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Volume 2 Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog 26th Ed. 2016

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DETENTION AND
CORRECTIONS
CASELAW CATALOG

26th Edition
2015-2016

Volume Two: Sections 8-14
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 8: CLASSIFICATION AND SEPARATION
Detention and Corrections Caselaw Catalog All Bighta Baerved
CRS Inc, 925 Johnson Dr., Gettysburg PA 17325 (717) 338-9100 www.correction.org/
The following pages present sum.maries 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 to publication, the citation for each case was verified, and the case was researched in Shepard's
Citations to determine ifit had been altered upon appeal (reversed or modified). The Catalog is updated annually.
An annual supplement provides replacement pages for cases in the prior edition which have changed, and adds new
cases. Readers are encouraged to consult the Topic Index to identify related topics of interest. The text in the
section entitled •How to Use The Catalog" at the beginning of the Catalog orovides an overview which may also be
helpful to some readers.
The case summaries which follow are organized by year, with the earliest case presented first. Within each year,
cases are organized alphabetically by the name of the plaintiff. The left margin offers a quick reference, highlighting
the type of court involved and identifying appropriate subtopics addressed by each case.
_

1964
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Tyler v. Harris, 226 F.Supp. 852 (W.D. Mo. 1964). Unconvicted persons can be kept
with convicted persons in federal medical centers, but they may not be subjected to
involuntary servitude. (Medical Center For Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri)

1968
U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL

Johnston v. Ciccone, 260 F .Supp. 553 (W.D. Mo. 1966). Pretrial confinement with
convicted persons in the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners is not
unconstitutional for persons found to be mentally ill. (United States Medical Center for
Federal Prisoners)

1968
U.S. Supreme Court

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

U.S. District Court

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Lee v. Wasbitgtnn, 390 U.S. 333 (1968)(Per Curiam). Plaintiffs sought declaratory and
injunctive re ·ef against racial segregation in state. county, and city jails of Alabama.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama held that to the extent that
the statutes in question required segregation of races in prisons andjails, they were in
violation of the fourteenth amendment. and established a schedule for desegregation. The
state appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Affirmed.) J.J. BLACK. HARLAN, &
STEWART CONCURRING: [P]rison authorities have the right, acting in good faith and in
particularized circumstances, to take into account racial tensions in maintaining security.
discipline, and good order in prisons and jails. We are unwilling to assume that state or local
prison authorities might mistakenly regard such an explicit pronouncement as evincing any
dilution of this Court's firm commitment to the fourteenth amendment's prohibition of
racial discrimination. 390 U.S. at 334. (Alabama State, County, and City Jails)
Wilson v. Kelley, 294 F.Supp. 1005 (N.D. Ga. 1968), atl'd, 393 U.S. 266
(1968). State statutes requiring the segregation of races in county jails are
unconstitutional, and although prison authorities may take racial tensions into account
in tnaintaining order and security, such consideration should be made after a danger to
security, discipline, and good order has become apparent. and not before. (Board of
Corrections, Georgia)

1970
U.S. District Court
ISOLATION

Davis v. Lindsay, 321 F.Supp. 1134 (S.D. N.Y. 1970). It is not proper for court to
abstain from acijudicating detainee's claim for relief. The Commissioner of Department
of Corrections is not Hable in suit by city detainee seeking release from isolation on basis of
general authority over jails. Constitutionality of administrative segregation must be
measured by its reasonableness and effect, not the motivation of the actors. (City Jail, New
York)

U.S. District Court

Holt v. Sarver. 309 F.Supp. 362 (E.D. Ark. 1970). State prisoners challenged
conditions and practices in the state prison s:r.3tem. The district court held that
conditions and practices in the Arkansas penitentiary system, including a trusty system
whereby j;rusties ran the prison. open barracks system. conditions in isolation cells, and
absence of a meaningful rehabilitation program. were such that confinement of persons in
the system amounted to cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by eighth and fourteenth
. amendments.

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
TRUSTY

8.1

· To the ext.ent "that unconstitutional racial discrimination was ·being practiced in stat.e
prison system, such discrimination was t.o be eliminated. The fourt.eenth amendm..ut
prohibits racial discrimination within prisons, and the prohibition extends t.o racial
segregation of inmates.
.
Elimination of a trusty system under which trusties had unsupervised power over
other inmates was essential t.o the establishment of prison system meeting constitutional
standards. (Arkansas Prison System)

1.971 .
U.S. District Court
ISOLATION

Conklin v. Hancock, 334 F.Supp. 1119 (D. N.H. 1971). Inmate jn· isolation should have
all privileges of other inmates except those that involve mixing with the general
population. Att.orney for inmate in isolation must be allowed t.o confer privately with
inmate and other inmates who may be witnesses in his behalf. Outgoing mail of security
risk, except mail t.o public officials and att.orney of record may be read t.o determine
whether escape plans are being made. Incoming "legal" mail is t.o be delivered promptly
and unopened. Other in.coming mail may be inspected for contraband and read t.o extent
necessary t.o foil escape plans or censor pornography or inflammat.ory writing. (New
Hampshire State Prison, Concord, Hew Hampshire)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Jones v. Witt.enberg. 330 F.Supp. 707 (N.D. Oh. 1971), aff'd, 456 ·F.2d 854
(6th Cir. 1972). Co"'m't orders a classification system t.o be implemented on admission
t.o the jail. (Lucas County Jail, Ohio)
1972

U.S. District Court
JUVENll.ES

Balter v. Hamilt.on, 345 F.Supp. 345 (W.D. Ky. 1972). Placement of juveniles (pretrial
and sentenced) in an adult facility without a hearing and without separating them
from adults is unconstitutional. (Jefferson County Jail, Kentucky)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Christman v. Skinner. 468 F.2d 723 (2d Cir. 1972). Putting detainee in "isolation for
three days did not constitute punishment. but only maintenance of order and
discipline," thus no minimal due process was necessary. (Molll'Oe County Jail, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Grav v. Creamer, 465 F.2d 179 (3rd Cir. 1972). State prison inmates instituted a civil
rights action claiming that censorship of mail, conf'iscation of personal belongings,
transfer from one section of prison t.o another without formal hearing, placement in
solitary confinement or administrative segregation, and shutting down of a weekly news
letter which was produced through cooperative efforts of "outsiders" and inmates were a
violation of their constitutional rights as inmates. Although the district court dismissed
the case, holding that the plaintiffs did not present issues for which relief could be
granted, the appeals court reversed the lower court decision. (West.em Penitentiary,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

1973
U.S. District Court
JUVENll,E

U.S. District Court

Collins v. Sch.oonfield. 363 F.Supp. 1152 (D. Md. 1973). Segregation of juvenile t.o
protect him from assault is not unconstitutional. (Baltimore City.Jail, Maryland)
Goldsby v. Carnes, 365 F,Supp. 895 (W.D. Mo. 1973). Inmates in isolation shall receive
showers as frequently as other inmates. Isolation may not ext.end beyond fourt.een
days, unless voluntary or certified in writing by a medical doctor as medically necessary.
(Jackson County Jail, Kansas City, Missouri)
·
1974

U.S. District Court
HOMOSEXUALS
ISOLATION

Berch v. Stahl. 373 F.Supp. 412 (W.D. N.C. 1974). Known homosexuals may be placed
nonpunitively in solitary confinement but may not be denied regular prison privileges
and amenities. Mentally disturbed inmates may be placed non.punitively in solitary
confinement but may not be denied regular prison privileges and amenities. Solitary
confinement is not per se cruel and unusual, but it becomes so if the inmate is denied
clothing. Segregation of inmates by race is unconstitutional. (Mecklenburg County Jail,
North Carolina)
1975

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL

DETAINEE
SPECIAL NEEDS

Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris Co., 406 F.Supp. 649 (S.D. Tex. 1975). No pretrial detainee
shall be housed in the same cell or cellblock with any person who has been convicted
and sentenced. Alcoholic and drug-dependent inmates shall be housed in an
incarcerative environment specifically designed and equipped for the trea1ment of
withdrawal problems. (Harris County Jail, Texas)
8.2

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
MENTALLY ILL

Craig v. Hocker, 405 F.Supp 656 (D. Nev., 1975). Prisoners brought action against the
warden and others challenging various aspects .of prison administration and the
discipline of prisoners. The district court held: (1) that prisoners who were subject to
disciplinary proceedings were entitled to certain due process rights; (2) that the
classification process could not be equated with disciplinary proceedings for the purposes
of due process; (3) that prisoners were entitled to access to courts and to the availability of
certain legal mat9;rial; (4) that prisoners were not bein&; denied medical care and
treatment; (5) that certain aspects of punitive segregation cells constituted cruel and
unusual punishment; (6) that statutes providing for prison confinement of mentally ill
persons for security reasons were unconstitutional; and (7) that the prisoners were not
entitled to damages. (Nevada State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Kelley v. Brewer. 525 F.2d 394 (8th Cir. 1975). Classification criteria must be rational
and reasonable rather than arbitrary and capricious. (State Penitentiary, Fort
Madison, Iowa)

U.S. Appeals Court
HOMOSEXUALS

McCray v. Sullivan, 509 F.2d. 1332 (5th Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 859.
Homosexuals segregated as a suspect class is questionable. (Alabama State
Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Rhem v. Malcolm, 396 F.Supp. 1195 (S.D. N.Y. 1975), aff'd, 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 to court. 2) Lock-in of one side of cell block while other side is eating. 3)
Night time lock-in. Using proper classification procedures, the institution may impose a
more restrictive lock-in schedule for inmates determined to be security risks. Limitation
of right to contact visits must be justified by a system of classification which excludes only
those inmates requiring maxim.um security. (Manhattan House of Detention, New York)

1976
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Barnes v. Government of the Virgin Islands, 415 F.Supp. 1218 (D. V.I. 1976).
Detainees are to be separated from convicted inmates in separate buildings if physically
possible. (Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility. Virgin Islands)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Doe v. Swinson, 20 CrL 2272 (E.D. Vir. 1976). Sloppy classification is liable. Sheriff
is found liable for repeated beatings of prisoner. (Fairfax County Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Supreme Court
DUE PROCESS
TRANSFER

Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976), reh'g denied, 429 U.S. 873 (1976).
Fano and other sentenced inmates confined in the Massachusetts Correctional Institute
at Norfolk brought this 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 action against Meachum, the prison
superintendent, the State Commissioner of Corrections, and the Acting Deputy for
Classification and Treatment, alleging that by being transferred to a less favorable
institution without an adequate fact-finding hearing, the inmates are being denied liberty
without due process of law. The inmates sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well
as damages.
The U.S. District Court, interpreting Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539
(1974) granted relief, and a divided First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
The prison official's petition for writ of certiorari was granted.
HELD: Absent a state law or practice conditioning such transfers on proof of serious
misconduct or the occurrence of other events, the due process clause of the fourteenth
amendment does not entitle a state prisoner to a hearing when he is transferred to a
prison where the conditions are substantially less favorable to the prisoner. 427 U.S. at
216.
REASONING: a. [G]iven a valid conviction, the criminal defendant has been
constitutionally deprived of his liberty to the extent that the state may confine him and
subject him to the rules of its prison system so long as the conditions of confinement do
not otherwise violate the Constitution. 427 U.S. at 224.
b. The Constitution does not require that the state have more than one prison for
convicted felons; nor does it guarantee that the convicted inmate will be placed in any
particular prison if, as is likely, the state had more than one correctional institution. The
initial decision to assign the convict to a particular institution is not subject to audit
under the due process clause, although the degree of confinement in one prison may be
quite different from that in another. 427 U.S. at 224.
c. Conf'inement in any of the state's institutions is within the normal limits or range
of custody which the conviction has authorized the state to impose. That life in one prison
is much more disagreeable than in another does not in itself signify that a fourteenth
amendment liberty interest is implicated when a prisoner is transferred to the institution
with more severe rules. 427 U.S. at 225.
d. [T]o hold..• that any substantial deprivation imposed by prison authorities triggers
the procedural protections of the due process clause would subject to judicial review a
wide spectrum of discretionary actions that traditionally have been the business of prison
adrninish-ators rather than of the federal courts. 427 U.S. at 225.

8.3

e. Whatever expectation the prisoner may have in remaining at a particular prison so
long as he behaves himself, it is too ephemeral and insubstantial to trigger procedural due
process protections as long as prison officials have discretion to transfer him for whatever
reasqn, or for no reason at all. 427 U.S. at 228.
NOTE: This case was distinguished from Wolff in that in Wolff a state created
right--good time credits--involved a liberty interest necessitating due process protection.
In this case, no such state-created right was present. Thus, the Wolff due process
procedures are not applicable. (Massachusetts Correctional Institute, Norfolk)
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Mitchell v. Untreiner, 421 F.Supp. 886 (N.D. Fla. 1976). No pretrial detainee may be
housed in the same cell with a convicted person. (Escambia County Jail, Pensacola,
Florida)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Moore v. Janing, 427 F.Supp. 567 (D. Neb. 1976). Housing of convicts and detainees
together contributes to finding of unconstitutionality. Detainees may not be subjected to
restrictions unrelated to securing appearance at trial and maintaining internal order
and security. (Douglas County Jail, Nebraska)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Wright v. Enomoto, 462 F.Supp. 397 (N.D. Calif. 1976), affd, 434 U.S. 1052
(1977). A classification of a prisoner from the general population to administrative
segregation requires procedural due process if the conditions of administrative segregation
are substantially more "onerous" than those in the general population. (California State
Prisons- San Quentin, Folsom, Soledad, Tracy)

1977
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
JUVENILES
SPECIAL NEEDS

Ahrens v. Thomas, 434 F.Supp. 873 (W.D. Mo. 1977), affd, 570 F.2d 288. Screening
officer shall inquire as to detainee's need for psychological or counseling care and shall
report to the correctional staff. So far as practicable, pretrial detainees shall not be
housed in the same cell with convicted persons. Juveniles may not be housed in the
jail for longer than it takes to arrange to transfer them. There shall be a special
housing unit for detainees who need it for psychiatric, psychological or other medical
reasons. (Platte County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
I>~TAINEES

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

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Forts v. Malcolm, 426 F.Supp. 464 (S.D. N.Y. 1977). Summary judgment is granted
requiring that every visit be a contact visit except where a security risk is revealed
through an established classification system. (New York City Correctional Institute for
Women)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

