip search, to include the crime with
which the individual was charged; and (4) the name of the officer who made the determination
that “reasonable suspicion” warranted a strip search and who approved the search. The
agreement also provided for monetary compensation of persons who had been improperly stripsearched. (Knox County Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCH

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
STRIP SEARCH

In re Nassau County Strip Search Cases, 461 F.3d 219 (2d Cir. 2006). Arrestees brought an action
against a county and others, challenging the county correctional center's blanket strip search
policy for newly-admitted, misdemeanor detainees. The district court denied the plaintiffs' class
41.63

XX

certification motions, and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court reversed in part and
remanded in part. The court held that common issues predominated over individual issues as to
liability in this case, and the class action device was a superior litigation mechanism as to the
issue of liability. (Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)
U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCH

Jean-Laurent v. Wilkerson, 438 F.Supp.2d 318 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). A detainee in a state facility sued
officers and supervisors under § 1983, claiming that he was searched in violation of his due
process rights. The district court held that the detainee stated a claim of unconstitutional strip
search, under the Fourth Amendment, when he alleged that officers, having conducted a
legitimate search in connection with prison-wide strip searches, took him out of his cell and
subjected him to a second search, even though he had been in their custody ever since the first
search, precluding any hiding of contraband on his person. The court also found that the detainee
stated claim that the second of two strip searches violated his First Amendment rights as a
Muslim, to avoid being seen naked. The court noted that while first search was in furtherance of a
compelling government need to maintain order, allowing the search despite religious objection,
there was no compelling government need for the second search. The court held that the detainee
stated a claim that officers imposed a substantial burden on the religious exercise of the Muslim
inmate, in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), by
forcing him to submit to the second strip search. (George Motchan Det. Center, New York City)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Johnson v. District of Columbia, 461 F.Supp.2d 48 (D.D.C. 2006). Pre-presentment arrestees

U.S. Appeals Court
URINE TEST
DRUG/ALCOHOL
TESTING

Louis v. Department of Correctional Services of Nebraska, 437 F.3d 697 (8th Cir. 2006). Inmates
and former inmates brought an action against a state corrections department and various
department officials alleging that the method of collecting and testing urine samples for drug use
violated their constitutional right to procedural due process. The district court entered judgment
in favor of defendants and the inmates appealed. The appeals court found that due process in
connection with testing of the inmates' urine for drugs did not require that the inmates sign and
seal the specimens after collection, absent evidence that the collection protocols requiring that the
collector label and seal the specimens resulted in erroneous deprivations of inmates' good-time
credits. According to the court, even if collection procedures did not eliminate all possibility of
mislabeled samples, they conformed to the practices used in private-sector workplace drug
testing, and were adequate to ensure reasonably reliable results. The court concluded that the
refusal of the corrections department to fund confirmatory drug testing of a prisoner's urine
sample after initial testing yielded a positive result, when the prisoner denied using illicit drugs,
did not violate a prisoner's due process rights. The court noted that the initial testing was 95
percent accurate and that a prisoner had the opportunity to obtain confirmatory testing at an
independent laboratory at his own expense. The appeals court upheld the refusal of the
corrections department to allow inmates to call lab technicians as witnesses at disciplinary
hearings to testify about procedures used for drug testing of inmates' urine samples, finding that
this practice did not violate a prisoner's due process rights. The court noted that inmates could
present urinalysis laboratory reports prepared by the lab technicians, and the exclusion of
technicians’ testimony was justified by the department’s need to manage the environment of the
prison and maximize the productivity of lab technicians. (Nebraska State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCH

Marriott v. County of Montgomery, 426 F.Supp.2d 1 (N.D.N.Y. 2006.) Arrestees brought suit,

brought a § 1983 action against the District of Columbia, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and former U.S.
Marshal, alleging that arrestees were subject to blanket strip searches and visual cavity searches
without a reasonable individualized suspicion that the arrestees were concealing weapons or
contraband. The government defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court
denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The district court held that: (1) arrestees’ allegations
that the District of Columbia knew, or should have known, that marshals were unconstitutionally
strip searching arrestees supported a § 1983 claim as to the District of Columbia; (2) the alleged
policy under a former U.S. Marshal, if true, violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments; (3) the
right to be free from a blanket strip-search policy was clearly established; and (4) allegations that
a former marshal and District of Columbia acted in concert in developing a policy stated a claim
that the marshal was “state actor.” The arrestees alleged that there were blanket strip searches
and visual cavity searches at Superior Court without a reasonable individualized suspicion, that
subjected all female arrestees, but not male arrestees, to blanket strip searches. (District of
Columbia and U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court)

individually and on behalf of a class of others similarly situated, against a county sheriff's
department, county sheriff, county undersheriff, former county undersheriff, a jail administrator
and a lieutenant, challenging the constitutionality of the search policy of the county jail. The
district court held that the policy, pursuant to which arrestees being admitted to a county jail
were effectively subjected to strip searches, violated the Fourth Amendment and that the
arrestees were entitled to permanent injunctive relief. The court found that the arrestees were
the “prevailing parties” entitled to an award of attorney fees. According to the court, the Fourth
Amendment precludes officials from performing strip searches and/or body cavity searches of
arrestees charged with misdemeanors or other minor offenses unless the officials have a

41.64
XX

reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is concealing weapons or other contraband based on the
crime charged, the particular characteristics of the arrestee, and/or the circumstances of the
arrest. The court held that the indiscriminate strip-searching of misdemeanor arrestees is
unconstitutional. The policy required arrestees to remove their clothing in front of a corrections
officer (CO) and take a shower, regardless of the nature of their crime and without any
determination that there was a reasonable suspicion that they possessed contraband. The court
found that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment, despite the claim that the written policy
did not involve either a command for the arrestee to undress completely or a command for the CO
to inspect the naked arrestee. The court noted that the procedure that was followed in fact by the
COs required all admittees to remove their clothes, submit to a visual examination by the CO,
and shower. The court held that the arrestees were entitled to a permanent injunction prohibiting
county jail officials from conducting a strip search, as set forth in the jail's “change out”
procedure. (Montgomery County Jail, New York)
U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCH

Navarro v. Adams, 419 F.Supp.2d 1196 (C.D.Cal. 2006). A state prisoner filed a pro se petition for
a writ of habeas corpus, challenging his state court conviction and his sentence for first degree
murder. The district court held that a deputy sheriff's search of his cell and seizure of attorneyclient privileged documents did not warrant federal habeas relief because it did not substantially
prejudice the prisoner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The court noted that the prisoner’s
cell was searched to locate evidence regarding gang activity and threats to witnesses, not to
interfere with his relationship with his defense counsel, and the information seized was turned
over to the trial court for an in-camera review without being viewed by any member of the
prosecution team. (California)

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCH

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 found that the officials' decision to “shake down” the inmate's cell
was not in retaliation for his having filed a civil rights action, and thus did not violate the
inmate's First Amendment right to access courts, where shakedowns were routine, and the
inmate was thought to have prohibited materials in his cell. (Delaware Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCH
JUVENILE

Smook v. Minnehaha County, 457 F.3d 806 (8th Cir. 2006). Former detainees at a county juvenile

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCH

Tardiff v. Knox County, 425 F.Supp.2d 190 (D.Me. 2006). A class action suit was brought against
a county, its sheriff, and unidentified jail correctional personnel under § 1983, claiming that the
Fourth Amendment rights of detainees alleged to have committed non-violent, non-weapons, and
non-drug felonies, and detainees alleged to have committed misdemeanors, were violated when
they were subjected to strip searches without reasonable suspicion that they were harboring
contraband on or within their bodies. Summary judgment was granted in part and denied in part
to the plaintiffs, and the defendants filed a motion for reconsideration. The district court held
that: (1) evidence, including booking logs at the county jail, demonstrated that corrections officers
routinely strip searched misdemeanor detainees without reasonable suspicion; (2) a jail
administrator's letter was highly probative of what municipal policymakers knew about ongoing
strip search practices at the jail; (3) intake and release log evidence provided proof that, for at
least some corrections officers, strip searching was customary; and (4) the actions taken by the
county in response to the unconstitutional practice of strip searching misdemeanor detainees
amounted to acquiescence in it. According to the court, a county jail inspection report provided
information about the circumstances surrounding search practices at the jail, as well as the
knowledge of the county policymakers before the commencement of the class period, and, thus,

detention center brought a § 1983 class action against a county and individual county officials,
challenging the center's policy of strip-searching all juveniles admitted to the facility regardless of
the seriousness of the charged offense or the existence of suspicion. The district court entered
partial summary judgment for the former detainees, finding that the searches violated the
minors' constitutional rights, and that the officials were not qualifiedly immune from the minors'
claims. The county and officials appealed the denial of qualified immunity. The appeals court
reversed and remanded, finding that requiring a juvenile to strip to her undergarments upon
admission to the facility was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. A juvenile female had
been brought to the center for a curfew violation. A female staff person took her to a private
restroom, directed her to remove her shorts, t-shirt, and sandals, but allowed her to remain
attired in her undergarments. The staff person touched her to look under her arms, between her
toes, and through her hair and scalp. The court held that the search was reasonable under Fourth
Amendment in light of the state's responsibility to act in loco parentis with respect to juveniles in
lawful state custody, and that the special needs for such a search outweighed the invasion of
personal privacy. The court held that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity where there
was no appellate decision from the Supreme Court or any federal circuit ruling on such an issue,
and, although many courts had concluded that the strip search of adult offenders without
individualized suspicion was unreasonable, those cases did not consider interests involved when
state had responsibility to act in loco parentis. (Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Center,
South Dakota)

41.65
XX

was relevant in the class action suit. (Knox County Jail, Maine)
U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY SEARCH

Thompson v. County of Cook, 428 F.Supp.2d 807 (N.D.Ill. 2006). A detainee held for civil

contempt brought an action against a county and a sheriff, alleging civil rights violations due to
invasive search procedures. Following a jury verdict for the defendants, the detainee moved for a
new trial. The district court held that a jury's verdict as to an unreasonable body cavity search
was against the manifest weight of evidence. The court noted that, notwithstanding the detainee's
purported intermingling with others who were incarcerated, he was not charged with any crime,
and there was no evidence that deputies noticed anything suspicious about detainee which would
have otherwise justified a search. The detainee was subjected to an invasive urethral swabbing
procedure without his consent. The detainee had been held in civil contempt and ordered held in
custody after he refused to sign certain documents related to his pending divorce proceedings.
Upon arrival at the jail, the detainee was processed along with approximately 250 other new
inmates. After spending some time in a holding pen, the detainee and others were photographed
and given identification cards. An employee from Cermak Health Services, the agency responsible
for administering medical treatment to detainees at the jail, then asked Thompson a number of
medical screening questions. During the interview, the detainee responded to the questions on a
standard form concerning his medical history and signed the following “consent for treatment”
portion of the form: I consent to a medical and mental health history and physical including

screening for tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases as part of the intake process of the
Cook County Jail. I also consent to ongoing medical treatment by Cermak Health Services staff
for problems identified during this process. I understand I may be asked to sign forms allowing
other medical treatments. I understand that every effort will be made by CHS staff to keep my
medical problems confidential. I understand the policy of CHS regarding access to health care at
Cook County Jail. The defendants presented evidence at trial that during the interview, an
employee informed the detainee of his right to refuse the medical screening, but the detainee
denied that anyone informed him of his right to refuse to consent. Following the medical
screening interview, his personal property was inventoried and then he and other inmates then
underwent a urethral swabbing procedure. He claimed that he felt pain both during and after the
procedure. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
PAROLEES