French v. Heyne, 547 F.2d 994 (7th Cir. 1977). Restriction on inmate money raising to
finance educational programs must have a rational basis. Though not constitutionally
required, classification must have a rational basis for providing vocational educational
programs to long-term inmates but not to short-term inmates or inmates with degrees.
Prior classification was not found sufficient. (Indiana State Reformatory)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
JUVENILES

Goldsby v. Carnes, 429 F.Supp. 370 (W.D. Mo. 1977). Inmates shall be classified
according to age and other factors. Juveniles will be housed in living areas separate
from adults. (Jackson County Jail, Kansas City, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Laaman v. Helgemoe, 437 F.Supp. 269 (D. N.H. 1977). Reasonable, rational
classification system is constitutionally required. (New Hampshire State Prison)

1978
U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Altizer v. Paderick, 569 F.2d 812 (4th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1009 (1977).
Inmates have no due process right to any particular job in an institution. No
procedural due process is needed to transfer inmate from one job to another. (Virginia
State Prison)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Bono v. Saxbe, 450 F.Supp. 934 (E.D. Ill., 1978). Prisoners confined in the control unit
of the Marion Federal Penitentiary brought an action challenging the conditions of
their confinement. The district court held that: (1) prisoners did not have a fundamental
liberty interest in remaining in the general prison population but did have an interest
protected 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

8.4

be based on the crime for which the prisoner was convicted or on the possibility 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 making, 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 punishment except for the use of closed-front cells. (Federal Penitentiary,
Marion, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
DUE PROCESS

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

a

U.S. District Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Mickens v. Win.st.on, 462 F.Supp. 910 (E.D. Vir. 1978), aff'd, 609 F. 508. Racial
segregation as a device to relieve t.ension and prevent incidents among inmates
may be permissible as a temporary measure under extreme circumstances. It cannot be
justified as a general practice. (Richmond City Jail, Virginia)

1979
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Bartholomew v. Reed, 477 F.Supp. 223 (D. Ore. 1979). Administrative transfer of a
prisoner to segregation requires some due process. Procedures in effect which require a
post-transfer hearing were sufficient to satisfy due process and are appropriately less
stringent than procedures governing disciplinary confinement. (Oregon Correctional
Institute, State Penitentiary, and Women's Correctional Center)

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 institutions 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 treat.ed as any other inmate. (Federal Correctional Institution, Alderson, West
Virginia)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SEPARATION

Doe v. Lally, 467 F.Supp. 1339 (D. Md., 1979). Inmates of a state diagnostic center
brought a civil rights action seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. The district
court held that: (1) where an original, individual plaintiff in inmates' civil rights class
action was a proper representative of the class at the time of certification, intervenor
plaintiff's subsequent escape from the correctional center did not require the
decertification of class action; (2) because the plan submitted by prison officials failed to
devise a model for classifying inmates on the basis of their age, length of sentence, nature
of crime, and past offenses so as to avoid sending inmat.es to the state penitentiary in the
first place if they were readily identifiable as inmat.es who belonged in prison camps,
prison officials would be directed to consult with recognized experts to devise a more
efficient classification procedure; and (3) state would be directed to implement its proposed
procedures to prevent mixing between mmates of diagnostic center and inmates of the
state penitentiary and to complete those measures within 60 days. (Maryland Reception,
Diagnostic and Classification Center)

8.5

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
CLASSIFICATION

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
District Court J11.ge William Cox's ruling on what ~~ F ~ Circuit termed a
.
"challenge to nearly every cpnceivable facet of the Jackson County Jail at Pascagoula,
Mississippi." The court first noted that the conditions at the Jackson County Jail were not
"uncivilized" or "barbaric and inhumane", as the court had found rulings on the conditions
of other jails. A peculiar aspect of this case was that convicted felons were being held in
the jail while the state penitentiary was being brought up to constitutional standards.
Consequently, there were convicted felons, convicted misdemeanants and pretrial
detainees in the jail.
Accordingly, the court, in reviewing the conditions at the jail, applied different
standards depending on whether the inmate was pretrial detainee or a convicted felon or
misdemeanant. The court then reviewed the history of corrections in the State of
Mississippi and specifically in Jackson County. It noted that Jackson County officials had
spent a considerable amount of money and instituted several new programs in the last ten
years. In addition, at the time of this opinion, the county was in the process of erecting a
new jail. After noting these facts, the court made rulings in the following areas.
DISCRIMINATION. The appellate court upheld the lower court's ruling that the cells
at the Jackson County Jail were not segregated. Two bull pens at the jail, however, were
ruled to be unconstitutionally segregated. In response to the plaintiff's interrogatories, the
jail officials had produced documents showing that the large bull pen was "white" and the
small bull pen was "colored." The jail officials argued that they were not responsible for
the segregation because each new inmate was given the freedom to choose which bullpen
he wished to occupy. The court held that this was not enough, stating: "In the inherently
coercive setting of a jail, it is evident to us that the withdrawal of decision making by the
public officials for only part of the jail (here, the bull pens) amounts to impermissible
racial segregation of prisoners.
CLASSIFICATION. The court noted that the Constitution does not require that a
classification plan be put into effect, although a court may order such a plan to protect
inmates from homosexual attacks, violence and contagious diseases. The court ruled that
the policies in existence under the Mississippi Code were adequate to protect the inmate.
(Jackson County Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

McGruder v. Phelps, 608 F.2d 1023 (5th Cir. 1979). An inmate does not have a
constitutional right to any particular classification. However, the state must meet the
provisions of a previous settlement incorporated into an order which requires ninety day
review of segregation classification. (State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana)

1980
State Supreme Court
SUICIDE

Attorney General v. Sheriff of Worcester County, 413 N.E.2d 722 (Mass. 1980).
The Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered the Worcester County Jail to comply with
Public Health regulations concerning sinks, toilets and beds. The jail contained seven
isolation cells which did not have a toilet, sink or raised bed. After a public health official
inspected these cells and found them to be in violation of health regulations, jail officials
stated that they intended to correct the violations in six of the cells but would keep the
seventh as it is for confinement of potentially suicidal inmates. The court determined that
county jails are subject to health department inspections and that isolation units are not
to be excluded from the scope of health regulations. The court then ruled that the
evidence with respect to the danger of suicide fell short of requiring an exception to the
regulations. The court stated that indestructible toilet and sink units are available and
that such units could not be used by an inmate to injure himself or others. The court then
ordered jail officials to install such units to achieve compliance with health code
regulations. (Worcester County Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Bills v. Henderson, 631 F.2d 1287 (6th Cir. 1980). While the mere change of status
from general population to administrative segregation does not implicate a protected
liberty interest, the state regulations defining the use of administrative segregation and
limiting it to individuals who create safety problems were they to remain in the general
population does create a protected liberty interest. Because the decision here is made on
the entire record of the inmate rather than the most recent incident, the notice of intent to
change status, which due process requires, must indicate not merely the most recent
incident, but the entire basis for the decision. A Wolff type hearing is to be conducted.
Further, the statement of the basis for the general decision must go beyond the most
recent event and review the general record and make findings thereon. (Brushy Mountain
State Penitentiary, Tennessee)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Bono v. Saxbe, 620 F.2d 609 (7th Cir. 1980). While the institutional administration
can change the conditions of confinement for administrative reasons as they see fit,
they cannot incarcerate individuals under conditions which are violative of the eighth
amendment regardless of whether the purpose is administrative or punitive. (Marion
Federal Prison, Illinois)

8.6

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Bukhari v. Hutt.o, 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. (Virginia Correctional
Center for Women, Goodland)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Campbell v. Bergeron. 486 F.Supp. 1246 (M.D. La. 1980). affd, 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 sentenced and pretrial inmates which
violates this right. (West Baton Rouge Parish Jail, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION

Chapman v. Pickett. 491 F.Supp. 967 (C.D. Ill. 1980). The district court determined
that the length of confinement does not have any effect on the question whether
commement in segregation violates the eighth amendment; reversed on appeal. (Federal
Penitentiary. Leavenworth, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

CJnmminey v. Roberts. 628 F.2d 1065 (8th Cir. 1980). The transfer of an inmate to
segregation for nonpunitive reasons does not require procedural due process. (St. Louis
City Jail)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Garrett v. United States. 501 F.Supp. 337 (N.D. Ga. 1980). An ex-inmate of Atlanta
Federal Penitentiary sues for injuries inflicted upon him while he was incarcerated.
The district court held that where the prisoner who assaulted the plaintiff prisoner
arrived at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta accompanied by a file showing that he had
committed assault upon a correctional officer on three separate occasions. had assaulted
another inmate, had murdered an inmate and threatened correctional officers. as well as
engaged in fighting and possession of dangerous weapons, the government was negligent
in failing to anticipate that he might harm another prisoner and in failing to provide
closer supervision of him than was provided. He had been placed in a large area housing
500 to 600 prisoners in multi-tiered cells, manned by two to three guards.
The court found that this negligence was proximate cause of prisoner's injuries so that
he would be entitled to damages for loss of earnings, pain he suffered after the incident,
and anxiety and mental distress. The legal standard for proximate cause requires the
injuries to have been a foreseeable result to the alleged negligence; however,
"foreseeability" does not require the anticipation of a particular injury to a particular
person but only that anticipation of a general type or category of harm which in ordinary
experience might be expected to flow from a particular type of negligence.
Failure of the institutional staff to take the individual's prior record of attacks on
inmates and guards into account when classifying him, which caused the individual t.o be
placed in general population where he was able to attack plaintiff, was negligence giving
rise t.o liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act. $5040 was awarded. (Federal
Penitentiary,Atlanta)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Griffm v. Smith, 493 F.Supp. 129 (W.D. N.Y. 1980). An allegation that inmates in the
Special Housing Unit are limited to one visit with a counselor per week fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. Allegations that mail directed from the inmates
to the superintendent of the institution is lost or destroyed state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. Allegations regarding the lack of access to the regular visiting room and
to the visiting room vending machines for visit.ors to inmates in the Special Housing Unit
fail t.o state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Allegations of limiting the number
of personal books in the Special Housing Unit to five, or a poorly shelved library and an
almost total lack of non-English books do not state a claim upon which relief can be
· granted. (Attica Correctional Facility, New York)
Hluchan v. Fauver, 482 F.Supp. 1155 (D. N.J. 1980). In October 1979, the district
court for New Jersey declared unconstitutional a state standard which denied eligibility
for minimum cust.ody status to inmates who had been convicted of more than one "sex
offense." Guidelines were set forth in the opinion to help in revising the standard. Within
the time allotted, the defendants submitted proposed revisions to the standard. The court
first stated that the definition of "sex offense" by reference to specific section of the New
Jersey Criminal Code was entirely proper. Furthermore, the court agreed with the
categories from which the offenses included in the standard were selected: (1) minors; (2)
violence or the threat of violence; or (3) the sale of prohibited sexual goods and services in
the course of a business for profit.
The court stated that the standard failed, however, because of the inclusion of certain
phrases in the definition of "sex offense." One section, which provided for the

8.7

hiring out or employing of minors for mendicant or immoral purposes, the court found to
be irrational. This section referred to the disposing "of the child for any mendicant or
slandering business." The court pointed out that "mendicant" is defined as "practicing
beggary" or "begging" and that wandering business is not necessarily concerned with sex
or immorality. The court stated that if such terms were applied to the definition of "sex
offenders," the classification would violate the equal protection clause of the fourteenth
amendment. The court then discussed other sections of the proposed standard which
listed criminal conduct constituting a "sex offense." The court found it impossible to
determine the meanings of these paragraphs. The court also stated that defining sexual
offenses by reference to specific sections of the New Jersey code would render the standard
violative of the equal protection clause since the New Jersey code differs in structure from
other state codes. The court thus found the proposed standard to be unconstitutional, but
granted the commissioner thirty days to make revisions. (New Jersey Department of
Corrections)
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Morris v. Travisono, 499 F.Supp. 149 (D. R.I. 1980). The court held that: (1) prior
consent judgment establishing regulations governing disciplinary, classification,
and mail procedures at state prisons would not be vacated, either on basis of reversal or
prior judgment upon which the consent judgment was allegedly based or on basis of
claimed changes in factual circumstances; (2) evidence established that violations of such
regulations occurred in the officials' failure to devise treatment and rehabilitation plan for
inmate, in officials' failure to provide the prisoner with certain privileges due an inmate
classified in category in which the prisoner was classified, and the officials' employment of
inappropriate criteria in continuing to classify the prisoner in such category; and (3)
prison officials' failure to enumerate more specific criteria than that contained in the prior
consent judgment in order to evaluate the prisoner's classification status did not deny the
prisoner due process of law. The use of segregation, per se, does not violate the eighth
amendment even where the period of segregation for a particular inmate extends into
years. (Adult Correctional Institution, Rhode Island)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Withers v. Levine, 615 F.2d 158 (4th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 849
(1979). The lack of a classification system which results in placements which promotes
inmate on inmate assaults was more than simple negligence and therefore, assaults
resulting from such a system stated a claim upon which relief could be granted under
U.S.C. Section 1983. (House of Corrections, Maryland)

1981
U.S. Appeals Court

PRETRIAL
DETAINEE
DUE PROCESS

Villanueva v. George, 659 F.2d 851 (1981). A majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Eighth Circuit, sitting ~ bane, ruled that the allegations of a pretrial detainee
raised a legitimate factual issue as to the constitutionality of the conditions to which
he was subjected during his pretrial confinement. The court found, therefore, that the
trial judge should have presented the case to the jury rather than directed the verdict
against the plaintiff. The circuit court found that the jury might have concluded that the
conditions of confinement were punitive in nature. Since the due process clause prohibits
the punishment of persons prior to a judgment of conviction, plaintiff Robert Villanueva
would have to persuade the jury that punitive conditions existed during his pretrial
detention. According to the decision:
The question of whether there is sufficient evidence of the defendants' punitive
intent is one for the jury. Moreover, the jury may 'infer that the purpose was
punishment from the fact that the condition either bore no reasonable relation to a
legitimate goal or exceeded what was necessary for attaining such a goal .. .'
Putnam v. Gerloff, 639 F.2d 415 at 420 (8th Cir. 1981). See also Bell v. Wolfish,
441 U.S. at 539.
There is evidence in this record from which the jury could have reasonably
concluded that Villanueva's conditions of confinement were unnecessarily excessive
and bore no reasonable relation to a legitimate governmental interest. ..We
emphasize that our decision is not based solely on the fact that Villanueva was
confined in a cell measuring six feet by six feet,~ Rhodes v. Chapman, 29 CrL
3061 (1981). It is rather based upon the totality of the circumstances, including
cell size, time spent in the cell, lack of opportunity for exercise or recreation,
general sanitary conditions, and the fact that the appellant's past behavior
demonstrated an ability to be confined under less restrictive conditions without
incident.
In dicta the court suggests that the classification procedure which resulted in the
plaintiff's being placed in segregation while awaiting trial was valid. The procedure took
into account the nature of the crime charged and particularly whether the crime was
violent or aggressive, the prisoner's desire to remain in a particular classification, the
psychological state of the individual and other similar factors. (St. Louis County Adult
Correctional Facility, Missouri)

8.8

1982

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE
SEGREGATION

Boudin v. Thomas, 543 F.Supp. 686 (S.D. N.Y. 1982). Administrative detention
terminated and contact visits rest.ored by Court. A pretrial detainee sought a writ of
habeas corpus challenging her confinement ll"l administrative segregation. The United
States District Court held that administrative det.ention was to be immediately
suspended an.cl contact visits between the petitioner and approved visitors were to be
initiated, where the detainee had not committ.ed any act or engaged in any conduct
threatening herself, staff or institutional security and was not shown to be an escape risk.
The defendants presented only vague assertions in attempts to demonstrate the risks
posed by contact visits with her infant son. (Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Dillon v. Director, Dept. of Corrections, 552 F.Supp. 30 (W.D. Vir. 1982).
Director of state corrections agency not liabll' for negligent acts in local jails. Although
he had a statutory duty to implement standards and goals for lQcal correctional facilities,
the court found that the Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections was not liable
for isolated acts of negligence that occurred in local jails. The court held that since he had
no direct control over city'jail employees.he ciould not be held vicariously liable for their
negligent acts.
The plaintiff had alleged that he was the victim of a sexual assault by an adult and
two juveniles while incarcerated in the juvenile section of the Roanoke City Jail as a
result of various officials' negligence. He was also suing the City of Roanoke, the sheriff,
and several jail personnel. The director was dismissed from the suit. (Roanoke City Jail,
Virginia)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Grubbs v. Bradley. 552 F.Supp. 1052 (M.D. Tenn. 1982). A classification syst.em may
be required. While there is no constitutional right to a classification system, where the
absence of such a system substantially contributes to violence in the institution, such a
system may be required. Here, the court notes that the classification system is virtually
meaningless since cell and work and even institutional assignments are not really made
on the basis of other than available space. The court finds that inmates do not have a
right to participate in the classification decision since that is a matt.er of administrative
discretion. Prisoners brought a class action suit against the conditions of confinement in
certain Tennessee adult prison facilities, alleging unconstitutional conditions. The district
court held certain conditions and practices amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
Inmates have no constitutional claim to any particular security classification, but if proof
shows a sufficient connection between an improper classification system and the violation
of a constitutionally protected right, such as the right to be free from excessive violence,
there may be just cause for court intervention. (Tennessee Correctional System)

1983
U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL

DETAINEES
DUE PROCESS

U.S. Supreme Court
CLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER
DUE PROCESS

Draytpn v. Robinson, 719 F.2d 1214 (3rd Cir. 1983). Appeals court orders the same
protections for pretrial detainees as provided to sentenced offenders. Pennsylvania
prison officials housed pretrial detainees, at the request of local officials.
in state facilities with convicted offenders. At times, detainees were placed in
adminisqoative segregation without applying the same policies and procedures used for
convicted offenders prior to placement.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with this practice, stating that •...to
accept appellants' interpretation of the regulations would create an anomalous situation
where inmates who were charged, tried, convicted and sentenced would have greater
constitutional protection from segregated confinement than inmates who are merely being
held awaiting trial, or convicted but unsentenced."
The court ruled that detainees had as much of a protectable interest in remaining out
of administrative segregation as all other inmates at the facility and were entitled to the
same protections. (Pennsylvania Bureau of Corrections)
Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238 (1983). Petitioners were members of a prison
"Program Committ.ee" who investigated a break.down in discipline and the failure of
certain programs within the maximum control unit of the Hawaii State Prison outside
Honolulu and singled out the respondent and another inmate as troublemakers. After
a hearing, the respondent having been notified thereof and having retained counsel to
represent him, the same committ.ee recommended that the respondent's classification as a
maximum security risk be continued and that he be transferred to a prison on the
mainland.
The administrator of the prison accepted the Committ.ee's recommendation. and the
respondent was transferred to a California state prison; he then filed suit against the
petitioners. in federal district court, alleging that he had been denied procedural due
process because the Committee th.at recommended his transfer consisted of the same
persons who had initiated the hearing, contrary to a Hawaii prison regulation. and
because the Committ.ee was biased against him.

8.9

The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that the Hawaii prison regulations
governing prison transfers did not create a substantive liberty interest protected by the
due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. The court of appeals disagreed and
reversed.
The Uniteq States Supr.eme Court held: ·1:·An interstai;e\prison transfer does not
deprive an inmate of any liberty interest protected by the due process clause in and of
itself. Just as an inmate has no justifiable expectation that he will be incarcerated in any
particular prison within a state so as to implicate the due process clause directly when an
intrastate prison transfer is made, Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215; Montan.ye v. Haymes,
427 U.S. 236, he has no justifiable expectation that he will be incarcerated in any
particular state. Statutes and interstate agreements recognize that, from time to time, it
is necessary to transfer inmates to prisons in other states. Confinement in another state
is within the normal ·limits or range of custody which the conviction has authorized the
transferring-state to impose. Even when, as here, the transfer involves long distances and
an ocean crossing, the confinement remains within constitutional limits. Pp. 244-248.
2. Nor do Hawaii's prison regulations create a constitutionally protected liberty
interest. Although a state creates a protected liberty interest by placing substantive
limitations on official discretion, Hawaii's prison regulations place no substantive
limitations on the prison administrator's discretion to transfer an inmate. For that
matter, the regulations prescribe no substantive standards to guide the Program
Committee whose task is to advise the administrator. Thus no signil'icance attaches to the
fact that the prison regulations require a particular kind of hearing before the
administrator can exercise his unfettered discretion. Pp. 248-251. 664 F.2d 708, reversed.
(Hawaii State Prison)
U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE

FAILURE TO
PROTECT

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Stokes v. Delcambre, 710 F.2d 1120 (5th Cir. 1983). Award of $380,000 to a college
student is upheld by circuit court. In a civil rights suit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Fifth Circuit; has upheld a lower court's decision to award $380,000 in
compensatory and punitive damages against a Louisiana sheriff and his deputy. The
twenty-one year old plaintiff was arrested with three other occupants of a truck after a
beer bottle was thrown at a pedestrian. While housed in the dayroom of the local jail, the
plaintiff was beaten and forced to engage in sexual acts by two inmates. His yells and
screams for help were ignored by jail staff.
The circuit court affirmed the jury award of $205,000 in punitive damages against the
sheriff, $105,000 in punitive damages against the deputy, and $70,000 in compensatory
damages against both defendants. The court concurred that jailers owe a constitutional
duty to prisoners to provide them protection from injury, that the evidence indicated an
indifference to the safety of prisoners, that due to the indifference a "good faith" defense
was not warranted, and that punitive damages were appropriate because the actions of
the defendants were malicious, wanton and oppressive. (Vermillion Parish Jail,
Louisiana)
Wilkerson v. Maggio, 703 F.2d 909 (5th Cir. 1983). Inmate's conduct justifies keeping
him in maximum security. It was not unreasonable or arbitrary to consider an inmate
a security risk since his past prison conduct had warranted the Reclassification Board's
decision to keep him in maximum security, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
The inmate's record showed that the inmate had participated in riots, that he attacked
and assaulted correctional officers, and that he was convicted for the murder of another
inmate. Although the inmate was not permitted any outdoor exercise for five years, he
was allowed daily, one hour exercise outside his cell in any manner he desired. As such,
no violation of the eighth amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment
had occurred. (State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana)
1984

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEPARATION

Cordero v. Coughlin, 607 F.Supp. 9 (S.D. N.Y. 1984). Court upholds practice of
segregating prisoners with AIDS. Noting that fellow prisoners ostracize those
diagnosed with the disease, and the uncertainty in the medical community concerning
its cause and transmission, a federal court upheld the practice of segregating AIDS victims
from the general population. (Deparbnent of Corrections, New York State)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

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

8.10

1985

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Freeman v. Fuller, 623 F.Supp. 1224 (D.C. Fla. 1985). A federal court dismissed an
inmate's claim that he suffered mental cruelty by being placed in a cell with those he
considered dangerous. The court stated that "decisions regarding classification of
prisoners are not usually susceptible to attack. through a civil rights claim in federal court
UD!ess the circumstances are exceptional." Other procedures established by state and
federal prisons provide avenues for grievances. See Young v. Wainwright, 449 F.2d 338
(5th Cir. 1971); and Brooks v. Wainwright, 439 F.Supp. 1335 (M.D. Fla. 1977). (Dade
County Jail, Florida)
·

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Marshall v. Kozakiewicz. 601 F.Supp. 1549 (1985). A state prison inmate who was
briefly housed in a county jail during a post-conviction proceeding brought action
against jail officials challenging their custodial classification of him during his stay there.
After a United States magistrate entered judgment in favor of county jail officials and
against the inmate, the inmate appealed. The district court held that: (1) the
PeDnSYlvania scheme for classifying prisoners at county jails accords county jail officials
broad discretion in classification of prisoners. and, therefore, does not create a protectable
fourteenth amendment liberty interest, and (2) the county jail memorandum governing
high risk security prisoners, as merely a descriptive rather than a substantive predicate,
did not create a protectable fourteenth amendment liberty interest. (Allegheny County
Jail, PeDnSYlvania)
1986

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Beard v. Livesay. 798 F.2d 874 (6th Cir. 1986). A prison inmate brought an action
challenging his reclassification without a hearing from minimum security to medium
security as violating his liberty interest and his security status. The United States
District Court granted summary judgment to the inmate, and the prison officials appealed.
The court of appeals held that: (1) Tennessee regulations (requiring elaborate procedures
for security reclassification of prison inmates and imposing limitations that the inmate
must merit reduction or enhancement of security designation) create a protectable liberty
interest; (2) the inmate was not entitled to have his transfer records expunged; and (3) the
inmate's reclassification from minimum to medium security would be expunged from
record. Prison officials may create liberty interests protected by due process clause by
policy statements, regulations, or other official promulgations. Inmates, however, must
have a legitimate claim of entitlement to interest, not merely a unilateral expectation.
(Bledsoe County, Tennessee Regional Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
JUVENILES

H.C. by Hewett v. Jarrard, 786 F.2d 1080 (11th Cir. 1986). A juvenile, who had been
confined at a juvenile detention center pending a trial on delinquency charges, brought
action for imposition of isolation without notice or hearing, excessive length and conditions
of isolation, UDjustified and excessive force applied to him by superintendent of the center,
and denial of medical care. The United States District Court awarded nominal damages
on claims that isolation without notice and hearing and conditions of isolation violated due
process and determined that the juvenile had not been deliberately deprived of medical
attention, and that battery of the juvenile by the superintendent did not rise to a
constitutional violation.
The juvenile appealed. The court of appeals held that: (1) the superintendent's battery
of the juvenile violated the juvenile's liberty interests protected by the fourteenth
amendment; (2) the superintendent was liable both personally and in his capacity as the
center's superintendent for denying the juvenile medical care; (3) compensatory damages
should have been awarded to the juvenile for imposition of isolation without procedural
due process, for being a period beyond the maximum period set out in relevant
regulations, and for his humiliation and dejection sustained as a result of such isolation;
and (4) the superintendent's conduct warranted the award of punitive damages. The due
process clause forbids punishment of pretrial juvenile detainees; the conditions of a
pretrial juvenile detainee incarceration affect interests protected by the fourteenth
amendment rather than the eighth amendment.
The superintendent of the juvenile detention center shoved the juvenile and slammed
him against a wall and a metal bunk of the isolation cell after the juvenile laughed at a
prank of another detainee and protested imposition of isolation of that detainee. This
violated liberty interests protected by the fourteenth amendment, where the juvenile had
not threatened to harm any property, employees, or other detainees at the center. The
juvenile's injuries required medical treatment, and the superintendent's act was one of a
series intended to punish the juvenile rather than maintain discipline at the center.
In determining whether the injuries sustained by the juvenile from the conduct of the
superintendent of the juvenile detention center violated the juvenile's liberty interests .
protected by the fourteenth amendment, the fact that the juvenile.did not suffer broken
bones and permanent disfigurement did not require dismissal of the juvenile's injuries as
negligible.

8.ll.