U.S. v. Massey, 461 F.3d 177 (2d Cir. 2006). A parolee was convicted in the district court of
unlawful possession of a firearm, and the parolee appealed. The appeals court affirmed, holding
that the search of the apartment where the parolee was living, during a home visit, was
reasonable. The court noted that the parolee agreed to home visits as a condition of parole, the
parolee was living in his mother's apartment, the officer designated the bedroom assigned to
parolee as the room she wished to visit and immediately upon entering the apartment the officer
requested to see the bedroom and proceeded directly to it, and the bedroom was the only room the
officer visited during the home visit until after she discovered weapons. (New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCH
BODY CAVITY
SEARCH

Way v. County of Ventura, 445 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2006). A female arrestee who had undergone a

U.S. District Court
PATDOWN
STRIP SEARCH
X-RAY
VISITOR SEARCH

Zboralski v. Monahan, 446 F.Supp.2d 879 (N.D.Ill. 2006). A visitor to a state treatment and
detention facility brought a § 1983 action against facility officers, alleging that she was illegally
searched prior to visits. The visitor moved to proceed in forma pauperis, and the district court
granted the motion. The court held that the visitor stated Fourth Amendment claims based on
unreasonable patdowns and “Rapiscan” scans, an invasion of privacy claim, and an assault and
battery claim. The visitor alleged that she was illegally searched prior to visits, claiming invasion
of privacy under Illinois law based on intrusion upon seclusion, alleging that her virtual naked
image was captured through the Rapiscan machine, kept, and viewed hours later by officers. The
court noted that the visitor was neither a patient nor under any criminal investigation. The
visitor also alleged that an officer caused her to reasonably believe that she would place her
fingers in the visitor's vaginal area, and physically touched her in such a manner at least four
times. (Illinois Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Facility, Joliet, Illinois)

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)

41.66
XX

2007
U.S. District Court
RELEASE
STRIP SEARCHES

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)

U.S. District Court
RELEASE
STRIP SEARCHES

Bullock v. Sheahan, 519 F.Supp.2d 763 (N.D.Ill. 2007). Male jail inmates brought a class action against a county
and county sheriff alleging violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments based on an alleged policy
and/or practice under which male inmates were subjected to strip searches upon returning to a county department
of corrections for out-processing after having been ordered released. The sheriff and county moved to strike
certain portions of the inmates' motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The court held that the sheriff and county had notice of the male jail inmates' claims challenging
the policy and practice, despite allegations that the claims regarding the inmates having to strip in a large nonprivate group setting came as a surprise to the county and the sheriff because they were never addressed by
inmates during fact or expert discovery. The court found that factual allegations contained in the complaint
satisfied the notice pleading standards with respect to all claims, and that the county and sheriff did not provide
specific evidence of any misrepresentations or sandbagging other than an affidavit stating that discovery did not
focus on the privacy issue. (Cook County Department of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRIVACY
BODY CAVITY SEARCH
STRIP SEARCHES

Campbell v. Miller, 499 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2007). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a police officer and
city, alleging that a strip search violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The district court entered judgment, upon
jury verdict, in favor of the defendants and denied the arrestee's motion for judgment as a matter of law. The
arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that
evidence was sufficient to support a jury verdict that police officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that the
arrestee was concealing contraband, as would justify a strip search and body cavity search of the arrestee, for the
purpose of the arrestee's § 1983 unreasonable search claim. The court noted that the plaintiff was arrested for
narcotics possession, when an officer first encountered the arrestee the officer reasonably believed that the
plaintiff fit the description of a man who had just engaged in a drug transaction. The officer testified that he saw
the arrestee drop a bag of marijuana and then disregard repeated commands to stop moving away. But the court
found that a strip and body cavity search conducted on the arrestee in an open backyard was not reasonable, and
thus, the search violated the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights. The search involved nudity and visual
inspection of the anal area, the backyard was exposed to the neighbors, the arrestee's friend was able to watch the
search and others could have watched as well, and no exigency justified such a public exposure. The court
concluded that the city was not liable under § 1983 for the arresting officer's unreasonable conduct. Although the
city had a policy that any officer making an arrest had to conduct a body search of the prisoner, there was no
policy requiring the search to be conducted in public, the decision to conduct the search in an open and exposed
area was what rendered the search unconstitutional, and that decision was made by the officer. (City of
Indianapolis, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Doe v. Balaam, 524 F.Supp.2d 1238 (D.Nev. 2007). A transsexual arrestee, who was strip searched at a county
jail, brought an action against the county and county sheriff seeking damages, attorney fees, and a permanent
injunction prohibiting the defendants from conducting certain strip searches. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that deputies at the county jail had a reasonable
suspicion, based on specific articulated facts coming directly from the transsexual arrestee concealing a sock in
his crotch area, that the arrestee was carrying or concealing contraband, so as to justify a strip search of the
arrestee prior to being housed in the general jail population. The court noted that the arrestee had turned himself
in for a misdemeanor destruction of property charge, and even though he had told deputies that he was a
transsexual and that he had a rolled-up sock concealed in his crotch area, the deputies had no way of knowing
whether the arrestee was truthful about what he was, in fact, concealing. According to the court, even if there
had been a violation of the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, the
transsexual arrestee failed to allege that the county sheriff knew of and failed to act or prevent any alleged
violation, or that any individual employees acted pursuant to an official county policy or custom, as required to
state a cognizable § 1983 claim against the sheriff and county for alleged constitutional violations. (Washoe
County, Nevada)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Doe No. 1 v. Balaam, 494 F.Supp.2d 1173 (D.Nev. 2007). Arrestees who were subjected to strip searches when
they self-surrendered at a county jail and were then released on their own recognizance, pursuant to the sheriff
department's contraband control policy, brought an action against the county and county sheriff. The arrestees
sought damages, attorney fees, and a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from conducting certain
strip searches, prohibiting the defendants from engaging in similar unconstitutional conduct in the future, and
requiring and ordering the defendants to institute proper training and policy changes. The inmates moved for
partial summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the county's policy of

41.67
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strip searching all arrestees who self-surrendered to the county jail, absent reasonable suspicion that any arrestee
was smuggling contraband, was unreasonable, and thus amounted to deliberate indifference to the arrestees'
Fourth Amendment rights, especially given that all of the arrestees were booked and then released on their own
recognizance without ever being housed with the general jail population. (Washoe County Detention Facility,
Nevada)
U.S. Appeals Court
BODY CAVITY SEARCH
STRIP SEARCH

Hutchins v. McDaniels, 512 F.3d 193 (5th Cir. 2007). A prison inmate who was subjected to strip and cavity
searches by a prison officer brought suit under § 1983 to recover for alleged violation of his Fourth Amendment
rights. The district court entered an order dismissing the complaint and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court
reversed and remanded. The court held that the inmate’s allegations regarding strip and cavity searches to which
he was subjected by a prison officer who never accused him of possessing contraband during the search, and
who was allegedly wearing a “lewd smile” during the procedure, were sufficient to state a claim for violation of
the inmate's Fourth Amendment rights. The court noted that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) prohibits
a prisoner from recovering compensatory damages in any federal civil action absent a showing of physical
injury. According to the court, the inmate's failure to allege that he had sustained any physical injury as a result
of a strip and cavity search, prevented him from asserting a claim for recovery of compensatory damages for
emotional or mental injuries that he allegedly suffered. The court noted that the inmate did not have to allege any
physical injury in order to state a claim for recovery of nominal or punitive damages for the officer's alleged
violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. (California Men’s Colony East)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SEARCHES
STRIP SEARCHES

Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2007). Sexual offenders who were civilly confined in a state
psychiatric hospital under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP) filed a class action against various
state officials under § 1983, challenging the conditions of their confinement. The district court denied the
defendants' motion to dismiss, and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in
part. The court held that the First Amendment claims brought against state hospital officials were based on
clearly established law for qualified immunity purposes insofar as they challenged retaliation for filing lawsuits,
however, officials had qualified immunity to the extent that the plaintiffs' claim relied on a First Amendment
right not to participate in treatment sessions. The court found that the plaintiffs stated a § 1983 claim for
violations of their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The court
concluded that hospital officials were entitled to qualified immunity with regard to procedural due process
claims, but not substantive due process claims. The offenders alleged that they were subjected to public strip
searches, to retaliatory searches of their possessions and to arbitrary seizure of their personal belongings, that
they were placed in shackles during transport to the hospital and during visits from family and friends, that they
were subjected to restraint even if they did not pose any physical risk, and that they were force-medicated. On
appeal to the United States Supreme Court (129 S.Ct. 2431) the court vacated the decision. (Atascadero State
Hospital, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Tabbaa v. Chertoff, 509 F.3d 89 (2nd Cir. 2007). United States citizens brought an action alleging that the
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials violated their constitutional and statutory rights by
detaining and searching them at a border when they returned from an Islamic conference in Canada. The district
court entered summary judgment in the government's favor, and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court
affirmed, finding that the suspicionless searches of the plaintiffs did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The
court found that the burden placed on the plaintiffs' associational rights as the result of the CBP searches and
detention was sufficiently significant to implicate First Amendment protections, but the searches and detention
constituted the least restrictive means to protect the nation from terrorism. (U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border
Protection, Buffalo, New York)

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCH

Teahan v. Wilhelm, 481 F.Supp.2d 1115 (S.D.Cal. 2007). An indigent state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against two correctional officers, challenging the conditions of his confinement. The court dismissed the action.
The court held that the prisoner's allegations that prison officials searched his cell numerous times over the
course of one evening, resulting in several items of the prisoner's property being seized, did not state a claim of
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Eighth Amendment. (Centinela State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCH
BODY CAVITY SEARCH

U.S. v. Barnes, 506 F.3d 58 (1st Cir. 2008). The government appealed an order of the United States District
Court for the District of Rhode Island suppressing cocaine seized from a defendant pursuant to a visual body
cavity search. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The court held that the strip search for contraband and
weapons was justified given the defendant's arrest for a drug trafficking crime, but that the arresting officer did
not have individualized suspicion that the arrestee was “cheeking” drugs, as required to justify a visual body
cavity search. According to the court, the evidence before the officer was that the arrestee was a suspected drug
dealer in possession of narcotics and that some drug dealers concealed drugs between their buttocks.
(Woonsocket Police Department, Rhode Island)