A three-day refusal to provide medical att.entio~ to the juvenile detained at the
juvenile detention center pending trial on delinquency charges was a reckless disregard of
the juvenile's medical needs.
lnst.ead of an award of nominal damages of one dollar, the juvenile, who had been a
pretrial detainee at the juvenile detention center, should have been awarded compensat.ory
damages for imposition of isolation without procedural due process, for being a period
beyond the maximum period set out in regulations of the Florida Department of Health
and Rehabilitative Services, and for his humiliation and dejection sustained as a result of
such isolation, where the juvenile was isolated for several days, shackled and handcuffed
to a metal bunk for part of that time, and deprived of virtually every physical or emotional
stimulus. (Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Florida)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Hendking v. Smith, 781 F.2d 850 (11th Cir. 1986). Appeals court upholds
classification practices ~hich deny sex offenders participation in certain programs. A
class action suit challenged prison rules which denied certain privileges to inmates with
hist.ories of violent sex offenses, alleging a violation of equal protection guarantees. The
plaintiff argued that sex offenders are no different from other criminals and should be
entitled to the same opportunities and privileges during incarceration. The appeals court
disagreed with the plaintiff, stating "... it seems clear as a matter of general knowledge
that it would not be appropriate to allow sex offenders the opportunity to leave the prison
on passes permitting them to mingle with the general public... " The court found that the
prison classification system was neither arbitrary nor capricious. (Alabama Prison
System)

U.S. District Court

Inmates of Occoquan v. Barry, 650 F.Supp. 619 (D.D.C. 1986). A class of inmates
confined at state medium security facilities brought a federal civil rights action seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief for deprivation under color of state law of iifth and eighth
amendment rights. Overcrowding and systemically deficient conditions at state medium
security institutions constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the eighth
amendment justifying equitable relief of imposition of cap on a number of inmates at each
facility and requirement of periodic reports indicating what steps were being taken to
address deficiencies.
. The classification of inmates is essential for the prison security. One critical function
of classification is the efficient identification of violent, aggressive inmates and those in
need of psychiatric care, so that they can be separated from the rest of the population.
See, e.g., Palmigiano v. Garrahy, 443 F.Supp. 956 (D.R.1.1977). The classification
system at Occoquan appears to be dangerously overtaxed by the crush of inmates in need
of classification. (Lort.on Correctional Complex, District of Columbia)

U.S. District Court
TRANSFER

Jeffries v. Reed. 631 F.Supp. 1212 (E.D. Wash. 1986). A death row inmate challenged
the constitutionality of his transfer to the intensive management unit of the prison and
also challenged the conditions of his incarceration in that unit. On cross motions for
summary judgment, the district court held that: (1) the transfer of an inmate to 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 to being transferred to the unit and strip and
visual body-cavity searches he underwent each time he left his cell did not constitute
unreasonable searches and seizures; (4) denial of contact with other inmates did not
violate the first, sixth, or fourteenth amendments; and (5) the telephone schedule,
permitting the inmate to place a collect call to 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 to
counsel and the courts. (Intensive Management Unit, State Prison, Washingt.on)

State Court
TRANSFER
DUE PROCESS

Jenkins v. Fauver. 530 A.2d 790 (N.J. Super. A.D. 1986). According to a state court,
inmates do not have a protectable interest arising from a due process clause along in
residing in a particular environment. Inmates who, prior to reclassification, had been
assigned to "full minimum" custodial status, filed a lawsuit claiming they were denied due
process when they were transferred from a minimum security camp to the main prison
and had their custodial classification changed to "full minimum. inside only" or "gang
minimum." The action was taken in response to a series of escapes of inmates convjcted of
violent crimes. However, the appeals court, 528 A.2d 563, ruled against the
"nonindividualized reclassification" of prison camp inmates with prior homicide
convictions. (Rahway State Prison. New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court

Johnston v. Lucas, 786 F.2d 1254 (5th Cir. 1986). Prison officials released from
liability for prisoner stabbing by appeals court in light of recent Supreme Court
rulings. A federal district court awarded a prisoner monetary damages from guards and
prison officials for improperly placing him with another prisoner who had known
animosity toward him. The appeals court noted that the eighth amendment affords

8.12

prisoners protection against injury at the hands of another prisoner, but that the Supreme
Court had recently stated that "the protections of the Due Process Clause, whether
procedural or substantive, are not just triggered by lack of due care by prison officials."
Davidson v. Cannon, 106 S.Ct. 668 (1986). While each official bore responsibility for
exposing the prisoner to danger, the court found it arguable that their default could be
considered an abuse of power and an eighth amendment deprivation. As stated in
Whitley v. Albers, 106 S.Ct. 1078 (1986), the deliberate indifference standard articulated
in Estelle v. Gamble is appropriate in this case, The appeals court concluded that none of
the defendants could be shown to be liable because none of them was guilty of conscious
indifference to the danger of or infliction of unnecessary pain. (Parchman State
Penitentiary, Mississippi)
U.S. District Court
TRANSFER

DUE PROCESS

Paoli v. Lally. 636 F.Supp. 1252 (D.Md. 1986). The actions of Maryland's
Commissioner of Corrections in transferring a prisoner from a minimum security
facility to a maximum security institution and in denying minimum security
classification did not violate the provisions of Maryland statutes or regulations and did not
contravene liberty interests, if any, established by'them in {avor of persons such as the
prisoner. The prisoner suffered from a physiological defect, a test.osterone level
approximately twice that of a normal male, which gave rise to his criminal behavior. It
was an appropriate concern of the commissioner that the prisoner posed a danger to
others if he should escape from minimum security and failed to continue to receive
regularly scheduled Depo-Provera illjections. (Maryland Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEPARATION

Powell v. Department of Corrections, State of Old., 647 F.Supp. 968 (N.D.Okl. 1986). A
state prisoner who had tested positive for the AIDS virus brought a Section 1983 action
against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections alleging violation of his constitutional
rights in his segregation from the general prison population. The prisoner also sought
writ of mandamus raising similar issues. The district court held that: (1) conditions of the
prisoner's conf'mement were not violative of his constitutional rights; (2) the prisoner was
not denied his right to worship; (3) the prisoner was not denied equal protection of law;
and (4) the prisoner was not denied his constitutional right of access to courts. A prisoner
does not have a federal constitutional right to be placed in the general prison population.
The conditions of a prisoner's commement after he tested positive for the AIDS virus, in
which the prisoner was segregated from the general prison population but provided
limited access to all prison programs and services and allowed to exercise, were not
violative of the prisoner's constitutional rights. The prisoner was not denied his right to
worship by being prohibited from attending group worship services where prohibition was
intended for the health of the prisoners and to protect the prisoner from threatened harm,
and where the prisoner had regular access to the prison chaplain. (Department of
Corrections, Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court

Reece v. Gragg, 650 F.Supp. 1297 (10th Cir. 1986). A pretrial detainee representing a
class of all present and future pretrial detainees and sentenced inmates held in the
county jail brought action seeking illjunctive relief to require that operation of the jail
under present conditions cease. The district court held that: (1) the current operation and
condition of the county jail violated the due process clause of the fifth and fourteenth
amendments and the eight amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment, and (2) due to unconstitutional conditions at the jail, an illjunction was
warranted, but would be stayed under conditions outlined by court. To the extent that the
county jail is unable to segregate pretrial detainees and sentenced inmates, the higher
standard applicable under the due process clause, rather than the eighth amendment,
must be met by the entire facility. (Sedgwick County Jail, Kansas)

PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Shelby County Jail Inmates v. Westlake, 798 F.2d 1085 (7th Cir. 1986). Conditions of
the Shelby County Jail in Indiana did not violate the constitutional rights of inmates,
says a U.S. Appeals Court. Inmates at the Shelby County Jail (SCJ) filed a suit alleging
that the totality of conditions and practices at SCJ violated their constitutional rights.
The inmates claimed the jail's twenty foot.candles of illumination did not meet minimum
standards. The county's expert, however, took readings in the courtroom which revealed
eighteen foot.candles at the judge's bench. The inmates complained that they did not have
any meaningful opportunity for outdoor exercise or activities. The county testified the
inmates were allowed to play cards and board games, read books, ride exercise bikes, and
were provided with American Medical Association booklets on indoor exercise. The
inmates contended that SCJ's classification system failed to adequately segregate pretrial
and convicted prisoners, males and females, and juveniles and adults. The county
rebutted. The inmates also alleged that inmates with emotional and medical problems
were not segregated from the general population. The county testified otherwise,
maintaining that incoming inmates were screened, and serious medical and emotional
conditions were sent to the county hospital or mental health center. The appeals court
determined that the county presented sufficient evidence to support a fmding that none of
the conditions amounted to constitutional violations. (Shelby County Jail, Indiana)

8.13

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Stokes v. Fair. 795 F.2d 235 (1st Cir. 1986). A Massachusetts prison inmat.e
challenged the imposition of "awaiting action status" det.ention regulations alleging
noncompliance with due process. The district court ent.ered a swnniary judgment in favor
of the inmat.e, and the correction official appealed. The court of appeals held that
"awaiting action status" det.ention regulations c:reat.ed a liberty int.erest entitling the
inmat.e to procedural due process in initiation and continuance of awaiting action status
det.ention. Regulations authorizing placement of a prison inmat.e in "awaiting action
status" pending other procedures and specifying conditions under which inmat.es may be
reclassified to higher custody status created liberty int.erest entitling inmat.es to
procedural due process in initiation and continuance of awaiting action status det.ention
through use of unmistakably mandatory language and substantive predicates for such
change in status. (Department of Corrections, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
SUICIDE
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Strandell v. Jack.son County, Ill., 634 F.Supp. 824 (S.D.lli. 1986). The parents of a
pretrial detainee who committed suicide brought a civil rights action against the county
and the prison officials. The district court held that: (1) the parents stated a claim
that the detainee was deprived of due process right to be free from punishment; (2) the
parents stat.ed cause of action under Illinois statut.es and regulations; (3) the county was
not immune from liability; (4) the county sheriff, jailor and superint.endent were not
immune from liability; (5) parents could not recover punitive damages or prejudgment
int.erest; and (6) the district court would retain pendent jurisdiction over stat.e law claims.
Mandatory language of Illinois county jail standards providing that detainee shall be
assigned to suitable quart.ers, that emotionally disturbed detainee shall be kept under
constant supervision, and that suspected disturbed detainee shall be immediately
examined by a physician creat.es a protected liberty int.erest and an expectation of certain
minimal 8tanclards and treatment. The parents stated a civil rights cause of action under
the fourth and fourt.eenth amendments by alleging that prison officials violated the
detainee's liberty int.erest and expectation of certain minimal standards for the physical
condition of the jail facility, as established by Illinois regulations, and an expectation of
treatment that prot.ects safety, health, and well-being of pretrial detainees.
No prot.ected liberty int.erest could be premised on stat.e jail standards relating to the
physical condition of the jail, with respect to action based on the suicide of a pretrial
detainee while confined in the county jail, where stat.e jail standards did not require the
county jail which had been built in 1926 to comply with standards regarding physical
conditions until January 1986, and the death occurred in March 1984. The fact that the
individual inmat.e could not, under stat.e law, demand compliance with stat.e jail
standards, did not establish that imnat.es had no claim o_f entitlement to have those
standards followed, where stat.e Department of Corrections was given right to enforce
compliance with stat.e jail standards. (Jackson County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court

Strickland v. I)yer. 628 F.Supp. 180 (E.D.Ark. 1986). An inmat.e brought an action
challenging his reclassification by a prison disciplinary committee. On the defendants'
motion to dismiss, the district court held that an Arkansas statut.e governing classification
of imnat.es did not prot.ect the imnat.e's right to any particular classification, so that
reduction of the inmat.e's classification for violation of a prison rule did not violat.e the
inmat.e's due process rights. (Department of Corrections, Arkansas)

1987
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Bruscino v. Carlson, 654 F.Supp. 609 (S.D. Ill. 1987). Action was brought by federal
imnat.es complaining of use of excessive force, performance of rectal searches, amount of
time they had to spend in their cell, transfer procedures and various other conditions that
had existed at prison since "lockdown" began. On objections to magistrat.e's report and
recommendation, the district court held that: (1) restraining control unit imnat.es during
legal visits did not violat.e their right of access to the courts; (2) rectal searches at the
prison did not constitut.e unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain within the meaning of
the eighth amendment; (3) restraining federal inmat.es to beds for prolonged periods
without checking them every thirty minut.es violated federal regulations but because
incidents were isolated, there was no policy or practice of abuse and thus no constitutional
violation requiring injunctive relief; (4) "out of cell time" granted federal prisoners for
exercise and recreation did not violat.e the eighth amendment where the inmat.es in
disciplinary segregation and prot.ective custody were allowed five hours exercise per week
outside their cells, and the prisoners in control unit were permitted seven hours exercise
per week, and general population inmat.es received eleven hours of exercise per week; and
(5) imnat.es had no right to a due process hearing before placement at and/or transfer to a
maximum security federal prison. Although control unit inmat.es at the prison were given
a hearing before placement in that unit, there were distinct differences between conditions
of confinement for general population and control unit. (Marion Penit.entiary, Illinois)

8.14

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Bailey v. Shillinger, 828 F.2d 651 (10th Cir. 1987). After his voluntary transfer to a
prison in another stat.e, a Wyoming stat.e prisoner who was serving a sent.ence for first
degree murder murdered another prisoner and was returned to the Wyoming Stat.e Prison.
The warden assigned him to a maximum security 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 inmat.e presented to other inmat.es and staff, the court concluded the warden
was correct in assigning the inmat.e to maximum security. As to the cruel and unusual
treatment charge, the court concluded that the one hour per day of exercise and fresh air
was "restrictive" but did not violat.e the Eighth Amendment. (Wyoming Stat.e Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Bolden v. Alston, 810 F.2d 353 (2nd Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 108 S.Ct. 229. A prisoner
alleged that his right to due process was violated when the same officer acted as both
investigative off'icer and hearing officer at the prisoner's disciplinary proceeding. The
appeals court ruled that the level of procedural prot.ection due a prison inmat.e involved in
disciplinary proceedings differs according to the purpose of confmement. Because the
prisoner was confined pending disposition of a misconduct charge, his confmement
following adjustment committee proceeding needed only to satisfy a lesser due process
standard set out in Helms--that is, some notice of charges against him and an opportunity
to present his views to the prison official charged with deciding whether to transfer him to
administrative segregation. (Lincoln Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE
CORRESPONDENCE

Stat.e Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
SEPARATION
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Brooks v. Andolina, 826 F.2d 1266 (3rd Cir. 1987). A federal appeals court ruled that
(1) it is unlawful to place an inmat.e in segregation simply because he wrot.e. a letter
complaining of a female employee's search of a visitor, (2) prison officials' refusal to permit
an inmat.e to call any witnesses at a disciplinary proceeding violated the inmat.e's
procedural due process rights, and (3) the inmat.e was not entitled to lost wages. An
inmat.e complained in a letter to the NAACP that a female correctional officer searched his
visitor in a seductive manner. He was issued a misconduct report for disrespect toward a
staff member, and after a hearing, was sent.enced to 30 days punitive segregation. The
Third Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that prison
officials may not censor inmat.e correspondence to eliminat.e unflattering or unwelcome
opinions, (Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396). Further, prison officials cannot punish
inmat.es for stat.ements made in letters to outsiders, even if the inmat.e could be punished
if he made the stat.ements orally to a prison employee. The court continued that if
regulations concerning censoring are in existence, they must be for the purpose of security,
order, or rehabilitation. Because prison officials cannot censor unflattering stat.ements in
letters to outsiders, they cannot punish an inmat.e for the cont.ents of such letters;
therefore, the action taken against Brooks for writing the letter violated his constitutional
rights. Prison officials' refusal to permit an inmat.e to call any witnesses at a disciplinary
proceeding violated the inmat.e's procedural due process rights. The officials failed to
show that permitting an inmat.e to call witnesses would have been unduly hazardous to
the institutional safety or correctional goals, and to the extent that refusal by prison
officials to permit the inmat.e to call witnesses at a disciplinary proceeding was based on
the inmat.e's failure to comply with the rule requiring prehearing identification of
witnesses. The refusal was clearly arbitrary and capricious in that the rule was a new
rule to which the inmat.e had no access and with which the inmat.e had no opportunity to
comply. The inmat.e, who was sent.enced in a disciplinary proceeding to 30 days punitive
segregation in violation of his First and Fourt.eenth Amendment rights, was not entitled to
damages for lost wages in his Section 1983 action against prison officials; even though the
inmat.e t.estified that he lost wages as a result of the unwarranted transfer to punitive
segregation, the inmat.e failed to offer any evidence as to what those wages were. (Stat.e
Correctional Institut.e at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
DeBow v. City of East St. Louis, 510 N.E.2d 895 (Ill, App. 1987), cert. denied, 116 Il2d
552. A detainee was injured during his confinement in a city lockup. He was arrested
for illegal transportation of alcohol and he was placed in the same cell with a man
arrested for aggravated assault. The plaintiff was lat.er found unconscious on the floor
of the cell with a severe head injury. Blood was found on one of the boots that were
in the possession of the other occupant of the cell. The injured detainee sued the city
and its police chief alleging that pre-trial detainees were inadequat.ely supervised, that
officers failed to monitor their conduct and failed to segregat.e violent detainees from other
detainees. The inmat.e suffered permanent brain injury from the assault and a jury
initially awarded $3.4 million in damages. On appeal, the court upheld this award, noting
that "specific int.ent" to deprive the detainee of his rights was not required. The stat.e
appeals court found that the plaintiff had established that the defendants had received
numerous notices of noncompliance with minimum jail safety standards, including a
warning that detainees were being inadequat.ely supervised.. Hourly visual checks of
detainees were not being conducted and no one understood it to