U.S. Appeals Court
DNA

U.S. v. Kriesel, 508 F.3d 941 (9th Cir. 2007). The government petitioned to revoke supervised release of a felon
who refused to submit a DNA sample. In response, the convicted felon challenged the constitutionality of the
Justice for All Act, which expanded coverage of the DNA Act to require DNA samples from all convicted felons
on supervised release. The felon also challenged the regulation issued pursuant to the Justice for All Act. The
district court upheld the constitutionality of the Justice for All Act and the validity of the regulation. The felon
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that requiring a convicted felon on supervised release to
provide a DNA sample, even through drawing of blood, did not constitute an illegal search. The court found that
the government's significant interests in identifying supervised releasees, preventing recidivism, and solving past
crimes outweighed the diminished privacy interests of the convicted felon. (United States District Court for the
Western District of Washington)

41.68
XXII

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
USE OF FORCE

Vasquez v. Raemisch, 480 F.Supp.2d 1120 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A prisoner sought leave to proceed under the in
forma pauperis statute in a proposed civil rights action for declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief brought
against prison officials and corrections officers. The district court held that, with respect to three body cavity
search incidents, the prisoner would be permitted proceed with his Eighth Amendment excessive force claims
against each correctional officer who he alleged was either directly involved in the use of force or was present
and either encouraged or failed to stop it. The prisoner alleged that there was no need for force in connection
with the first search, that his constitutional rights were violated in connection with the second search when
several officers, who lacked legitimate security reasons for conducting a manual body cavity search, made
contact with his genitals while conducting a strip search as a means of obtaining sexual gratification or
humiliating him, and other officers who were present failed to intervene, and that, with respect to the third
search, an officer used a taser against the prisoner when he posed no threat. (Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
PAROLEES

Willis v. Mullins, 517 F.Supp.2d 1206 (E.D.Cal. 2007.) An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against law
enforcement officers and a parole officer, alleging Fourth Amendment violations. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the
warrant-less entry into a motel room by the officers violated the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights and that a
genuine issue of material fact precluded summary judgment on qualified immunity. The court found that the
officers' search of a briefcase did not violate the Fourth Amendment, and that the arrestee failed to state a claim
against the officers upon which relief could be granted for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act. (Kern County, California)

U.S. District Court
DNA-Deoxy Ribonucleic
Acid
PRIVACY

Wilson v. Wilkinson, 608 F.Supp.2d 891 (S.D.Ohio 2007). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against state
officials, challenging the constitutionality of a state statute requiring the collection of DNA specimens from
convicted felons. The parties cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court held that the collection of a
DNA specimen was not an unreasonable search and seizure, and that a DNA sample did not implicate the
prisoner's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The court noted that law enforcement's interest
in obtaining DNA for a database to solve past and future crimes outweighed the prisoner's diminished privacy
rights. According to the court, the prisoner did not have a fundamental privacy interest protected by substantive
due process in the information contained in a DNA sample and the profile obtained pursuant to the state statute.
The court noted that the prisoner, as a convicted felon, did not enjoy the same privacy rights as did ordinary
citizens. (Ross Correctional Institution, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)
2008

U.S. District Court
VISITOR SEARCHES

Adeyola v. Gibon, 537 F.Supp.2d 479 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). An inmate brought a pro se action against a sheriff and
correctional facility officials, alleging that they violated his constitutional rights by refusing to allow females to
visit him unless they removed their head scarves for a search or presented proof that they were practicing
Muslims. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the sheriff and officials. The court held that
the inmate failed to allege any injury in fact and thus lacked standing. The court held that the allegations, even if
proven, did not violate any First Amendment right of the inmate to have visitors, in that it was reasonable for
officials to require visitors to remove scarves to determine that they were not attempting to bring in contraband,
and he was not denied visitors, given that visitors were simply required to agree to certain conditions before
being allowed to see an inmate. (Erie County Holding Center, N.Y. State Department of Correctional Services)

U.S. Appeals Court
OPPOSITE SEX
STRIP SEARCHES

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 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 pat-down 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
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP 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

41.69
XXII

§ 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. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Bullock v. Sheahan, 568 F.Supp.2d 965 (N.D.Ill. 2008). Two county inmates who were ordered released after
being found not guilty of the charges against them brought an action individually and on behalf of a class against
a county sheriff and county, challenging the constitutionality of a policy under which male inmates, in the
custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDC), were subjected to strip searches upon returning
to CCDC after being ordered released. The district court held that male inmates in the custody of CCDC who
were potentially discharged were similarly situated to female potential discharges, as supported the male
inmates' claim that the county's policy of strip searching all male discharges and not all female discharges
violated the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted that the two groups of inmates were housed within the
same facility, there were varying security classifications within each group that corresponded to each other,
statistics concerning inmate violence clearly indicated that it took place among female as well as male inmates,
and the county's primary justification for distinguishing between male and female discharges, namely, its alleged
inability to hold them in a receiving, classification, and diagnosis center (RCDC) while their records were
reviewed, was a logistical rather than a security concern. The court held that the CCDC exhibited discriminatory
intent in strip searching all male inmates who were potentially discharged and not all female discharges, as
supported the male inmates' claim that the county's strip search policy violated the Equal Protection Clause. The
court found that the county's blanket strip search policy for male discharged inmates was not substantially related
to the achievement of important governmental objectives--jail safety and security--and thus the policy deprived
male discharges of their constitutional right to equal protection. The court noted that female discharges were just
as capable of importing contraband into the jail as their male counterparts.
According to the court, the fact that there were a greater number of male inmates in a county jail did not
legitimize an equal protection violation resulting from the county's blanket strip search policy for male
discharged inmates. The court found that the county's policy of exempting male discharged inmates from
obtaining privacy screens for use during strip searches violated the Equal Protection Clause. The court found that
potentially discharged male inmates, for whom there was no longer any basis for detention, had a privacy
interest with regard to strip searches which was arguably greater than that of pretrial detainees. According to the
court, the county's policy of strip searching all male discharged inmates in large group settings in which inmates
were placed at approximately an arm's length apart when searched violated the Fourth Amendment. The court
found that the county sheriff was not acting as an arm of the state insofar as requiring strip searching of
discharged male inmates, and thus was not entitled to qualified immunity. The court noted that an Illinois
Administrative Code (IAC) provision stating that “detainees permitted to leave the confines of the jail
temporarily, for any reason, shall be thoroughly searched prior to leaving and before re-entering the jail” did not
mandate strip searches, just that inmates be “thoroughly searched.” (Cook Co. Dept. of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY SEARCH
STRIP 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 Co. Jail, Maine)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Craft v. County of San Bernardino, 624 F.Supp.2d 1113 (C.D.Cal. 2008). County jail inmates brought a class
action alleging that a county's practice of routinely strip-searching inmates without probable cause or reasonable
suspicion that the inmates were in possession of weapons or drugs violated the Fourth Amendment. After the
court granted the inmates’ motion for partial summary judgment, the parties entered into private mediation and
reached a settlement agreement providing for, among other things, a class fund award of $25,648,204. The
inmates moved for the award of attorney's fees and costs. The district court held that class counsel were entitled
to an attorney's fees award in the amount of 25% of the settlement fund plus costs. The court noted that counsel
obtained excellent pecuniary and nonpecuniary results in a complex and risky case involving 150,000 class
members, 20,000 claims, and five certified classes, each of which presented unsettled legal issues. According to
the court, tens or hundreds of thousands of future inmates benefited from policy changes brought about by the
suit, and the attorneys were highly experienced and highly regarded civil rights lawyers with extensive class
action experience. (San Bernardino County Jail, California)

41.70
XXII

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
VISITS

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: (1) the practice of searching the detainee prior to his visits with guests and
attorneys violated his substantive due process rights; (2) the practice of using a “black-box” restraint system on
all of the detainee's trips to and from court over a 15-month period violated his substantive due process rights;
(3) requiring the detainee to sleep in a room illuminated by a night light did not violate the detainee's substantive
due process rights; (4) a former director was not protected by qualified immunity from liability for the
constitutional violations; and (5) the detainee would be awarded compensatory damages in the amount of $30 for
each hour he wore the black box in violation of his rights. The court noted that strip searches of a detainee prior
to his court appearances and upon his return to the institution did not violate substantive due process, where
detainees were far more likely to engage in successful escapes if they could carry concealed items during their
travel to court, and searches upon their return were closely connected with the goal of keeping contraband out of
the facility. The court held that the practice of conducting strip searches of the detainee prior to his visits with
guests and attorneys was not within the bounds of professional judgment, and thus, violated the detainee's
substantive due process rights, where the only motivation for such searches appeared to be a concern that a
detainee would bring a weapon into the meeting, and most weapons should have been detectable through a patdown search. (Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
OPPOSITE SEX
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

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 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. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

Hart v. Celaya, 548 F.Supp.2d 789 (N.D.Cal. 2008). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against corrections
officers, alleging excessive force and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The district court
granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the officers did not use excessive force in
releasing pepper-spray into the prisoner's holding cell after he refused to submit to an unclothed body search.
The court noted that the officer released pepper-spray into the cell only after the prisoner refused to comply with
the direct orders of three different officers of increasingly higher rank to submit to the search, after the officer
explained to the prisoner that all inmates entering administrative segregation were required to submit to an
unclothed body search, after the prisoner began yelling and pushing up against his cell door causing it to shake
and rattle, and after the officers were concerned that the prisoner would either harm himself or break out of his
cell and endanger others. The court found that the officer did not use excessive force in requiring the prisoner to
lift his genitals during an unclothed body search, even though the prisoner had pepper spray on his hands. The
court held that officers did not use excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they allegedly
attempted to trip the prisoner, pushed him into the frame of a holding cell door, and twisted and pulled his wrists
as they put him in leg restraints in order to move the prisoner from the cell to an outside area where he could be
decontaminated from the officer's use of pepper-spray. The court noted that the prisoner's medical evaluations,
prior to and after the incident indicated that the prisoner did not sustain any injuries, such as cuts, abrasions,
swelling or bruises. (Salinas Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP 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
STRIP SEARCHES

Jean-Laurent v. Wilkinson, 540 F.Supp.2d 501 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). A prisoner in a state correctional facility
brought a civil rights action against officers and supervisors claiming violation of his rights under the First,
Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in
part and denied in part. The court held that striking the prisoner in the face several times while he was standing
naked in a stairwell surrounded by several officers, absent any indication that the prisoner posed a threat, was not
within the corrections officer's asserted good-faith effort to maintain order, discipline, and security due to a
stabbing that recently had occurred within the prison. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a
fact issue as to whether the prisoner was under constant supervision by corrections officers and to what
proximity he was to other inmates so as to determine whether he could have acquired contraband. The court also
found summary judgment was precluded by a fact issue as to whether senior corrections officers were grossly
negligent in supervising a junior officer who allegedly violated the prisoner's Fourth Amendment rights through
a strip search, and as to whether the Fourth Amendment rights of the prisoner were violated during a second strip
search and alleged use of excessive force. (George Motchan Det. Center, N.Y. City Department of Correction)