8.15

be their official duty t.o conduct such routine checks. According t.o the court, it is sufficient
that the defendants acted recklessly by disregarding detainee safety. This disregard can
be demonstrated either by both deliberate acts or by the failure t.o act. Since the repeated
notices of noncompliance with safety standards provided notice of unsafe conditions, the
appeals court agreed that the jury could conclude that the failure t.o act to correct the
situation was reckless. (City of East St. Louis, IDinois)
U.S. District Court
AIDS

Dinger v. City of New Albany, 662 F.Supp. 929 (S.D. Ind. 1987). A civil rights action
was filed against the city and a police officer by three inmates. They claimed that they
were exposed t.o AIDS while confined, violating their Eighth Amendment right against
cruel and unusual punishment. They requested that all inmates be given AIDS screening
tests and all homosexual inmates be segregated. The court said that exposing inmates to
a communicable disease may violate their constitutional rights, but that the problem of
protecting inmates against AIDS is "best left t.o the legislature and priso» administrators."
City of New Albany, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
,PUE PROCESS

Hechavarria v. Quick, 670 F.Supp. 456 (D.R.I. 1987). A Rhode Island regulation
providing that an inma~ shall receive timely written notice when a downgrading of his
classification is being considered, and a regulation providing that no misconduct shall be
considered by the classification board unless the disciplinary board has made a finding
unfavorable t.o the inmate, do no create a liberty interest in a particular prison
classification. The regulations are purely procedural in nature, and do not state that an
inmate has a vested right t.o a particular prison status. (Rhode Island Adult Correctional
Institution)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS

Hernandez v. Johnston, 833 F.2d 1316 (9th Cir. 1987). A prisoner challenged state
prison officials alleging that certain statements in his prison file were false and deprived
him of liberty without due process. The inmate argued that the statements that classified
him as a "violent offender" and stated that he needed a "structured setting" were incorrect
since the burglary offense for which he was incarcerated was nonviolent. The inmate felt
that, without due process fmdings, the court should "put a stop t.o the prison policy of
using pseudo-legalistic, psychological, etc., terms against prisoners." The appeals court
ruled that even if a state Criminal Records Privacy Act created a liberty interest in
accurate prison record information, it applied t.o criminal history record information, not
opinions or evaluations. The court also held that the prisoner had no state or federal
constitutional right to a particular classification status. Finally, neither a due process
clause nor Washington law creates a liberty interest in prison education or rehabilitation
classes. (McNeil Island Corrections Center)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Jones v. Hodge. 662 F.Supp. 254 (E.D.N.C. 1987). A North Carolina inmate did not
have a constitutionally protected interest in: a more desirable cust.ody classification.
The federal district court would not recognize a liberty interest in a prisoner's cust.ody
classification unless state law or prison regulations used explicitly mandat.ory language in
requiring that adrninistrat.ors use specific substantive procedures in setting or modifying
the inmate's classification. (North Carolina)

CRITERIA

U.S. District Court
AIDS
ISOLATION

Judd v. Packard. 669 F.Supp. 741 (D.Md. 1987). After noticing that an inmate suffered
from various illnesses and weight loss, prison officials put him in medical isolation on
three separate occasions for testing, diagnostic and treatment purposes, including testing
for exposure t.o AIDS. After testing positive for the HTLV-111 antibody present in those
exposed t.o AIDS, the inmate filed a federal lawsuit claiming that each placing of him in
isolation was an act of discrimination on the basis of a handicap, i.e., a positive HTLV-111
test, and consequently, a violation of his civil rights. The federal district court found that
there was no claim under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794, because the
inmate had not alleged any "nexus" between the allegedly discriminat.ory conduct of the
defendant prison officials and a specific program receiving federal funding. The court also
that, even assuming that testing positive for HTLV-III constituted a handicap,
discrimination against handicapped individuals "is not invidious discrimination, and thus,
it is not subject to strict or heightened judicial scrutiny." Therefore, the court found that
the correct test t.o be applied was whether the prison's actions had a legitimate purpose
and whether it was rational t.o believe that the treatment afforded the individual would
promote that purpose. (Mayo Correctional Institution, Maryland)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

McDuffie v. Rikers Island Medical Department. 668 F.Supp. 328 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). A
federal district court ruled against a prisoner who ftled a civil rights suit against
prison officials, alleging 1;hat misdiagnosis of an AIDS-related ailment resulted in his
placement in segregated housing for five months. The court found that the prisoner's
allegations failed t.o establish a claim of deliberate indifference t.o serious medical needs.
The diagnosis was made in 1982, prior t.o the development of a test for the AIDS virus,
and was on the basis of two skin biopsies which were consist.ent with Karposi's Sarcoma,
which is a form of cancer common t.o AIDS patients. The court

8.16

concluded that the diagnosis was not grossly negligent when the prisoner was later determined
not to have AIDS. The court further ruled that the prisoner's allegations failed to establish a
claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs--the prisoner did not allege that he
suffered any physical harm due to the misdiagnosis or that medical officials deliberately ignored
his serious medical needs, and there was no indication of gross negligence in the initial AIDS
diagnosis. (Downstate Correctional Facility, New York)
U .. S. District Court
SEPARATION
FAILURE TO
PROTECT
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

Ryan v. Burlington County, 674 F.Supp. 464 (D.N.J. 1987), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct.
1745. A pretrial detainee rendered quadriplegic by his cellmate, a state prisoner who
had been awaiting transfer to a state run facility as a parole violator for 58 days
alleged deprivation of a constitutional right in an action against various state and
county defendants. The federal district court ruled that pretrial detainees had a
constitutional right to be housed separately from known dangerous convicted inmates
who posed a threat to their personal security unless physical facilities did not permit their
separation and that the detainee could prove a constitutional violation if he could prove at trial
that classification was feasible at the county jail. Affirmed 860 F.2d 1199. (Burlington County
Jail, New Jersey}

State Appeals Court
JUVENILES

State Ex. Rel. M.L.N. v. Greiner, 360 S.E.2d 554 (W.Va. 1987). Prisoners filed
petitions challenging their confinement in correctional center. A state appeals court held that
juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20 who remained under jurisdiction of juvenile court may
not be incarcerated within sight or sound of adult prisoners. Juveniles who remain under
continuing juvenile court jurisdiction even after their 18th birthday must be afforded the same
commitment and rehabilitation rights as delinquent juveniles under the age of 18 who are
under the juvenile court jurisdiction. Due process requires that nature of custody of juvenile
bear relation to rehabilitative purpose. (Wood County Correctional Center)

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: (1) the mass 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" type 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 post transfer hearings, the warden perceived
move as a necessary emergency security measure, no punitive purpose was involved, and the
transfers were purely temporary administrative segregations. However, double celling of
inmates in segregation unit in small cells with solid "boxcar" type doors was cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the eighth amendment. Inmates with history of assaultive behavior
were placed in closed cells for up to 23 hours a day for a period of several months. (Missouri
State Penitentiary, Special Management Facility)

State Court
DUE PROCESS

White v. Fauver, 530 A.2d 37 (N.J. Super. A.D. 1987). An inmate at a prison appealed
the final decision of the Department of Corrections affirming a classification committee's
decision to reduce his custody status. The Superior Court held that: (1) the inmate had no
constitutionally protected liberty interest in his reduced custody status in prison, and (2) an
inmate whose custody status was increased, not as result of any activity on his part between
- reduction of status and increase, but rather as a result of a change in approach, motivated by
escape of another prisoner, received all due process to which he was entitled. A change in
inmate's security classification within prison must be for cause and not arbitrary. (Adult
Diagnostic & Treatmeqt Center, New Jersey)

1988
U.S. District Court
AIDS

Baez v. Rapping. 680 F.Supp. 112 (S.D.N.Y. 1988). An inmate charged that he was
segregated and discriminated against after he tested positive for the AIDS virus. According to
the inmate, he was denied access to courts, the law library, church and recreational activities
after medical authorities issued advice to staff to avoid his body fluids. The district court held
that the medical director and his staff were entitled to qualified immunity against the lawsuit.
The claim against the warden was allowed to proceed. The warden claimed the detainee was in
segregation because of his "deviant behavior," not because of his medical condition. There was
no evidence given to the court that the inmate had been given any notice of the reason for his
segregation or a chance to be heard. Therefore, there was a question of fact as to whether or
not he had been deprived of his rights without due process. Although an earlier decision by the
court had upheld the authority of the jail to segregate inmates with AIDS, the court found in
this case that the inmate had a right to know of AIDS was the reason for his segregation. The
court allowed the claim for punitive damages to proceed, since the prisoner's charges were that
he "may be the victim of malicious and discriminatory treatment" because of his condition.
(Westchester County Jail, New York)

8.17

U.S. Appeals Court

PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

State Appeals Court
FAILURE10

PROTECT
JUVENILES

u.s. District Court
AIDS
TRANSFER

SEPARATION

David K. v. Lane, 839 F.2d 1265 (7th Cir. 1988). White inmates at Illinois' Pontiac
Correctional Center sued officials on the grounds that their failure to aggressively halt
gang influence violated their right to equal protection. Inmates in protective cust.ody .
are confined more hours each day and have less job opportunities. While 2 percent of the total
inmate population is white, 40 percent of the white population is in protective cust.ody
compared to 9 percent of the black population and 13 percent of the hispanic population. The
plaintiffs alleged that the proportion of white inmates in protective custody stems from officials'
failure to discipline non-violent displays of gang membership. But the appeals court ruled that,
even though a policy of punishing gang "activity," but not displays of "gang membership"
results in an inordinately high number of white inmates needing protective custody, prison
officials aren't guilty of discrimination. In ruling against the white inmates, the court found
that they had presented no evidence that "a racially-based discriminatory purpose.. .has shaped
the Pontiac administration'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 to "take a firmer control and seek to ultimately
eliminate gang affiliation by such reasonable methods as it may develop." The court also
rejected the inmates' claim that Title VI of.the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was violated. Title VI,
42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000d, prolubits discrimination in the use of federal funds. While the prison
receives federal funds for forecasting models, there was no evidence that these funds directly
benefited or related to the implementation of gang regulations and protective custody
procedures. [Subsequent federal legislation may alter future courts' analysis of similar
situations.) (Illinois' Pontiac Correctional Center)
Dept. of Health & Rehab. Serv. v. Whaley. 531 So.2d 723 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1988). A
juvenile detainee was awarded $100,000 in damages and his father was awarded $5,575
in damages, for injuries sustained as a result of an alleged sexual assault by a fellow
detainee in a juvenile detention intake facility. The white, 14-year-old, 98 pound
youth, was arrested for burglary and placed in a holding cell with two older black youths, 15
and 16 years old, weighing 160 and 195 pounds respectively. The other two youths were
charged with burglary and armed robbery. While one had a history of several violent crimes
charged (most of which had been dismissed), there was no past history of sexual assault. The
two allegedly forced him to perform fellatio on one of them. Following the youth's release, he
received psychiatric treatment for "post-traumatic stress syndrome", but no medical treatment
for any physical injury was required. The appeals court upheld the jury verdict, noting that
there was a duty to protect an alleged juvenile delinquent in custody from potential hann by
third persons where the risk of such harm is foreseeable. The court rejected an argument that
sovereign immunity applied in this instance, noting that insurance for just such liability
existed. (Juvenile Detention Intake Facility, West Palm Beach, Florida)

Doe v. Coughlin, 697 F.Supp. 1234 (N.D.N.Y. 1988). An inmate brought an
action on behalf of a class of inmates confined in correctional facility in New
York seeking preliminary injunction prohibiting further implementation of a
program involving the involuntary transfer of inmates who tested positive for
Human Immunodeficiency Virus to a separate dormitory. The district court granted the
request, finding that the inmate was entitled to a preliminary injunction. The inmate, who had
tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Vll'US, had a standing to maintain a cause of
action challenging, on the right to privacy grounds, the involuntary transfer of all inmates who
tested positive for HIV to a special dormitory, even though the inmate had not yet been
transferred, where the Department of Correctional Services officials unambiguously maintained
they intended to go forward with their program of placing all positive testing inmates in a
special dormitory, and such placement would effectively reveal the inmate's medical conditions
to third parties without his consent. There were approximately ·400 known cases where
inmates had tested positive for the HIV virus, and questions of law concerning the right of
privacy and the reasonableness of the transfer program were common to all proposed class
members. Claims and defenses of each member arose from the same course of conduct, and
maintaining the anonymity of the class members established an additional reason for
certification. Although improving and expediting the medical care for such inmates was a
.desirable and highly commendable objective, the involuntary segregation of the inmates
violated the inmates' constitutional rights to privacy, and the same objectives could be provided
in a program designed to allow the inmates a choice of whether they wished to be housed in a
separate dormitory. The court noted that there are "few matters" of a more personal nature,
and there are "few decisions" over which a person could have a "greater desire to exercise
control," than the manner in which he reveals a diagnosis of positive exposure to AIDS to
others, including other inmates and family members. (New York State Department of
Correctional Services)