41.71
XXII

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES
STRIP 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. District Court
FRISK SEARCH
PAT DOWN SEARCH

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. Appeals Court
DNA- Deoxy Ribonucleic
Acid

Kaemmerling v. Lappin, 553 F.3d 669 (D.C.Cir. 2008). A federal prisoner sought to enjoin application of the
DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act (DNA Act), alleging the Act violated his rights under the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. The district court dismissed the
action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
court held that the prisoner’s allegation that DNA collection burdened his free exercise of religion failed to state
a claim under the First Amendment and RFRA. The court found that the potential criminal penalty for failure to
cooperate with the collection of a DNA sample did not violate RFRA. According to the court, the collection of
prisoner DNA furthers a compelling government interest using the least restrictive means. The court also found
that the DNA Act does not violate equal protection despite the fact that it requires collection of DNA only from
felons who are incarcerated or on supervised release, rather than those who are no longer under the supervision
of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), where the BOP's measure of control over supervised and incarcerated felons
makes it significantly easier to collect their DNA samples. The court noted that the extraction, analysis, and
storage of the prisoner's DNA information did not call for the prisoner to modify his religious behavior in any
way, did not involve any action or forbearance on the prisoner's part, and did not interfere with any religious act
in which the prisoner was engaged. (Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
URINE TEST

Levine v. Roebuck, 550 F.3d 684 (8th Cir. 2008). A state inmate brought § 1983 claims against a correctional
officer and nurses alleging that they violated his Fourth and Eighth Amendment rights by forcing him to undergo
catheterization to avoid prison discipline when he could not provide a urine sample for a random drug test. The
district court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment and the inmate appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that the prison nurses' actions in attempting catheterization of the inmate were
objectively reasonable and did not violate the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights against brutality. The court
noted that the nurses were following a request from a correctional officer, and the inmate had undergone
voluntary catheterization in the past when he was unable to urinate. (Western Missouri Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES
STRIP SEARCHES

McCabe v. Mais, 602 F.Supp.2d 1025 (N.D.Iowa 2008). County jail detainees brought a § 1983 action against a
county jail officer, alleging that the officer conducted illegal strip searches and visual body cavity searches.
Following a jury trial, the district court granted the officer's motion reduce the jury’s damages award, and after
the detainees refused to accept the reduced damages award, ordered a new trial on the issue of damages. After a
jury returned a verdict in favor of the detainees in the amount of $55,804, the detainees moved for new trial. The
court held that a new trial on damages was not warranted and that the damages award was not so inadequate as
to shock the conscience. The court noted that there was no evidence that the detainees were subjected to repeated
violations of their Fourth Amendment rights, or that the illegal searches were conducted in a violent or mocking
way, and detainees' own descriptions of their emotional distress was not compelling. (Linn County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
STRIP 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

41.72
XXII

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. District Court
PAROLEES

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 exwife 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
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES

Sanchez Rodriguez v. Departamento de Correccion y Rehabilitacion, 537 F.Supp.2d 295 (D.Puerto Rico 2008).
An inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that Puerto Rico prison officials denied him his constitutional right to
enjoy daily recreational time outside of his cell because he refused to submit to visual body cavity searches.
After dismissal of his complaint, the inmate filed a motion for reconsideration. The district court denied the
motion. The court held that the searches did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. According to the court,
the requirement that inmates submit to visual body cavity searches in order to leave their cells for recreation was
needed to preserve internal order and institutional security, and thus did not constitute cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Maximum Security Prison, Ponce, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Streeter v. Sheriff of Cook County, 576 F.Supp.2d 913 (N.D.Ill. 2008). Current or former pretrial detainees filed
a class action under § 1983 against a county sheriff and the county, challenging a strip search policy at the
county jail, alleging it violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court denied
summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that the detainees stated a claim for violation of their
Fourth Amendment rights in connection with group strip searches that were allegedly conducted in an
unreasonably intrusive manner and went on longer than penologically necessary. The court also found that the
detainees stated a claim for violation of their rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
in connection with group strip searches that were allegedly conducted in a manner intended to humiliate and
embarrass the detainees, and that went on longer than necessary. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES
STRIP 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
BODY CAVITY SEARCH
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP 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. District Court
BODY SEARCHES
CONTRABAND
PRIVACY

Williams v. Fitch, 550 F.Supp.2d 413 (W.D.N.Y. 2008). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that
corrections officers sexually abused him. The district court dismissed the case. The court held that the officers
did not violate the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights by searching and handling his penis on three occasions
while searching for contraband. The court noted that X-rays showed the presence of a metal object in the
foreskin of the inmate's penis, and the searches were undertaken in a private location, without undue physical
intrusion, humiliation, or physical injury. (Attica Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
DNA
PRIVACY

Wilson v. Collins, 517 F.3d 421 (6th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against state officials
challenging the constitutionality of Ohio's DNA Act that required the collection of DNA specimens from
convicted felons. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that collection of a DNA specimen pursuant to the statute was not an
unreasonable search and seizure and that the prisoner did not have a fundamental privacy interest in the
information contained in a DNA specimen. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)

41.73
XXII

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
VISITOR SEARCHES
X-RAY

Zboralski v. Monahan, 616 F.Supp.2d 792 (N.D.Ill. 2008). The wife of a civilly committed resident of a state
treatment and detention facility brought an action against facility employees, in their individual and official
capacities, alleging claims under § 1983 for violations of her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well
as claims for invasion of privacy and assault and battery, in connection with a series of searches the employees
performed on her when she was visiting a resident. The court denied the employees’ motion for summary
judgment, in part. The court held that a hearing was required in order to develop the record on the issue of the
reasonableness of the searches. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to
whether the wife agreed to undergo a scan each and every time she entered the facility, and as to whether one
employee intentionally touched the wife's vaginal area during pat-down searches. The court denied immunity to
the employee and found that, as a matter of first impression, requiring the wife to submit to a scan in order to
visit her husband amounted to an unconstitutional condition. The facility employed X-ray technology to conduct
a body search of visitors. The court noted that questions to be addressed at a hearing included how the machine
actually worked and the quality of the images it produced, and how reasonable persons would feel being
subjected to such a scan. According to the court, to determine whether a body scan of a prison visitor is akin to a
pat-down or strip search, the key factor is the level of embarrassment and intrusion that the visitor searched feels.
(Illinois Department of Human Services' Treatment and Detention Facility, Joliet, Illinois)
2009

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Allison v. GEO Group, Inc., 611 F.Supp.2d 433 (E.D.Pa. 2009). Arrestees detained in state custodial facilities
managed by a private corporation brought a class action against the corporation, alleging the facilities' blanket
policy of mandatory strip searches without individualized suspicion violated the Fourth Amendment. The
corporation moved for judgment on the pleadings for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted
and the district court denied the motion. The court held that the arrestees stated a § 1983 claim for a Fourth
Amendment violation. The court noted that strip searches in a custodial facility differ qualitatively from other
intake procedures which entail some incidental nudity but do not involve visual inspection of the naked body.
The court said that the exposure of the naked body to scrutiny by government officers is what makes strip
searches more invasive than other admission procedures at a custodial facility. According to the court, the
searches involved visual inspection of the arrestees’ naked bodies, the searches of named arrestees were not
based on reasonable suspicion, and the purported class consisted of arrestees who were either charged with
minor offenses or non-violent offenses that did not involve drugs. (George W. Hill Corr. Facility, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Bullock v. Dart, 599 F.Supp.2d 947 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Inmates filed a § 1983 action challenging the
constitutionality a county's policies of performing blanket strip searches on male, but not female, inmates
returning to county jail from court hearings at which charges against them were dismissed, and of providing
privacy screens for female discharges but not male discharges. After entry of summary judgment in the inmates'
favor, the defendants moved for reconsideration. The district court granted the motion in part. The court held that
male inmates were similarly situated to female potential discharges. The court found that fact issues remained as
to whether the county's policies were justified, and whether security considerations prevented the county from
segregating inmates against whom charges had been dismissed before they returned to their divisions. The
defendants asserted that the much greater number of male inmates in county custody and the differences in the
nature and frequency of dangerous incidents in each population justified the policy. The court held that the
county's policy and practice of segregating female possible discharges from the remainder of female court
returns, such that female actual returns could elect to avoid strip searches, but not segregating male possible
discharges in a similar manner, was not gender-neutral on its face, for the purposes of the Equal Protection
Clause. (Cook County Department of Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Chehade Refai v. Lazaro, 614 F.Supp.2d 1103 (D.Nev. 2009). A German citizen, who was detained by
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials at a Nevada airport, and later transferred to a local jail, after
his name had been erroneously placed on a watch list, brought an action against the United States, DHS officials,
a police department, a city, and a police chief, alleging various constitutional violations. The district court
granted the DHS and United States motions to dismiss in part, and denied in part. The court held that DHS
officials could not bypass constitutional requirements for strip searches and body-cavity searches of nonadmitted aliens at a border by sending the German citizen to a detention facility where they allegedly knew strip
searches occurred in the absence of reasonable suspicion under circumstances in which the DHS officials could
not perform the strip search themselves. According to the court, regardless of any reasonable suspicion that
detention center officials had for a strip search, federal officials at the border needed reasonable suspicion for a
strip search. The court found that the Fourth Amendment right of a non-admitted alien to be free from a noninvasive, non-abusive strip search absent suspicion to conduct such a search was clearly established in 2006,
when the German citizen was detained at an airport, and thus, a DHS officer was not entitled to qualified
immunity. The court held that the German citizen who was detained after arriving at a United States airport and
was asked to spy for the United States government in order to obtain an entry visa was not subjected to
“involuntary servitude” in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, where the German citizen never actually
spied for the United States. The court found that the German citizen adequately alleged that the defendant's
actions constituted extreme and outrageous conduct, as required to state claim for intentional infliction of
emotional distress under Nevada law, where he alleged that DHS officials told him that if he did not spy for the
United States government, he would never be able to return to the United States where his daughter and
grandchild lived. According to the court, the detained German citizen's negligence claim, alleging that the United
States owed him a duty of care not to cause him to be detained in a local jail when he had not been and was
never charged with any criminal offense, was not barred by the discretionary function exception to the Federal
Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The court noted that although the government claimed that immigration officials had
discretion in choosing where to house aliens, under an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

41.74
XXII

memorandum, the alien should never have been booked into local jail. (North Las Vegas Detention Center,
Nevada)
U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCHES

Cox v. Ashcroft, 603 F.Supp.2d 1261 (E.D.Cal. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against the United
States Attorney General, several federal prosecutors, and the owner and employees of a privately-owned federal
facility in which the prisoner was incarcerated, alleging constitutional violations arising from his arrest,
prosecution, and incarceration. The district court dismissed the action. The court held that the prisoner did not
have any Fourth Amendment rights to privacy in his cell, and thus did not suffer any constitutional injury as a
result of the search of his cell and the confiscation of another inmate's legal materials. The court found that the
prisoner did not have any liberty or property interest in employment while in prison, and thus the prisoner did
not suffer any violation of his due process right related to his termination from his prison job as a result of
discipline arising from the search of his cell, precluding liability on the part of facility owner and its employees
under § 1983. (Taft Correctional Institution, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, California)

U.S. District Court
OPPOSITE SEX
PAT DOWN SEARCH
PRIVACY

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. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

Jackson v. Gerl, 622 F.Supp.2d 738 (W.D.Wis. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a warden and
other prison officials, alleging that the use of a stinger grenade to extract him from his cell constituted excessive
force in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that an abusive strip search following the deployment of the
grenade also violated the Eighth Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment and the district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that a prison lieutenant's extraction of the
prisoner from inside his cell by means of a stinger grenade, which when detonated created a bright flash of light,
emitted a loud blast accompanied by smoke, and fired rubber balls, was not “de minimis,” as would bar a claim
for excessive force under the Eighth Amendment. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by
genuine issues of material fact as to whether the extraction of the prisoner from his cell by means of a stinger
grenade was malicious and sadistic, or whether the use was in a good-faith effort to maintain or restore
discipline. The court found that the officials' alleged failure to give the prisoner an opportunity to strip down on
his own so that officials could perform a visual inspection of his person rather than be subject to a manual strip
search was for a legitimate penological purpose, and thus did not violate the Eighth Amendment as a wanton
infliction of psychological pain. The officials decided to manually strip search the prisoner after he had resisted
following orders along every step of the way. The court noted that the performance of the strip search in front of
a cell, rather than inside a cell, was not done to demean and humiliate the plaintiff, where the cell was not in an
area widely visible to prisoners, but rather was at the end of a hall with no cell across from it. (Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY SEARCH
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

Lopez v. Youngblood, 609 F.Supp.2d 1125 (E.D.Cal. 2009). Plaintiffs brought a class action against a county,
sheriff, and former sheriff, seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged violations of his federal and state
constitutional rights resulting from strip and/or visual body cavity searches of detainees and inmates of the
county jail. The district granted summary judgment in part and denied in part. The court held that the policy of
the county sheriff's office of subjecting to strip search all pretrial detainees who are ordered released as a result
of court appearances, upon their return from the courthouse and prior to their being returned to the county jail's
general population for administrative reasons pending release, violated the detainees' Fourth Amendment rights.
The court found that there was no evidence that pretrial detainees at the county jail were subjected to strip
searches in small groups as a means of punishment, as required to establish that the strip searches violated the
detainees' due process rights. According to the court, pre-arraignment arrestees were not similarly situated to
post-arraignment detainees, such that the practice of providing privacy for pre-arraignment strip and/or visual
body cavity searches, but not for such searches of post-arraignment detainees, did not violate equal protection,
notwithstanding the contention that the interest in maintaining the privacy of one's body cavities was the same
for both arrestees and detainees. The court held that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because,
at the time the county sheriff's office maintained the policy allowing for group strip and visual body cavity
searches of post-arraignment detainees of the county jail, it was not clearly established that such searches
violated the detainees' Fourth Amendment rights. (Kern County Sheriff's Department, Central Receiving
Facility, Ridgecrest, Mojave, and Lerdo facilities, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES

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

41.75
XXII

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 court
held that whether strip searches were conducted in a harassing manner intended to humiliate and cause
psychological pain, and whether guards subjected the prisoner to a non-routine search in retaliation for his
complaints about strip searches, were questions for the jury. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Miller v. Yamhill County, 620 F.Supp.2d 1241 (D.Or. 2009). Three inmates of a county correction facility
brought a class action against a county and sheriff alleging their policy of strip searching inmates at the facility
without reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband or weapons was a violation of the Fourth
Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court
held that the sheriff supervising the deputies who conducted allegedly unconstitutional searches was not liable
under § 1983, where the sheriff was not personally involved in any of the searches at issue, and there was no
causal connection between any conduct of the sheriff and the alleged violations.
The court held that the strip search of an inmate at the facility, who was arrested for threatening someone
with a knife and a cane, was reasonable upon the inmate's entry into the general jail population following his
completion of a drug treatment program, in light of the underlying menacing charge. The court noted that the
inmate was returning to the jail at the time of his choosing and therefore had knowledge that he would be
entering the jail, and the inmate was returning from a drug treatment facility because of his possession and use of
contraband. According to the court, the strip search of another inmate at the facility, who had been arrested on
charges of driving while suspended and the felony of attempt to elude, was reasonable, in light of one of the
charges being a felony, and the fact that the inmate had eluded arrest earlier in the day, and therefore knew that
the police were looking for him and that he would likely be entering the jail population.
The court found that the strip search of a third inmate at the facility, who had been arrested on driving under
the influence of intoxicants (DUII) charges, was reasonable, noting that after her arrest, the inmate managed to
remove and conceal her handcuffs in her underwear, and after an extended search of the patrol car and booking
area, and repeated denials that she had the handcuffs, the inmate removed the handcuffs from her pants, and
deputy concluded that a strip search was necessary on the basis that inmate might be concealing other
contraband. (Yamhill County Corrections Facility, Oregon)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Miller v. Washington County, 650 F.Supp.2d 1113 (D.Or. 2009). Inmates brought a class action against county
and sheriff, alleging that the county's policy of strip searching inmates was unconstitutional. The parties crossmoved for summary judgment, and the inmates additionally moved for class certification. The district court held
that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the county's
blanket policy of strip searching all individuals transported from another correctional or detention facility was
justified by the need for institutional security. The court denied class certification, finding that the county's strip
search policy regarding arrestees did not present common questions of law or fact. The court stayed the action,
noting that the appellate court was reviewing a city’s strip search policy at the time. (Washington County Jail,
Oregon)

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCHES

Proctor v. Applegate, 661 F.Supp.2d 743 (E.D.Mich. 2009). State prisoners brought a § 1983 action against
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) employees and multiple prison facilities, alleging violations of
their constitutional rights. The defendants moved to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds and for failure to
state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part.
The court held that state prison regulations which permitted the confiscation of certain types of mail and
prohibited “copyrighting” of names served a legitimate and neutral government purpose, and thus did not violate
the prisoners' constitutional rights. The court held that allegations in the prisoner's complaint that an MDOC
employee would frequently shake down his cell looking for prohibited Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
materials, and that the employee would leave the cell in disarray, failed to state a § 1983 claim against the
employee for violation of the prisoner's constitutional rights, given that the prisoner failed to even allege that
any legal materials were confiscated. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

Quinones-Ruiz v. Pereira-Castillo, 607 F.Supp.2d 296 (D.Puerto Rico 2009). A state inmate brought a pro se §
1983 action for injunctive and monetary relief against state prison officials, alleging that the requirement that he
squat over a mirror set on the floor in order to have his anus examined when moved to different areas of the
facility was conducted in a hostile and denigrating manner, and that it humiliated and frustrated him. The district
court dismissed the action. The court found that the inmate's complaint failed to provide any details which could
lead the court to conclude that the prison's requirement was unreasonable, or that the inmate was an inmate being
held for a minor offense or one that did not involve drugs, weapons, or other forms of contraband, as required to
state a § 1983 claim for a violation of the inmate's right against unreasonable searches and seizures or cruel and
unusual punishment. (Las Cucharas Correctional Facility, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCHES

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)

41.76
XXII

U.S. Appeals Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCH
PRIVACY

Sanchez v. Pereira-Castillo, 590 F.3d 31 (1st Cir. 2009). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 claims against
correctional officials, a prison warden, a prison's correctional officer, and a physician, and medical battery and
medical malpractice claims against the physician, relating to strip searches, x-rays, rectal examinations, and
exploratory surgery to detect and recover suspected contraband. The district court dismissed the suit and the
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded.
The appeals court held that the digital rectal examinations were not unreasonable where the procedures
were the direct culmination of a series of searches that began when a metal detector used to scan the prisoner's
person gave a positive reading, the prisoner had two normal bowel movements before the searches were
conducted, a physician examined him upon arrival at the hospital and found him to be asymptomatic, and several
lab tests were found to be “within normal limits.” The court noted that the searches were carried out by medical
professionals in the relatively private, sanitary environment of a hospital, upon suspicion that the prisoner had
contraband, namely a cell phone, in his rectum, and with no abusive or humiliating conduct on the part of the
law enforcement officers or the doctors. But the court found that the exploratory surgery of the abdomen of the
prisoner was unreasonable where the surgery required total anesthesia, surgical invasion of the abdominal cavity,
and two days of recovery in the hospital. The court noted that the surgery was conducted despite several
indications of the absence of contraband, including the results of two monitored bowel movements and two
rectal examinations. According to the court, an x-ray, as a much less invasive procedure, could have confirmed
the results. The court held that the prisoner's signed consent form for the exploratory surgery of his abdomen did
not preclude the prisoner's claim that he was deprived of his Fourth Amendment rights, where the prisoner was
pressured and intimidated into signing the consent, had been under constant surveillance for more than a day
prior to the surgery, had been forced to submit to searches, x-rays, and invasive rectal examinations prior to his
signing the consent form, and had twice been forced to excrete on a floor in the presence of prison personnel.
The court held that the prisoner's allegations against correctional officers were sufficient to allege that the
officers caused the hospital's forced exploratory surgery on the prisoner, as required to state a § 1983 claim
against the officers. The prisoner alleged that the officers were directly involved in all phases of the search for
contraband and in the ultimate decision to transport the prisoner to the hospital for a rectal examination or a
medical procedure to remove the foreign object purportedly lodged in the prisoner's rectum. According to the
court, the prisoner's allegation that correctional officers exerted pressure on hospital physicians that examined
the prisoner was sufficient to allege the state compulsion necessary to state a claim of § 1983 liability against a
surgeon. The court found that correctional officers' conduct, in forcing the prisoner to undergo an invasive
abdominal surgery, was a violation of a clearly established constitutional right, such that the officers were not
entitled to qualified immunity from § 1983 liability. (Bayamón 501 Unit of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Administration of Corrections, and Río Piedras Medical Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRIVACY
STRIP 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)

U.S. Appeals Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCH
CONTRABAND
PRIVACY
SAME-SEX SEARCH

Serna v. Goodno, 567 F.3d 944 (8th Cir. 2009). A patient of a state mental hospital, involuntarily civilly
committed as a sexually dangerous person pursuant to a Minnesota sex offender program, brought a § 1983
action against a program official and against the head of the state's Department of Human Services. The patient
alleged that visual body-cavity searches performed on all patients as part of a contraband investigation violated
his Fourth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, and the patient
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that visual body-cavity searches performed on all patients
of a state mental hospital, as part of a contraband investigation following the discovery of a cell-phone case in a
common area, did not infringe upon the Fourth Amendment rights of the patient involuntarily civilly committed
to the facility as a sexually dangerous person. According to the court, even though facility-wide searches may
have constituted a disproportionate reaction, cell phones presented a security threat in the context of sexually
violent persons, there was a history of patients' use of phones to commit crimes, and the searches were conducted
in a private bathroom with no extraneous personnel present and in a professional manner with same-sex teams of
two. (Minnesota Sex Offender Program, Moose Lake, Minnesota)

U.S. District Court
FEMALES
STRIP 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)

41.77

U.S. Appeals Court
PAROLES
SEARCH WARRANT

U.S. v. Warren, 566 F.3d 1211 (10th Cir. 2009). Following a warrantless search of his residence, a parolee was
convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine base. The
parolee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that a police officer's warrantless search of
the parolee's residence was justified under the special-needs exception to the warrant and probable cause
requirements, as well as under Colorado law, where the officer searched the residence at the direction of a parole
officer. The parolee had signed a written agreement which required him to allow the parole officer to search his
person, residence, any premises under his control, or his vehicle. (Colorado)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

Young v. County of Cook, 616 F.Supp.2d 834 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Pretrial detainees brought an action against a
county, sheriff, and current and former directors of the county department of corrections, on behalf of
themselves and two certified classes, alleging that the county jail's strip search policy for new detainees violated
their rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court granted the parties’ motions for
summary judgment in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) the strip search of detainees charged with
misdemeanor offenses not involving drugs or weapons violated the Fourth Amendment; (2) the strip searches of
members of a class of males who were subjected to a strip search as new detainees before privacy screens were
installed violated the Fourth Amendment; (3) issues of material fact precluded summary judgment on the Fourth
Amendment claims for the time period after privacy screens were installed; and (4) strip searches before privacy
screens were installed violated due process. According to the court, there was no evidence that blanket strip
searches were necessary with respect to these class members, and there was no evidence that the strip search of
individual class members was required. The court noted that although intermingling with general prisoners may
be one factor in evaluating the reasonableness of a prison's strip search policy with respect to new pretrial
detainees, that fact standing alone is not enough to justify strip searches of pretrial detainees in the absence of
individualized reasonable suspicion. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

Young v. County of Cook, 616 F.Supp.2d 856 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Pretrial detainees charged with misdemeanors
brought a civil rights class action under § 1983 against a county, a former county sheriff, and sheriff's
employees, alleging that the jail's blanket strip search policy violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment
rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the detainees on the issue of liability and the
defendants moved for reconsideration. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for reconsideration. The
court held that the county could have forfeited its claim to raise the issue that the details of 2,000 contraband
reports revealed 832 instances where persons purportedly charged with misdemeanors were found to have
contraband money during strip search process, where the county failed to properly bring this evidence to the
court's attention during the summary judgment briefing process. According to the court, the deference accorded
to the jail's expertise in matters of institutional security did not preclude the court from determining whether the
evidence supported the application of the jail's policy of subjecting newly arriving misdemeanor detainees to a
blanket policy of strip/body cavity searches. The court noted that the defendants asserted that the district court
had “ignored ... downplayed, and ... distorted” the evidence. In its decision, the court responded “Not so. With
their submissions, defendants submitted volumes of exhibits that, if stacked up, create a pile over fifteen inches
high.” (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
2010

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES
OPPOSITE SEX
PRIVACY

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 prisoner alleged that he was housed in
segregation/isolation, leading to a mental health breakdown, and: (1) that he was seen by mental health
professionals eight times over a five year period instead of every 90 days as required by administrative
regulations; (2) that mental health professionals recommended he pursue art and music for his mental health but
that prison officials denied him the materials; (3) and that the officials' actions resulted in the need to take antipsychotic and anti-depression medications due to suffering from bouts of aggression, extreme depression, voices,
paranoia, hallucinations, emotional breakdowns and distress, unreasonable fear, and systematic dehumanization.
The court held that the prisoner's allegations were factually sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 claim for
violations of his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unlawful searches and Eighth Amendment right to be free
of cruel and unusual punishment. The prisoner alleged that whenever he was moved from his cell to any other
location he was made to stand in a brightly lit shower in full view of female employees, made to strip naked,
place his bare feet on a filthy floor covered in insects and scum, spread his buttocks, lift his penis, then put his
fingers in his mouth without any opportunity to wash his hands, and that the process was unnecessary because
inmates were in full restraints, escorted and solitary at all times. The court found that the prisoner's allegations
were sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim for violation of his right to be free of cruel
and unusual punishment where the prisoner alleged the exercise provided to him was to stand in a completely
enclosed cage alone, in extreme heat or cold without water, shade, exercise equipment or urinals, and that as a
result he suffered sunburns, cracked and bleeding lips and a lack of desire to exercise, resulting in a loss of
physical and mental health. (High Desert State Prison, Nevada)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
STRIP SEARCHES

Cantley v. West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, 728 F.Supp.2d 803 (S.D.W.Va.
2010). A pretrial detainee who was strip searched and deloused brought a class action against a regional jail
authority, challenging its strip search and delousing policies. The jail authority moved to dismiss. The district
court denied the motion. The court held that the detainee stated a claim in regard to the strip search policy and in
regard to the delousing policy. The court found that a jail authority official sued in his individual capacity was
not entitled to qualified immunity. The detainee alleged that the jail had a blanket policy of conducting visual
cavity strip searches of all pretrial detainees charged with misdemeanors or other minor crimes, regardless of

41.78

whether the detainees were intermingled with the general population of the jail, and that there was no reasonable
suspicion that he harbored weapons or contraband. The court ruled that whether the jail's delousing policy, which
allegedly applied to all pretrial detainees, was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment could not be decided on
a motion to dismiss. The court noted that the detainee who brought the action against a regional jail authority for
alleged civil rights violations was not required to exhaust his administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA), where he was no longer an inmate at the time he filed suit. (West Virginia Regional Jail
and Correctional Facility Authority, Western Regional Jail)
U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, 621 F.3d 296 (3rd Cir. 2010). Affirmed 132
S.Ct. 1510 (2012). A non-indictable arrestee brought a class action pursuant to § 1983 against two jails, alleging
a strip search violated the Fourth Amendment. After granting the motion for class certification, the district court
granted the arrestee's motion for summary judgment, denied his motion for a preliminary injunction and denied
the jails' motions for qualified and Eleventh Amendment immunity. The jails appealed. The appeals court
reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that as a matter of first impression in the circuit, the jails' policy
of conducting strip searches of all arrestees upon their admission into the general prison population was
reasonable. The court found that jails were not required to provide evidence of attempted smuggling or
discovered contraband as justification for the strip search policy. According to the court, the decision to conduct
strip searches, rather than use a body scanning chair, was reasonable. The court noted that the chair would not
detect non-metallic contraband like drugs, and there was no evidence regarding the efficacy of the chair in
detecting metallic objects. The appeals court decision was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 2012
(132 S.Ct. 1510). (Burlington County Jail, Essex County Correctional Facility, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
CROSS GENDER
PAT DOWN SEARCH

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 cross-gender 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, crossgender 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 cross-gender pat searches. (Federal Correctional Institution in
Danbury, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

Forrest v. Prine, 620 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2010). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a police officer
alleging the officer used excessive force against him when he used a stun gun in a holding cell. The district court
entered summary judgment for the officer. The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held
that the officer did not violate the pretrial detainee's right to be free of illegal search and seizure when he used a
stun gun on the detainee while attempting to conduct a strip search in a holding cell following the detainee’s
arrest. The court held that the officer's decision to use the stun gun on the detainee did not violate the detainee’s
due process guarantees, where the officer was aware that the detainee had attacked another officer earlier in the
night, and the detainee appeared to be intoxicated. The court noted that the detainee was a relatively large man
confined in an enclosed space of relatively small area, and he was facing the officer, pacing in the cell, clenching
his fists, and yelling obscenities in response to orders to comply with the strip search policy. (Rock Island
County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CONTRABAND
USE OF FORCE

Hanson v. U.S., 712 F.Supp.2d 321 (D.N.J. 2010). An inmate brought a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) action,
alleging that a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officer slammed his head on the floor and choked him in an attempt to
force the inmate to spit out contraband that the inmate was attempting to swallow. The government filed a
motion for summary judgment and the district court denied the motion. The court held, for the purposes of the
inmate's FTCA claim, under New Jersey law the BOP officers employed unreasonable force while attempting to
search the inmate for contraband. According to the court, summary judgment was precluded by material issues
of fact regarding whether the BOP officers used reasonable force in holding and searching the inmate. (Federal
Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SEARCHES

Harvey v. Jordan, 605 F.3d 681 (9th Cir. 2010). An inmate brought a suit alleging that prison officials' use of
pepper spray to extract him from his cell during a building-wide search of all prisoners' cells constituted
excessive force and that his right to due process was denied in connection with a disciplinary charge stemming
from his refusal to comply with the search. The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The inmate appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the inmate exhausted
administrative process, as required by PLRA, for the claim that he was denied due process in connection with a
disciplinary charge when prison officials purported to grant relief that resolved his grievance to his satisfaction, a
hearing and access to a videotape. The court noted that the inmate was not required to appeal that decision.
(Salinas Valley State Prison, California)

41.79

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

In re Nassau County Strip Search Cases, 742 F.Supp.2d 304 (E.D.N.Y. 2010). Arrestees brought a class action
against a county, among others, challenging the county correctional center's blanket strip search policy for newly
admitted, misdemeanor detainees. The defendants conceded liability, and following a non-jury trial on the issue
of general damages, the district court held that each arrestee was entitled to the same dollar amount per new
admit strip search by way of the general damages award, that it would exclude any information concerning the
effect that the searches had upon arrestees in awarding general damages, and an award of $500 in general
damages to each arrestee was appropriate. (Nassau County, New York)

U.S. District Court
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

Jones v. Price, 696 F.Supp.2d 618 (N.D.W.Va. 2010). A male inmate brought a § 1983 action against a
correctional officer alleging that the officer violated his constitutional rights by requiring him to undergo a strip
search in a non-private area in front of a female booking clerk. The district court denied the officer’s motion for
summary judgment. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as
to whether the correctional officer conducted the strip search in a reasonably necessary manner. The court noted
that the inmate’s right to keep his genitals private from unreasonable exposure to members of the opposite sex
was clearly established at the time of the search. (Tygart Valley Regional Jail, West Virginia)

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

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 held that the inmate failed to allege that she sustained an actual injury or that an
Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) official denied her the opportunity to review her mail prior to its
being confiscated, as required to support a claim that the official violated the inmate's constitutional right of
access to the courts and her First Amendment right to send and receive mail. 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. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether
there was a legitimate penological interest for the alleged destruction of the prison inmate's bible, precluding
summary judgment as to whether ADC employees violated the inmate's right to freedom of religion by
destroying her bible. (Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
CROSS GENDER
STRIP SEARCHES

McIllwain v. Weaver, 686 F.Supp.2d 894 (E.D.Ark. 2010). An arrestee brought a § 1983 action against a city,
county, and law enforcement officers challenging his strip search. The defendants moved for summary
judgment, and the arrestee moved for partial summary judgment. The district court granted the motions in part
and denied in part. The court held that special circumstances justified the presence of a male sheriff's deputy
during the strip search of the female arrestee who was being booked into jail, and thus, the male deputy's
presence during the strip search did not violate the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights. The court noted that the
male deputy came to the cell in which the arrestee was being searched only after the arrestee began physically
resisting the efforts of a female officer to perform the strip search, and the female officer called for help. The
court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to what the county
policy or custom was with respect to strip searches of arrestees, and as to the adequacy of the county's training
procedures for strip searches. (Sharp County Jail, Arkansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Nunez v. Duncan, 591 F.3d 1217 (9th Cir. 2010). A federal inmate brought a pro se Bivens action against prison
officials, alleging he was subjected to a random strip search in violation of his First, Fourth, and Eighth
Amendment rights. The district court entered summary judgment for the officials, and the inmate appealed. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the strip search of the inmate pursuant to a policy authorizing strip searches
of inmates returning from outside work detail was reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest in
controlling contraband within the prison, and thus did not violate the inmate's Fourth Amendment rights.
(Federal Prison Camp, Sheridan, Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
VEHICLES

True v. Nebraska, 612 F.3d 676 (8th Cir. 2010). A former correctional facility employee brought a § 1983 action
against the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and correctional officials, alleging violations
of his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of
the defendants and the employee appealed. The appeals court reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.
The appeals court held that the former employee had standing to bring the § 1983 action against the Department
and correctional officials, where the employee lost his job due to enforcement of a department policy of
randomly searching employee vehicles, and the employee sought reinstatement, lost pay and an injunction
prohibiting enforcement of the policy. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue
of material fact as to the circumstances of inmate access to the correctional facility parking lot. The employee
was terminated because he refused to permit a search of his vehicle. The court held that the Department’s policy
of random, suspicionless searches of only employees' vehicles, rather than including visitors' vehicles, was
rationally related to a legitimate state interest of institutional security, contraband interdiction and administrative
efficiency. The court noted that employees' vehicles were at the facility daily, making it easier to smuggle
contraband. (Lincoln Correctional Center, Nebraska)

U.S. District Court
BODY CAVITY
SEARCHES

U.S. v. Ghailani, 751 F.Supp.2d 508 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). A defendant, an alleged member of Al Qaeda charged
with conspiring to kill Americans abroad, moved for an order directing the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to cease
from employing visual inspection of his rectal area when entering or leaving a correctional center for court
appearances. The district court denied the motion, finding that the search policy was justified by a legitimate
governmental interest in protecting the safety of prison and court personnel and other inmates. The court noted
that the policy was adopted at the national level in recognition of the substantial danger that inmates will secrete

41.80

weapons or other contraband in body cavities, that the government made a credible showing that ready
alternatives were not available to protect this important security interest, and that the defendant's Sixth
Amendment rights would be protected adequately by existing procedures. (Metropolitan Correctional Center,
Manhattan, New York)
2011
U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Augustin v. Jablonsky, 819 F.Supp.2d 153 (E.D.N.Y. 2011). Arrestees brought a class action against a county
challenging the county correctional center's blanket strip search policy for newly admitted, misdemeanor
detainees. After the county admitted liability, the plaintiffs' class action involving more than 17,000 members
was certified for the issue of general damages and the district court awarded general damages of $500 per strip
search. The county moved to decertify the class for purposes of determining the issue of arrestees' special
damages. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the resolution of special damages could not
proceed on a class-wide basis, since questions of law or fact common to the class no longer predominated over
questions affecting individuals. (Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
CELL SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

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
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCHES

Bame v. Dillard, 637 F.3d 380 (D.C.Cir. 2011). Arrestees, who were arrested while protesting International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank policies in the District of Columbia, brought a Bivens action against a
former United States Marshal, alleging that they had been subjected to unconstitutional strip searches upon being
processed into holding cells at a courthouse. The arrestees moved for summary judgment as to liability, and the
Marshal moved for summary judgment on the issue of qualified immunity. The district court denied those
motions. On appeal, the appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that there was no clearly
established constitutional prohibition of strip searching arrestees without individualized, reasonable suspicion.
According to the court, strip searching of all male arrestee demonstrators or protestors engaged in civil
disobedience, in a locality that had a persistent problem with contraband being smuggled into a cellblock, prior
to their commingled placement in holding cells, without individualized, reasonable suspicion had not been
prohibited by the Fourth Amendment at the time of the incident, and therefore the supervising United States
Marshal was entitled to qualified immunity. (U. S. Marshal for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court
EMPLOYEE

Braun v. Maynard, 652 F.3d 557 (4th Cir. 2011). Prison employees brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging that a search using a portable ion scanning machine violated their Fourth Amendment rights.
The district court granted the officials' motion to dismiss and the employees appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. The court held that it was not clearly established that the use of an ion scanning machine to detect
drugs and other chemicals could not create reasonable suspicion to justify a strip search, and therefore, prison
officials were entitled to qualified immunity from the § 1983 action by prison employees alleging that a strip
search following a positive scan violated the Fourth Amendment. The court found that it was not clearly
established that the Fourth Amendment was violated by strip searches of prison employees conducted in a
restroom with a same-sex prison officer following a positive test from an ion scanning machine that could detect
drugs and other chemicals, and therefore, officers and officials were entitled to qualified immunity in the
employee's § 1983 action. (Maryland Correctional Training Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
OPPOSITE SEX
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
STRIP SEARCHES

Byrd v. Maricopa County Sheriff's Dept., 629 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2011). A male pretrial detainee, proceeding pro
se, brought a § 1983 action against a female cadet and a sheriff's department, alleging violations of the Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court entered judgment in favor of the defendants. The ruling was
affirmed on appeal. After granting a rehearing en banc, the appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals
court held that the strip search of the male pretrial detainee by a female cadet was unreasonable in violation of
the Fourth Amendment, where the cadet touched the detainee's inner and outer thighs, buttocks and genital area
with her latex gloved hand through very thin boxer shorts, the female cadet moved the detainee’s penis and
scrotum in the process of conducting the search, the cadet wore only jeans and a white t-shirt without any
identification other than a name printed on the back of the shirt, ten to fifteen non-participating officers watched
the search, and at least one person videotaped the search. (Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
STRIP 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

41.81

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. District Court
STRIP 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 in 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 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)
2012

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Beaulieu v. Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017 (8th Cir. 2012). Patients who were civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex
Offender Program (MSOP) brought a § 1983 action against Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)
officials and Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) officials, alleging that various MSOP policies and
practices relating to the patients' conditions of confinement were unconstitutional. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the patients appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that: (1) the MSOP policy of performing unclothed body searches of patients was not unreasonable;
(2) the policy of placing full restraints on patients during transport was not unreasonable; (3) officials were not
liable for using excessive force in handcuffing patients; (4) the officials' seizure of televisions from the patients'
rooms was not unreasonable; (5) the MSOP telephone-use policy did not violate the First Amendment; and (6)
there was no evidence that officials were deliberately indifferent to the patients' health or safety. (Minnesota Sex
Offender Program)

U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Davis v. Prison Health Services, 679 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2012). A homosexual state inmate, proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brought an action against prison health services, the health unit manager, the public works
supervisor, and a corrections officer, alleging that he was improperly removed from his employment in a prison
public-works program because of his sexual orientation. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to
state a claim and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the inmate
stated an equal protection claim against prison personnel by alleging that: (1) public-works officers supervising
his work crew treated him differently than other inmates, ridiculed and belittled him, and “made a spectacle” of
him when they brought him back to the correctional facility after a public-works assignment because of his
sexual orientation; (2) the officers did not want to strip search him because he was homosexual and would make
“under the breath” remarks when selected to do so; and there were similarly situated, non-homosexual, insulindependent diabetic inmates who participated in the public-works program and who were allowed to continue
working in the program after an episode in which the inmate believed he was experiencing low blood sugar,
which turned out to be a false alarm, while the inmate was removed from the program. (Florence Crane Corr’l
Facility, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL 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
PAT DOWN SEARCHES
PRIVACY
STRIP SEARCHES

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

41.82

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. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCHES

Rattray v. Woodbury County, Iowa, 908 F.Supp.2d 976 (N.D.Iowa 2012). Misdemeanor arrestees brought a civil
rights action against a county and law enforcement officials, alleging that their Fourth Amendment rights were
violated when they were searched pursuant to a “blanket” policy authorizing strip searches of all arrestees facing
serious misdemeanor or more serious charges. Following the grant of summary judgment, in part, in favor of the
arrestees, the county moved for reconsideration. The court granted the motion, in part. The court held that the
recent Supreme Court decision in Florence, which held that reasonable suspicion was generally not required to
strip search pretrial detainees, subject to possible exceptions, was an intervening change in the law, justifying
reconsideration. According to the court, the county's strip search policy was reasonable under the Fourth
Amendment, regardless of whether arrestees would be put into the general population. But the court found that
summary judgment was precluded on the arrestee's claim that the manner of a strip search was unreasonable.
(Woodbury County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
DNA- Deoxy Ribonucleic
Acid
PRIVACY

U.S. v. Fricosu, 844 F.Supp.2d 1201 (D.Colo. 2012). A defendant moved for an order requiring that the DNA
sample taken when she presented herself to the United States Marshal for processing and any DNA profiles
developed from it be destroyed. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the defendant's Fourth
Amendment rights were not violated when the sample was taken and was later furnished to the FBI for analysis
and inclusion in a Combined DNA Index System. The court noted that although a vast amount of sensitive
information could be mined from the defendant's DNA, the statute authorizing the taking of the sample specified
for the limited purposes for which the DNA profile could be used. (United States Marshal, Denver, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
PAT DOWN SEARCHES
STRIP SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

Washington v. Hively, 695 F.3d 641 (7th Cir. 2012). A federal pretrial detainee filed a § 1983 action alleging that
a county jail guard improperly touched him during a pat down and strip search. The detainee alleged that while
patting him down, the guard spent five to seven seconds gratuitously fondling the plaintiff's testicles and penis
through the plaintiff's clothing and then while strip searching him fondled his nude testicles for two or three
seconds, contrary to a jail policy which forbids touching the inmate in the course of a strip search, and again
without any justification. The district court entered summary judgment in the guard's favor, and the detainee
appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that: (1) the detainee's allegation that
the guard touched his private parts to humiliate him or to gratify the guard's sexual desires was sufficient to state
a claim, whether or not the force exerted by the guard was significant; (2) fact issues remained as to the guard's
subjective intent in conducting the pat down and strip search; and (3) a statute barring federal civil actions by
prisoners for mental or emotional injuries absent a showing of physical injury did not bar the pretrial detainee
from seeking both nominal and punitive damages in his § 1983 action, even though the detainee did not claim to
have suffered any physical injury. (Waukesha County Jail, Wisconsin)
2013

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL SEARCHES
CONTRABAND
DRUG TEST

Chappell v. Mandeville, 706 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2013). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 action against
prison officials, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved for
summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity and the district court granted summary judgment as to
some, but not all, of the claims. The defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed. The appeals court held
that: (1) it was not clearly established that subjecting the prison inmate to a contraband watch violated the Eighth
Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and thus prison officials were entitled to
qualified immunity on the Eighth Amendment claim; (2) the contraband watch was not such an extreme change
in conditions of confinement as to trigger due-process protection; and (3) it was not clearly established whether a
state-created liberty interest existed with regard to the contraband watch, and thus officials were entitled to
qualified immunity on the claim that the inmate's right to due process was violated because he was not provided
with an opportunity to be heard by the official who ordered contraband watch.
The inmate’s fiancée had visited him, and when she entered the prison she was wearing a ponytail
hairpiece. The next day the hairpiece was discovered in a trash can near the visiting room. Prison officials then
searched the entire visiting area and found spandex undergarments in the women's bathroom. Both the hairpiece
and the undergarments tested positive for cocaine residue. Prison staff conducted a search of the inmate’s cell,
during which they notified him that they believed that someone had introduced drugs through a hairpiece. The
officials discovered three unlabelled bottles of what appeared to be eye drops in the inmate’s cell. The liquid in
the bottles tested positive for methamphetamine. The inmate was then placed on a contraband watch. The
contraband watch conditions included 24-hour lighting, mattress deprivation, taping the inmate into two pairs of
underwear and jumpsuits, placing him in a hot cell with no ventilation, chaining him to an iron bed, shackling
him at the ankles and waist, and forcing him to eat “like a dog.” (California State Prison, Sacramento)

U.S. District Court
RETALIATION
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCHES
USE OF FORCE

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

41.83

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
EVIDENCE
RETALIATION
SEARCH WARRANT

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 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. District Court
PAT DOWN SEARCH
USE OF FORCE

Gwathney v. Warren, 930 F.Supp.2d 1313 (M.D.Ala. 2013). An inmate filed a Bivens suit against a prison
officer and others for use of excessive force during a pat-down search, alleging violation of the Eighth
Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and other claims. All claims except the excessive
use of force claim were dismissed. The officer filed a renewed motion to dismiss on the grounds of qualified
immunity, or in the alternative for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of
the officer. The court held that evidence did not create a fact issue as to whether the prison official maliciously
or sadistically inflicted pain on the inmate while conducting a pat-down search, as required for the inmate to
survive summary judgment on the defense of qualified immunity. According to the court, when the officer
entered the inmate's cubicle, he observed the inmate rise from his bunk, turn, and place his hand down front of
his pants, which typically signaled that an inmate was trying to conceal an object. The inmate was facing away
from the officer when the officer began the pat-down and thus, the inmate could not observe any expression or
movement suggesting that the officer had any malicious motive in touching the inmate's shoulders. Even after
the inmate fell to his knees from post-surgery shoulder pain, the officer's statement “[o]h, you still can't raise
your arm” did not indicate malice for the sole purpose of inflicting pain, but rather supported an inference that
the officer still did not believe the inmate's assertion about shoulder surgery and that he could not raise his arm.
(Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCHES

Haas v. Burlington County, 955 F.Supp.2d 334 (D.N.J. 2013). Arrestees filed a proposed class action under §
1983 alleging that their constitutional rights were violated when they were strip searched at a county jail. The
district court granted the arrestees' motion for leave to file an amended complaint, and the county appealed. The
district court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that the arrestees' proposed amendment to their
complaint, in which they alleged that they were arrested for minor offenses, that they either were held, or could
have been held, outside of the general jail population, and that they were subjected to strip searches pursuant to
the county's blanket policy before their detentions had been reviewed by a judicial officer, stated plausible
claims for violation of their rights under Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Burlington Co.Jail, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
STRIP SEARCH

In re Nassau County Strip Search Cases, 958 F.Supp.2d 339 (E.D.N.Y. 2013). Arrestees brought a class action
against county officials and others, challenging a county correctional center's blanket strip search policy for
newly admitted, misdemeanor detainees. The defendants moved for reconsideration and to vacate a prior order
granting summary judgment in favor of the arrestees on the liability issue. The district court granted the motion
in part and denied the motion in part. The court held that: (1) the defendants' concession of liability did not, in

41.84

and of itself, divest the court of discretion to reconsider its prior order granting summary judgment in favor of
the arrestees on the issue of liability; (2) the Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders decision was an
intervening change in the controlling federal law, justifying the district court's reconsideration of a prior order
granting summary judgment in favor of the arrestees on their federal claim; and (3) the Florence decision did not
justify reconsideration of a prior grant of summary judgment on the New York state constitutional claim.
(Nassau County Correctional Center, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES
QUALIFIED
IMMUNITY

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 prepresentment 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. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES

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. Appeals Court
STRIP SEARCHES
PRIVACY

McCreary v. Richardson, 738 F.3d 651 (5th Cir. 2013). A Muslim state inmate brought an action against a prison
captain in his individual capacity, alleging that the captain ordered an unconstitutional strip search and prevented
him from attending religious services in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person's Act
(RLUIPA), and the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court denied the inmate's motion for
default judgment and granted the captain's motion for summary judgment. The inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1) the inmate was not entitled to monetary damages against a
correctional officer under the provisions of RLUIPA; (2) the strip search did not violate the inmate's Fourth
Amendment rights; (3) a reasonable officer would not know that a lengthy strip search in the presence of female
officers violated clearly established law, and thus the captain was entitled to qualified immunity; and (4) the
captain did not act in an objectively unreasonable manner by refusing to permit the inmate to attend a religious
service after the search, where the inmate had created a disturbance during the search. According to the court, the
inmate’s potentially provocative questions in a public hallway constituted a disturbance, where during the strip
search, the inmate asked the captain why he was singling out Muslims and subjecting them to harassment in a
hallway with several other Muslim inmates who were waiting to attend a religious service. (H.H. Coffield Unit,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

U.S. District Court
PAROLEES

Nelson v. District of Columbia, 953 F.Supp.2d 128 (D.D.C., 2013). A jury ruled in favor of an apartment
resident in her and an arrestee's action against a police officer for false arrest and imprisonment and Fourth
Amendment violations stemming from a search of the residence she shared with the arrestee. The officer moved
for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL). The court held that the officer violated the resident's Fourth
Amendment rights by detaining and handcuffing her for two hours while executing a weapons search of the
apartment. According to the court, the evidence was sufficient to support the conclusion that the police officer
lacked sufficient safety or efficacy concerns to justify under the Fourth Amendment detaining and handcuffing
the resident's hands behind her back for two hours. The court noted that the officer did not assert that the arrestee
was a gang member or express any concern that an armed cohort of the arrestee might be present, the arrestee
was in jail at the time of the search, and the resident was at home alone and in underwear when the police
arrived. (District of Columbia)

U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES

Page v. Mancuso, 999 F.Supp.2d 269 (D.D.C. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought an action in the Superior Court
for the District of Columbia, against the District of Columbia and a police officer, alleging unlawful arrest in
violation of the Fourth Amendment, and deliberate indifference to the arrestee's over-detention and strip search.
The detainee also alleged that the District maintained a custom and practice of strip searches in violation of the
Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The defendants removed the action to federal court and filed a partial motion to

41.85

dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the detainee's complaint failed to allege that
the District of Columbia was deliberately indifferent to Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations jail officials
inflicted upon the detainee when they subjected him to “over-detention” and strip searches, as required to state a
claim against District for Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations under the theory of municipal liability. (D.C.
Jail)
U.S. District Court
OPPOSITE SEX
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PRIVACY
QUALIFIED
IMMUNITY
STRIP SEARCHES

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
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
STRIP 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
BODY CAVITY
SEARCH
CONTRABAND
QUALIFIED
IMMUNITY
STRIP SEARCHES

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. District Court
EMPLOYEE

Vollette v. Watson, 978 F.Supp.2d 572 (E.D.Va. 2013). Employees of private contractors providing services to
inmates housed at a jail brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff and deputy sheriffs, alleging that they were
subjected to unlawful strip and visual body cavity searches at the jail. The next business day after the suit was
filed, the sheriff issued a blanket order revoking the security clearances of the contractor's employees who were
still working at the jail. The district court denied the employees' motion for a preliminary injunction ordering the
sheriff to reinstate their security clearances at the jail pending the outcome of the litigation. The district court
also partially granted and partially denied the defendants' summary judgment motion. A jury decided the
constitutionality of the strip searches. This left the First Amendment retaliation claim by six of the nine

41.86

plaintiffs. The district court entered summary judgment for the plaintiffs on the retaliation claim. The court held
that: (1) the contractor's employees suffered irreparable injury from the sheriff's revocation of their security
clearances for which there was no adequate remedy at law; (2) the balance of hardships plainly weighed in favor
of a permanent injunction; (3) the public interest would be enhanced by the entry of a permanent injunction; and
(4) the plaintiffs demonstrated violation of their First Amendment rights, and the sheriff had to reinstate their
security clearances and update any relevant internal jail records to reflect the same. The court noted that the
sheriff's candid statements that he felt betrayed by the federal lawsuits filed by the employees who were
subjected to strip searches for contraband, and that the suits “pushed [him] over the edge” were an admission
that the adverse employment action of revoking the employees' security clearances was taken against them in
response to their exercise of their First Amendment constitutional rights to free speech and to petition the
government for redress of grievances. (Portsmouth City Jail, Virginia)
2014
U.S. District Court
STRIP SEARCHES
OPPOSITE SEX

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 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
CELL SEARCHES

Ballard v. Johns, 17 F.Supp.3d 511 (E.D.N.C. 2014). A civil detainee being considered for certification as a
sexually dangerous person brought an action against federal employees, in their official capacities and in their
individual capacities under Bivens, challenging various conditions of his detention, including claims concerning
due process violations and inability to attend religious services. The employees moved to dismiss or for
summary judgment and the detainee moved to overrule objections to requests for document production. The
district court granted the employees’ motion and denied the detainee’s motion. The court held that: (1) the
detainee did not show that federal employees, by following Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regulations and
policies, violated his constitutional rights; (2) the detainee was properly subjected to restrictions