8.18

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE
SPECIAL NEEDS

PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

U.S. Appeals Court

MENTAILYUL
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Estat.e of Cartwright v. City of Concord, Cal., 856 F.2d 1437 (9th Cir. 1988). A mother of a
pretrial detainee who committed suicide by hanging himself in a _city jail brought a Section
1983 action against the city and city employees for alleged violation of constitutional
rights. The United States District Court entered judgment for the defendants following a
bench trial, and the mother appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found
that the city jail employees did not violat.e the constitutional rights of the pretrial detainee in
failing to prevent him from committing suicide. Although the jailers overheard him speaking of
suicide, none of the detainee's other statements gave them reason to believe that he needed
preventive care. The jailers took reasonable steps to safeguard him by taking away all his
possessions except "soft clothing,• and placed him in a cell with another detainee. He was also
checked periodically. (Concord City Jail, Concord, California)
Gardner v. Cato, 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 warning,
gott.en a dark liquid thrown in his face by his mentally unstable cellmate. The court
found that placement of the prisoner in a cell with a mentally unstable inmat.e who
had access to cleaning chemicals at best raised an issue of negligence by the defendants, a claim
not seen as a violation of the Fourt.eenth Amendment in a civil rights action. Because he was
given extensive medical trea1ment, the court found that it was "frivolous" to claim that the
defendants displayed a deliberat.e indifference or disregard for the inmat.e's medical needs.
(Guadalupe County Jail)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
SEPARATION

Gladson v. Rice, 862 F.2d 711 (8th Cir. 1988). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
action to challenge his temporary confmement, in a county jail, apart from the general
inmat.e population during his ten-day transfer from a stat.e penitentiary in connection
with post-conviction proceedings on his behalf. The U.S. District Court grant.ed summary
judgment in favor of the county sheriff and members of the jail staff, and the inmate appealed.
The appeals court affirmed the lower court decision, finding that the prisoner's due process
rights were not violated by the confinement. Prison officials received information from the
penitentiary personnel that the prisoner was considered an escape risk who had a potential for
violence, and there was no appreciable difference between the prisoner's basic status and living
conditions in the penitentiary and those in the jail to which he was temporarily assigned. The
court also found that the prisoner's constitutional guarant.ee against cruel and unusual
punishment was not violat.ed by the county prison's denial to him of unlimited access to certain
amenities and privileges such as radio, t.elevision, telephone, showers, visitors, exercise, and
cigarettes. The jail officials evaluat.ed the prisoner's potential threat to the jail security in light
of the information received from the correctional officials at the stat.e penitentiary, and they
provided the prisoner with a substantial equivalent of his penitentiary living arrangement.
(Polk County Jail, Iowa)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Glick v. Henderson. 855 F.2d 536 (8th Cir. 1988). A civil rights suit was dismissed by
a federal trial court alleging failure and refusal of various prison officials to prot.ect
inmat.es from exposure to AIDS, and the dismissal was upheld by the appeals court.
The plaintiffs in this case claimed that at least five inmat.es in the facility have t.ested
positive for the virus which causes AIDS. The inmat.es also argued that the prison neither
t.ested inmates and personnel for exposure to the AIDS virus nor segregat.ed all those who did
t.est positive. The inmates felt that the combination of these factors, along with the existence 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 inmat.es' complaint was based on "unsubstantiated fears
and ignorance," which included allegatiClllS that they face a risk of contracting AIDS by: (1)
coming into contact with the sweat of other inmat.es during work detail; (2) being subject.ed to
bites from mosquitoes which have bitt.en other inmates; (3) being meezed on by known
homosexuals; (4) having food prepared by officials who are not tested for AIDS; anq/or (5) the
regular transfer of prisoners from cell to cell throughout the facility. The court
found that these means are too remote to provide the proper basis for a grievance. These, along
with other significant risks, which are not comprehended by medical science as creating a
genuine concem for transmission of AIDS, were insufficient to entail court intervention.
(Arkansas Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Harris by and Through Harris v. Maynard, 843 F.2d 414 (10th Cir. 1988). Prison
officials were not immune from liability under 42 U.S.C.A. Section 1983 for a deceased
inmat.e's unexplained and violent murder in the prison facility. Wanton or obdurate
disregard of or deliberate indifference to a prisoner's right to life as a condition of confinement
was a substantive constitutional deprivation. Mat.erial issues of fact existed as to whether stat.e
correctional officials evidenced deliberat.e indifference in connection with an inmat.e's
unexplained death. Summary judgment was precluded. 'lhe inmat.e's mother had made phone
calls to prison officials expressing her son's need for protection

8.19

from other inmates. The order requiring separation of the inmate from fellow inmates was not
enforced, and the inmate's mother had been denied access to the deceased inmate's personal
effects, including threatening letters from the other inmate. (McAlester, Oklahoma Prison)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
PRETRIAL

DETAINEES

Moenius v. Stevens, 688 F.Supp. 1054 (D. Maryland, 1988). An aJTestee filed suit in
state and federal court, alleging that the jailor's discretionary decision to place him in
a detention cell bearing a sign entitled "AIDS cell" intentionally and maliciously
inflic:t.ed emotional distress. The arrestee sought compensatory and punitive damages
from the mayor and city council .as well as the jailor. According to the police sergeant, the idea
of putting the sign on the cell was conceived because some prisoners were under the impression
that they wouldn't be searched for drugs if they told tumkeys that they were infested with
AIDS. By putting a sign on the cell the jail personnel were hoping that the arrested person
would see it and admit that they rlany didn't have AIDS, and to go ahead and search them.
The court held that these facts showed "at most" a "half-baked idea of unknown origin which
terminated at the first inquiry by supervising officials in the police department.• The federal
court granted summary judgment for the mayor, city council and the jailor. State claims that
arose out of the incident were allowed to proceed to trial. (Baltimore City Police Department,
Maryland)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS

Muhammand v. Carlson, 845 F.2d 175 (8th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 1346.
An inmate alleged that he was deprived of a constitutionally protected liberty interest when he
was transferred to, and confined in, a restricted AIDS unit. The appeals court ruled that the
prison regulations for identifying, treating, and isolating prisoners carrying the AIDS virus did
not give the inmate a reasonable expectation that he would not be transferred to the AIDS unit
without a chance to challenge his medical classification and the regulations governing
administrative detention did not apply to medical determinations. The court found that the
true purpose of the transfer was for diagnostic, treatment and security purposes, and although
the inmate was stigmatized by his classification in confinement in restricted unit for inmates
carrying AIDS virus, that stigma arose primarily from public fear of, and misunderstanding
about, disease, not from prison medical officials' misconduct and, therefore, stigma did not
amount to infringement of inmate's constitutionally protected liberty interest. (United States
Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court

Walsh v. Mellas, 837 F.2d 789 (7th.Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 108 S.Ct. 2832. A federal
appeals court found that a state prison's classification and assignment procedures are
unconstitutional insofar as they do not even require a review of an inmate's file before
assigning him a cell or work partner. A prisoner filed suit after he was .assaulted by
his cellmate. The court found that in spite of prison officials' awareness of the general
risk of gang-related violence against individuals targeted by gangs within the prison,
they failed to institute procedures and safeguards in an attempt to determine whether an
inmate to be housed with a gang member is targeted by that gang. (Stateville Correctional
Center, Illinois)

SEPARATION
FAILURE'IO

PROTECT
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

U.S. Appeals Court

TRUSTY

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS

Whittingt.on v. Lynaugh. 842 F.2d 818 (5th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 108. An
inmate's civil rights complaint alleging that prison officials discriminated against him by not
raising him to a trusty level that would have enabled him to have some time out.doors was
frivolous. According to the court, the case was a classic one of an inmate making wholly
unsupported allegations of a minor discrimination against him in his prison status, and then
tying up the courts for three years. The inmate had no factual support for his protest.
Ordering $15 to be withdrawn from a prisoner's prison account to reimburse the court for court
costs incurred in the prisoner's frivolous Section 1983 action, which was based on the claim that
he was not being moved up the trusty ladder as fast as he felt he was entitled to and was
unsupported by facts, was a proper sanction under Rule 11. (Texas Department of Corrections)
Williams v. Armontrout. 852 F.2d 377 (8th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 109 S.Ct. 564. An
inmate filed a pro se complaint, alleging that his due process rights were violated when
he was not returned to the general prison population after confinement in administrative
segregation. A federal appeals court held that prison regulations governing procedures to be
used in determining whether to reclassify prisoner did not create a liberty interest. Department
of Corrections regulations governing procedures to be used in determining whether prisoner
placed in administrative segregation should be returned to general prison population did not
create constitutionally protec:t.ed liberty interest; regulations did not contain any substantive
criteria to be used in deciding whether to reclassify prisoner, but merely established procedures
to be utilized. (Missouri State Penitentiary)

8.20

Stat.e Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
DUE PROCESS

Wolfe v. Stat.e, 759 P.2d 950 (Idaho App. 1988). An inmat.e sought a writ of
habeas corpus challenging his classification in prison. The district court
affirmed the decision of the Magistrat.e dismissing the petition, and the inmat.e
appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision, found that the inmat.e's
due process rights were not violated when the classification committee considered hearsay
mat.erials in the present.ence report in making its classification det.ermination. The prison
classification committee did not act arbitrarily when it ascribed risk points for classification
purposes to an inmat.e who had been charged with escape. The court rejected an argument that
the committee improperly assessed "points" upon the escape charge which had not been tried
and proven. "We cannot say that a committee acts arbitrarily when it ascribes a risk to an
inmat.e who has been charged with escape." The court noted that the committee act.ed only
after the inmat.e had been given notice, a hearing, the right to present his side of the story and
the opportunity to present witnesses on his behalf. (Idaho Stat.e Correctional Institution)

1989
U.S. Appeals Court

POLICY/
PROCEDURE
DUE PROCESS

Abernathy v. Perry. 869 F.2d 1146 (8th Cir. 1989). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
suit claiming his due process rights were violated when he was placed on investigative
status for 35 days. The U.S. District Court dismissed. the action and the prisoner
appealed. The Court of Appeals held that, although the prison policy gave the prisoner
a liberty int.erest in remaining in the general population, his due process rights were not
violat.ed when he apparently failed to receive some of the five-day ext.ension notices necessary to
extend his restrictive confmement to 35 days, affirming the lower court decision. (Tucker
Maximum Security Unit, Dept. of Corr., Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Baptist v. Lane, 708 F.Supp. 920 (N.D. ID. 1989). The U.S. District Court ruled that
inmat.es' due process rights were not violat.ed when they were transferred from a
minimum security farm at a correctional cent.er back into general population of the
maximum security unit. According to the court, no stat.e prisoner has an inherent due process
right either to serve his sent.ence in a particular prison or section of prison or to receive a
particular security classification. The stat.e regulation governing inmat.e transfers effectively
allows prison officials to reassign inmat.es for any reason. Therefore, inmat.es did not have a
justifiable expectation of remaining on the farm to support a due process challenge to their
transfer. Their due process claims were frivolous, and they were not entitled to file a civil
rights action in forma pauperis. (Stat.eville Correctional Cent.er, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Baraldini v. Thomburgh. 884 F.2d 615 (D.C. Cir. 1989). A federal district court's
determination that female inmates' first amendment rights were being violated was
appealed by the defendants. Reversing and remanding the decision of the lower court,
the appeals court found that there was sufficient merit to the placement of the inmates
in the Federal Bureau of Prisons' highest security confinement institution for women. It was
shown that the female inmat.es had associated with gangs and had access to dangerous
weapons. They had helped in prison escapes, and had personally taken part in violent and
criminal activities of those groups before their federal incarceration. It was also det.ermined by
the court that placement of inmat.es in the stated institution "solely" because of their
"subversive statements and thoughts" was clearly erroneous. While inmat.es have a
constitutional right to hold violent or revolutionary views and to maintain memberships in
revolutionary organizations, prison administrators are not required to ignore those views and
memberships when assessing dangers of their escapes from custody with outside help from
those who hold like views an<Vor memberships. (Federal Correctional Institution, Lexington,
Kentucky)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Barfield v. Brierton, 883 F.2d 923 (11th Cir. 1989). A stat.e prisoner brought a civil
rights action against stat.e corrections officials, alleging a violation of his constitutional
rights through his transfer to an adult prison facility in violation of his liberty int.erest
as a youthful offender. The prisoner appealed after the district court granted summary
judgment for correctional officials. The court of appeals reversed the lower court and remanded
the case. The court stated that the prisoner had raised genuine issues of mat.erial fact
regarding the exist.ence of liberty interest in him as a youthful offender, and whether the
transfer violated his liberty int.erest as a youthful offender. (Florida Stat.e Prison)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Bird v. Figel. 725 F.Supp. 406 (N.D. Ind. 1989). Aft.er a civil rights plaintiff was
awarded compensatory and civil damages arising out of his incarceration in the county
lock.up facility, the defendant sheriff and deputy sheriffs moved for judgment notwithstanding
the verdict or, in alternative, a new trial. The district court found that the evidence supported
the jury award and the instruction on punitive damages was

TRANSFER

TRANSFER

TRANSFER

0

8.21

proper. There was testimony that, during the plaintiffs two incarcerations, he was stripped
and given only a white suicide gown to wear. He was placed in a cell with nothing in it but a
steel bed frame, he was told to drink from the toilet, he was ridiculed for being gay and for
having AIDS syndrome, and he was denied access to the telephone and other amenities. The
plaintiff alleged that the conditions of his confinement, pursuant to the sheriffs suicide watch
policy, were unconstitutionally restrictive. He also alleged that correctional officers
intentionally or recklessly violat.ed his constitutional rights during one period of confinement.
As to the allegations pertaining to the correctional officers, the plaintiff specifically alleged that
they denied him water and told him to drink out of the t.oilet, denied him access t.o the
telephone, denied him all personal hygiene effects, denied him visitation, denied him writing
materials and postage, made unauthorized disclosures of the fact that he suffers from AIDSrelat.ed complex and were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.
The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff with an award of $600 compensatory damages
against all three defendants for one period of incarceration, $1000 punitive damages against
two correctional officers for first period of incarceration and $200 compensatory damages
against another correctional officer on the second period of incarceration. (Allen County Lockup
Facility, Indiana)
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS

Bonner v. Arizona Dept. of Corrections. 714 F.Supp. 420 (D. Ariz. 1989). A deaf
inmate brought an action against a state correctional facility alleging deprivation of his
rights under a statute prohibiting discrimination against handicapped persons by programs
receiving federal financial assistance. The U.S. District Court grant.eel summary judgment for
the state, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and
remanded the case. On remand, the District Court found that the Civil Rights Restoration Act,
which defined the term "program or activity" in the Handicapped Act to include all operations of
a department or agency receiving federal funds was entitled to retroactive effect.
Although selection to an honor dorm at the prison is highly discretionary, once the privilege
is conferred, the inmate has specific due process rights governing his removal from the honor
dorm. Where procedural guidelines governing the inmate's removal from the honor dorm used
language of unmistakable mandatory character, there is a requirement that certain procedures
"shall," "will," or "must" be employed. The court found that the inmate had a state-creat.ed
constitutionally protected liberty interest in not being removed from the privilege of living in an
"honor dorm" without due process. Due process required prison officials, because of the fact
that a liberty interest was involved, to inform the prisoner of the charges against him and allow
him to present his views. (Arizona State Prison)

U.S. District Court

Charron v. Medium Sec. Inst., 780 F.Supp. 987 (E.D. Mo. 1989). A former pretrial
detainee brought a civil rights action against the city and staff members of a city
workhouse, alleging various constitutional violations which occurred in connection with
his refusal to work in the kitchen of the workhouse, and the medical treatment that was
afforded him for a workhouse injury. The U.S. District Court found that as a pretrial detainee,
the plaintiff has no claim under the eighth amendment for cruel and unusual punishment,
arising from his being placed in segregation for refusing t.o work in the workhouse kitchen,
however the placement in segregation did amount to punishment in violation of his due process
rights. According to the court, pretrial detainees do not stand on the same footing as convicted
inmates. If pretrial detainees are subjected to restrictions and privations other than those
inherent in their confinement itself or which are justified by compelling necessities of jail
administration, their rights are violated under the due process and equal protection clauses of
the fourteenth amendment. Placing the detainee in segregation was not reasonably related to a
legitimate goal or purpose inasmuch as he did not pose a threat to security. The court found
that he was entitled to nominal damages, since he suffered no actual harm as a result of his
segregation for six days; thus, the plaintiff was awarded the sum of $600 in damages for the six
days in punitive segregation at $100 per day. It was also stated that nothing in the
Constitution requires that pretrial detainees be allowed contact visits when prison
administrators had determined that such visits will jeopardize the security of the facility.
The court also found that the members of the workhouse staff were not entitled t.o qualified
immunity from the civil rights claim; the law clearly established that the unnecessary
imposition of security confinement on a pretrial detainee violated the detainee's rights to due
process. (Medium Security Institution, Missouri)

PRETRIAL

DETAINEE

U.S. District Court

PRCYrECTIVE
CUSTODY

Crozier v. Shillinger, 710 F.Supp. 760 (D. Wyo. 1989). Protective custody inmates
brought an action t.o challenge the suspension of certain opportunities and benefits that
were afforded t.o the general prison population. The defendants moved for a summary
judgment. The District Court found that giving certain benefits and opportunities to the
general prison population without giving those opportunities and benefits t.o protective

8.22

custody inmates was not cruel and url.usual punishment. According to the court, a prisoner has
no absolute constitutional right to visitation. Cancelling some visits for prot.ective custody
inmates due to conflicting visits to prisoners in the general population was constitutional.
Giving the protective custody inmates fewer benefits and opportunities than the general prison
population was not cruel and unusual punishment and did not violate the fourteenth
amendment. The suspension of certain benefits and opportunities represented accommodation
with institutional interest in providing adequate protection to protective custody inmates.
(Wyoming State Penitentiary)
U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE
JUVENILES

Edwards v. Gilbert. 867 F.2d 1271,(llth Cir. 1989). A Section 1983 action was
brought by an estate on behalf of a juvenile who committed suicide while in jail. The
U.S. District Court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment in regard to
counts against them in their individual capacities, and appeal was taken. The appeals court
found that the conduct by jail officials in leaving a seemingly sleeping juvenile inmate, who had
never threat.ened or attempted suicide and who had never been considered a suicide risk, in a
secure cell for 45 minutes with another sleeping juvenile did not constitute deliberate
indifference to the inmate's safety from self-harm. The individual officers were entitled to
immunity from a civil rights action against them arising out of the inmate's suicide. The
prisoner, who was awaiting sent.encing, was not deprived of procedural due process under the
fourteenth amendment by the placement in a particular cell or by the jailer's failure to observe
him for an int.erval of more than 15 minutes. There was no contention that the actions of the
jailers would have been proper if some sort of hearing had preceded the events surrounding the
prisoner's suicide. Statutes and regulations governing the daily operations of county jails did
not give the prisoner a right to an administrative hearing.
Jail officials did not demonstrate a deliberate indifference to the prisoner's safety from selfharm by the fact that the prisoner requested an appointment with the jail psycliologist but that
there was no record that he had seen one. Given the fact that it was not unusual for inmates
to request to see a jail psychologist, the prisoner's request did not put jailers on notice that he
was a potential suicide risk. It was also stated by the court that the failure of the jailers to
adhere to state laws and regulations on the housing of juveniles in adult jails did not
demonstrate a deliberate indifference toward the prisoner's safety from self-harm. In addition,
standing alone, the violation of state laws and regulations requiring the sight and sound
separation of juvenile and adult prisoners was not the basis for establishing a constitutional
violation. (Okaloosa County Jail, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Gitt.ens v. Lefevre. 891 F.2d 38 (2nd Cir. 1989). An inmate brought a civil rights
action against prison officials, alleging that the officials denied him an opportunity to
make a statement challenging his administrative "k.eeplock" until the disciplinary
hearing. The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint, and the inmate appealed. The
appeals court found that prison regulations governing administrative "keeplock" did not meet
minimal due process standards, but the prison officials' reliance on those regulations in
prohibiting the inmate from making a statement was reasonable, entitling the officials to
qualified immunity in the inmate's civil rights action. According to the court, the state prison
officials have a broad administrative and discretionary authority to remove the inmate from the
general prison population for the purpose of ensuring the safety and security of the prison.
Pending an investigation into an alleged disciplinary violation, such confinement is considered
administrative and is not restricted by the fourteenth amendment, unless state law has created
a liberty interest in remaining free from the restraints imposed. (Clinton Correctional Facility,
New York)

U.S. District Court

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

MENTAILYIIL
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
PUNITIVE
SEGREGATION
SEPARATION

8.23

and staffing. The court of appeals also found error with the court's "continuous resort to the
standards articulated by professional agencies in evaluating the constitutionality of the
conditions at Occoquan." (District of Columbia's Occoquan Facility, Lorton Correctional
Complex)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO

PROTECT
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
SEPARATION

Ryan v. Burlington 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 assisted 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 entitled to absolute legislative immunity because the board knew that the county jail
was overcrowded, and the board also was aware that no inmate classifit:ation system separating
known dangerous inmates from others was in 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
detainee'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 detainee'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 any action whatsoever in an attempt to establish such a system
of classification. Sergeants in the county jail were entitled to qualified immunity, insofar as it
was based on overcrowding and the failure to institute a classification system separating
pretrial detainees from dangerous inmates, in view of their lack of authority to remedy
overcrowding or to institute a classification system. (Burlington County Jail, New Jersey)

1990
U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER

Brown v. Cunningham, 730 F.Supp. 612 (D. Del. 1990). An inmate filed a civil rights
action alleging his constitutional rights were violated when he was transferred from
general population to administrative segregation without being given a notice of
opportunity to argue against the transfer. The district court found that the transfer of the
inmate did not implicate any liberty interest and the case was dismissed. Neither the prison
code of penal discipline nor the administrative regulations contained language concerning
administrative segregation but, rather, vested discretion in the Delaware Department of
Corrections to determine the inmate's classification and, thus, did not create a liberty interest
in the inmate's right to be free from administrative segregation. (Delaware Correctional
Center)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Deutsch v. Federal Bureau of Prisons. 737 F.Supp. 261 (S.D.N.Y. 1990). A prisoner
filed a pro se action claiming that his constitutional rights under the eighth
amendment were violated by being assigned to a cellmate who tested positive to HN
antibodies. The district court found that the prisoner failed to present the court with sufficient
facts to allow inference that the decision to house him with the cellmate was a deliberate
indifference to the prisoner's medical needs. The prisoner did not have a clearly established
constitutional right to be informed of whether the assigned cellmate tested positive for HN
antibodies. The court also found that the federal prison officials were shielded from the
prisoner's eighth amendment claim as a result of immunity under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
The prisoner failed to allege any facts to support the finding that prison officials were either
specifically aware that the cellmate might violate prison rules and engage in high-risk behavior
or that they condoned or allowed the violation of these rules, and, thus no basis existed for
concluding that prison officials violated the prisoner's clearly established constitutional rights.
It was noted by the court that behavior resulting in a high risk of transmission of AIDS,
such as sexual behavior between inmates, was prohibited. The prison's policy included a
provision for removing inmates testing positive from the general population when there is
"reliable evidence that their conduct may pose a health risk to other inmates." (Federal
Correctional Institute, Otisville, New York)

8.24

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Farmer v. Moritsugu, 742 F.Supp. 525 (W.D. Wis. 1990). A prisoner who had tested
positive for HIV brought an action alleging violation of his equal protection rights by
prison officials' decision to prevent him from working in food services. The district court found
that the decision to prevent the prisoner from working in food service aft.er he tested positive
for HIV was rationally related to legitimate security and order in the penal institution so the
prisoner's equal protection rights were not violated. (Federal Correctional Institution, Oxford,
Wisconsin)
·

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER

Gomez v. Grossheim. 901 F.2d 686 (8th Cir. 1990). A state inmate brought a civil
rights action against prison officials alleging that he was transferred from a medical
classification center back to a minimum. security institution and ultimately to the
maximum. security unit in retaliation for his refusal to keep a follow-up medical appointment.
The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment for the prison officials and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court found that evidence did not support the inmate's contention
because each transfer was based on understandable prison policy rules and procedures and
because further evaluation could not be pursued at the medical classification center. (Riverview
Release Center, Newton, Iowa; Iowa Medical Classification Center, Oakdale, Iowa)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

Harris v. Thigpen; 727 F.Supp. 1564 (M.D. Ala. 1990), modified, 941 F.2d 1495. Inmates
in the Alabama prison system, who were administratively segregated as Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) carriers, brought action against prison officials alleging that
Alabama's testing of inmates for AIDS upon induction into, and before discharge from, the
penal system violated the Constitution. The district court denied the relief requested and found
that testing did not constitute an unreasonable search or seizure and did not violate the
inmates' privacy rights.
According to the court, Alabama's testing of inmates for Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS) upon induction into, and before discharge from, the state penal system did
not constitute either an unreasonable search and seizure or a violation of the inmates' right to
privacy. The regulations were reasonably related to prime considerations of penal confinement,
safety and security, and there was no alternative method to protect the safety of other inmates
and custodian officers and the security of the institution from the spread of disease.
The preponderance of evidence showed no violation of any rights of inmates who were AIDS
carriers to medical or psychological or psychiatric care and no deliberate
indifference to any serious medical or psychological need in the Alabama prison system. The
prison system was not required to make available every drug or treatment that was being
hailed as a possible cure for a disease considering the expense of the cure and the fact that
Alabama was in a poor financial position to provide treatment. Inmates, who were diagnosed
as AIDS carriers, were not "otherwise qualified handicapped individuals" under the
Rehabilitation Act and reasonable accommodations would not make inmates otherwise qualified
since aft.er reasonable accommodations, significant risk of transmission of the disease would
still exist; therefore, conditions and practices to which seropositive prisoners were subjected did
not constitute discrimination against them as handicapped individuals in violation of the
Rehabilitation Act. On appeal the case was remanded for further consideration. (Alabama
Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE
SEGREGATION

Lewis v. Parish of Terrebonne, 894 F.2d 142 (5th Cir. 1990). The widow and
children of an inmate who committed suicide while placed in solitary
confinement brought a civil rights action against the warden of the jail, the
parish and other defendants. The U.S. District Court entered a judgment in favor of the
plaintiffs, but awarded only punitive damages, and both sides appealed. The appeals court
found that the finding that the warden had been deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious
medical needs was sufficiently supported by evidence. The exclusion of evidence of the
defendants' liability insurance was not an abuse of discretion, notwithstanding that the
plaintiffs had made a punitive damages claun; but the action would be remanded to a district
judge for determination as to damages suffered by the inmate immediately prior to death. A
punitive damages award was sufficiently supported by evidence of the warden's callous
indifference to the inmate's serious medical needs, in failing to deprive him of death dealing
instrumentalities and placing him in solitary confinement even though he knew or should have
known of the inmate's suicidal tendencies. (Terrebonne Parish Jail, Houma, Louisiana)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Madden v. Kemna, 739 F.Supp. 1358 (W.D. Mo. 1990). Consolidated cases
were brought by twenty-five prisoners from Colorado who had been transferred
to Western Missouri Correctional Center from their home state, pursuant to a
contract for imprisonment there. They asserted that they were being held in a protective
custody segregation unit, as requested by them, but without being afforded the same general
privileges provided to the inmates in the general prison population as generally

8.25

mandated by Missouri prison regulations. The district court found that the Missouri prison
violated the prot.ected liberty int.erest of the Colorado prisoners by treating the prisoners
substantially different from Colorado prisoners; the Colorado prisoners were in the Missouri
prison pursuant to a contract, the prison's own regulation required the substantial equality of
prisoners and created a liberty int.erest, and the prison failed to show any security needs for
affording Colorado prisoners fewer privileges than Missouri prisoners. The prison was ordered
to comply with its own regulation requiring substantial equality of privileges among the
prisoners. (West.em Missouri Correctional Cent.er, Cameron)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

McCord v. Maggio, 910 F.2d 1248 (5th Cir. 1990). An inmate at the state
penitentiary brought a civil rights action for prison officials' alleged violation
of his eighth amendment rights in connection with conditions of confinement
and with his classification for imprisonment in a single cell. The U.S. District
Court ent.ered a judgment in favor of the defendants, and the inmate appealed. The appeals
court, affirming in part, reversing and remanding in part, found that the civil rights claim
arising from the conditions of the inmat.e's confinement, including his alleged placement in an
unlighted, windowless cell into which water and human sewage was allegedly allowed to seep,
would be remanded to a magistrat.e for additional fmdings of fact, but the inmat.e was not
denied procedural due process by his initial and ongoing confinement in a closed cell, where a
lockdown review board had considered the inmate's entire record, including the need to prot.ect
him from reprisals or harm from other inmat.es, in ordering assignment, and where the inmat.e's
classification was reviewed every 90 days at a reclassification board hearing of which the
inmat.e was given prior notice. (Louisiana State Penit.entiary)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEPARATION

Port.ee v. Tollison, 753 F.Supp. 184 (D.S.C. 1990), affirmed, 929 F.2d 694. Stat.e prisoners
filed a civil rights action against the South Carolina Department of Corrections and
individual defendants, claiming that a prison policy did not adequat.ely prot.ect them from
the risk of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) virus. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The U.S. District Court found that the Department of Corrections
practices and policies governing the admission of prisoners and handling of prisoners with AIDS
did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The
court found that prisoners who "follow the rules" are "not in significant danger" of contracting
AIDS, and the decisions to not test all inmat.es and to integrat.e HIV-carriers into the general
population were therefore not "deliberat.e indifference" to other inmat.es' serious medical needs.
(Central Correctional Institution, Columbia, South Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Redman v. County of San Diego, 896 F.2d 362 (9th Cir. 1990). A pretrial
detainee who was raped during confinement brought a Section 1983 action
against the sheriff, the supervisor of the detention facility, the second in
command at the facility, the shift supervisor, the station deputy, and the county.
The U.S. District Court directed a verdict in favor of the defendants, and the
detainee appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the lower court decision and found that the
jail officials were not deliberat.e]y indifferent to the detainee's due process right to personal
security. Transferring the 18-year-old pretrial detainee from the "young and t.ender" unit to a
cell with a homosexual and investigating an alleged rape of the detainee by questioning him in
front of the cellmat.e and other inmat.es was not "deliberat.e indifference" to the detainee's due
process right to personal security, even though the jail officials lmew that the cellmat.e had a
history of trying to coerce others into sexual favors. The knowledge about the cellmat.e and the
detainee's profile merely gave jailors a suspicion of a possible attack. (San Diego County's
South Bay Det.ention Facility, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Russ v. Young, 895 F.2d 1149 (7th Cir. 1990). A prisoner brought a Section
1983 action alleging that prison administrators had violated his due process
rights in transferring him to a temporary lockup status. The U.S. District
Court dismissed the defendants from the lawsuit, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court
affirmed the decision, finding that the inmat.e did not have a federal liberty int.erest in
remaining in the general prison population. There is no constitutional right from the due
process clause, in itself, to a particular placement within a single institution. A stat.e regulation
pertaining to the t.emporary lockup of inmates did not place substantive limits on official
discretion sufficient to establish the prisoner's liberty interest in staying out of temporary
lockup, even though the regulation offered prison officials guidelines as to when a prisoner
might be placed in temporary lockup confinement. '!lie regulation employed discretionary
rather than mandatory language. (Waupun Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

8.26

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT
DISCIPLINARY
PROCEDURES

Scott v. Coughlin, 727 F.Supp. 806 (W.D.N.Y. 1990). An inmate filed a prose
civil rights petition alleging that prison officials improperly confined him to
"keeplock" for a total of 14 days. On the inmate's motion for summary
judgment on the issue of improper confinement, the district court found that
the officials' placement of an inmate in "keeplock" without issuing a
misbehavior report or conducting a disciplinary hearing violated the inmate's
due process rights, and the officials were not entitled to qualified immunity for failure to file a
misbehavior report at any point during the inmate's stay in keeplock, which clearly defied welldelineated boundaries of official discretion. The inmate was inexcusably denied an opportunity
to be heard for an "indefinite period of time," particularly absent an allegation of any
circumstances justifying postponement. (Southport Correctional Facility and Elmira
Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Siddiqi v. Lane, 748 F.Supp. 637 (N.D. Ill. 1990). An inmate brought a Section 1983
action alleging a violation of equal protection. On the defendants' motion to dismiss, the
district court found that the inmate, who attempted an escape, was not denied equal protection
by his subsequent security classification as a high escape risk, absent a showing of intentional
or purposeful discrimination in his security classification. (Illinois State Prison System)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Thomas v. Zelez, 731 F.Supp. 1462 (D.Kan. 1990). An inmate brought a civil
rights action alleging his constitutional rights were violated by the reduction
in his custody level during an investigation at the correctional facility. On
the defendants' motion for summary judgment, the district court found that
the inmate, identified as a leader in a white supremacist group, received the full benefit of due
process rights when he was moved from a medium security to a maximum security area in
response to the investigation into supremacist harassment of black inmates. According to the
court there is no constitutional requirement that prisons provide activities for segregated
inmates. Any defects in the custody reduction board proceedings were cured when the decision
of that body was nullified and all permanent records were removed from the inmate's file; and
the inmate, who was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army, stated no equal protection
claim in connection with the rejection of his request for administrative relief from segregation
under the provision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which was only available to
members of the armed forces. {United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Welch v. Sheriff. Lubbock County. Tex .• 734 F.Supp. 765 (N.D.Tex. 1990). An
inmate brought a civil rights action against jail personnel for allegedly placing
him in the same cell as an inmate who had tested positive for Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in an alleged violation of constitutional
rights. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court, granting the motion,
found that the jail authorities did not violate the inmate's constitutional rights simply by
placing him in the same cell as an inmate who had tested positive for AIDS, absent any
allegation or proof of sexual contact among the inmates or other activities that could pose
serious risk of transmission of AIDS, such as sharing of needles for intravenous drug use.
Further, in this instance, the other inmate's positive AIDS test turned out to be a "false
positive" and later tests designed to confirm it showed that he did not, in fact, have AIDS.
(Lubbock County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SPECIAL NEEDS
TRANSFER

Wilson v. Franceschi, 735 F.Supp. 395 (M.D. Fla. 1990). An inmate brought a
pro se action under Section 1983 against the physician at a correctional
institution and the correctional institution's chief classification specialist,
arising from the alleged denial of medical care. The district court found that the
physician was qualifiedly immune from the suit in connection with the inmate's claim that the
delay in receiving the drug zidovudine (AZT) for the treatment of the inmate's early acquired
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related complex (ARC) symptoms constituted cruel and
unusual punishment. At the time, the efficacy of treating early ARC patients with AZT was not
known. The chief classification specialist at the correctional institution was not responsible for
medical transfers and, thus, was immune from action by the inmate alleging that the delay in
transferring him to a facility for the treatment of his early acquired immune deficiency
syndrome (AIDS)-related complex symptoms constituted cruel and unusual punishment under
the eighth amendment. The inmate's it.ching does not constitute a "serious medical need" such
that the failure to treat it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning of the
eighth amendment. (Florida Department of Corrections)

8.2!1

1991
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
DUE PROCESS

Beardsley v. Moore, 765 F.Supp. 560 (E.D. Mo. 1991). A state prisoner brought a civil
rights suit against state prison officials, alleging deprivation of his liberty interest
regarding his classification within the prison. The district court found that the prisoner
did not have a liberty interest in being classified among the general prison population, so as to
assert a due process violation in connection with restrictive classifications imposed upon him,
and the due process rights of the prisoner were not violated by placement in a more restrictive
classification based on five minor violations. While the Inmate Rule Book provided for
reduction of status only after accumulating six or more minor violations, the Rule Book did not
provide policies or procedures regarding classification but rather appeared to govern the
lifestyle of inmates while incarcerated. (Missouri State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Casey v. Lewis, 773 F.Supp. 1365 (D. Ariz. 1991), reversed, 4 F.3d 1516. A class action
suit was brought by prisoners challenging certain prison policies. The district court found
that a policy prohibiting assignment of prisoners to food services who test HIV positive violated
the Rehabilitation Act. The district court found that although a significant risk of transmission
of the AIDS virus could justify exclusion of the infected person from a job for which he or she is
otherwise qualified, based on reasonable medical judgments, there is no significant risk of
transmitting the HIV disease except through: (1) intimate sexual contact with an infected
person; (2) invasive exposure to contaminated blood or certain other bodily fluids; or (3)
perinatal exposure. HIV-positive prisoners are "handicapped" within the meaning of Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act. As such, officials must make an individual determination that
each HIV-positive prisoner presents a significant risk of transmitting the virus if he or she
worked in food services. The appeals court vacated the decision, finding that the plaintiffs
lacked standing. (Arizona Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court .
SPECIAL NEEDS

Crosby v. Reynolds, 763 F.Supp. 666 (D. Me. 1991). A female prisoner at a county jail
brought a Section 1983 action against jail officials for allegedly violating her privacy rights
by placing her in the same cell as a transsexual male prisoner. On the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, the district court found that correctional officials were entitled to qualified
immunity on the inmate's claims. Expert medical opinion informed the jail officials that
housing the transsexual inmate in the female population best satisfied the inmate's unique
psychological needs and there was no risk to the female inmates. The officials were notified
that the inmate, who had received hormonal treatments and developed breasts, but had not yet
undergone a sex change operation, would not be safe, physically or psychologically if placed
with male inmates. According to the court, reasonable officials in their shoes would not
understand that what they did violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiff, therefore, the
defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on the plaintiffs charge that her constitutional
right to privacy was invaded. (Penobscot County Jail, Maine)

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE

Dobson v. Magnusson, 923 F.2d 229 (1st Cir. 1991). The estate of a prisoner brought a
suit against an officer of a state prison for damages resulting from the prisoner's suicide.
The U.S. District Court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendant, and the estate
appealed. The appeals court found that the prison officer's failure to put a suicide watch on the
prisoner when the prisoner returned from a disciplinary board hearing where he was ordered to
serve time in segregation was not deliberate indifference where the officer was given no history
of suicidal tendencies on the part of the prisoner. Moreover, any failure on the officer's part to
order the watch became res inter alios in light of fact that the prisoner was already on a watch
because of the possibility of self-injury, not because of any perceived threat of suicide. The
passage of 45 minutes between the correction officer's successive checks on the prisoner, who
had been placed on a 15-minute watch because of the possibility of self-injury, did not amount
to deliberate indifference. A psychologist, whose notes the officer had read, expressly rejected
the threat of suicide. (Maine State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER

Grayson v. Rison, 945 F.2d 1064 (9th Cir. 1991). A former federal prisoner brought an
action against three prison officials, seeking damages for an allegedly unlawful transfer
between prison facilities. The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment for the
officials based on a finding of qualified immunity, and the former prisoner appealed. The court
of appeals found that the transfer of the prisoner from a less restrictive section to a more
restrictive section did not deny the prisoner due process, and the federal prisoner was not
entitled to notice and a hearing. Placement was a direct result of the prisoner's holdover
status, and the federal prisoner, transferred to the institution for civil depositions, was not
entitled to memorandum and formal review otherwise required. The transfer did not deny the
prisoner due process, although the transfer from one section to another was made without

8.28

procedural safeguards. Whem prison officials have a legitimate administrative authority, such
as discretion t.o move inmates from prison t.o prison or from cell t.o cell, the due process clause
imposes few restrictions on the use of that authority, regardless of what motives are claimed t.o
exist for the transfer. (Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution, California)
U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Harding v. Jones. 768 F.Supp. 275 (E.D. Mo. 1991). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
action against the superintendent of a prison, two guards, and a former caseworker. The
district court found that prison officials did not violate the Eighth Amendment rights of .the
prisoner by allowing him and an inmate with whom he had a dispute t.o remain in the general
prison population; although the prisoner was informed of the availability of protective cust.ody,
the prisoner explicitly rejected it. 'lhis made his decision t.o remain in the general prison
population voluntary. (Moberly Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS

Harris v. Thigpen, 941 F.2d 1495 (11th Cir. 1991). Inmates who had tested positive for
the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) brought a civil rights action challenging
various policies and procedures of the Alabama Depirtmentof'Corrections. Non-HIV general
population inmates intervened as defendants and the case was consolidated with similar actions
pending in various federal courts. The U.S. District Court denied relief and the inmates
appealed. The court of appeals found that, assuming that prisoners who had tested positive for
HIV enjoyed a constitutionally protected privacy interest in preventing non-consensual
disclosure of their HIV-positive diagnoses, such disclosure, as a result of the Alabama DOC
policy of uniformly segregating HIV-positive inmates from the general prison population, did
not violate such prisoners' privacy rights as any such right was outweighed by legitimate
penological interests of the DOC. (Alabama Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
TRANSFER
CLASSIFICATION

Klein v. Pyle, 767 F.Supp. 215 (D. Colo. 1991). A prose inmate brought a Section 1983
action against prison officials alleging a violation of due process and equal protection
rights. The prison officials moved t.o dismiss for failure t.o state a claim. The district court
found that, absent a state-created interest, neither a change in a prisoner's security
classification nor a prisoner's transfer from one prison t.o another implicates a liberty
interest within the meaning of the due process clause. However, it was improper t.o dismiss the
prisoner's civil rights complaint based on the prisoner's placement in a segregation unit of the
medium security facility before correctional officials had answered the prisoner's allegations
that the segregation served no valid administrative purpose and the record failed t.o disclose
whether the prisoner was placed in segregation for administrative or supervisory reasons. In
addition, the prisoner stated a cause of action based on denial of equal protection by alleging
that his case manager t.old him that several prisoners with similar sentences were housed in
the medium security prison, where, under the Colorado Department of Corrections regulation
the prisoners received a notice of the segregation and a hearing but the prisoner had received
neither. Under the department regulation, prisoners and their case managers were also
allowed t.o participate in the reclassification process but the prisoner and his case manager had
not been allowed t.o do so. (Colorado-Department of Corrections)

CRITERIA

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

Nolley v. County of Erie. 776 F.Supp. 715 (W.D.N.Y. 1991). A former inmate infected with
human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) brought an action against a correctional facility and
various facility administrat.ors, alleging constitutional and statutory violations in
connection with her treatment. The district court found that the segregation of the inmate
disclosed confidential HIV-related information about her t.o nonmedical staff in violation of New
York Public Health Law in addition t.o a violation of her Constitutional right t.o privacy. The
segregation policy was not rationally related t.o protection of the general inmate population from
accidental exposure t.o the virus, particularly in light of the fact that many unknown HIV
carriers were likely t.o be integrated int.o the general population at any time. The district court
found that the segregation of the inmate in a ward housing suicidal and psychologically
unstable inmates did not violate the Eighth Amendment. The inmate was housed with inmates
who graphically described their horrible crimes, were suicidal, who demonstrated severe
psychiatric problems, and who were in a state of perpetual trauma, and while the conditions in
the ward were severe, they were not sufficiently traumatic. (Eric County Holding Center, New
York)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINARY
PROCEDURES
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Pardo v. Hosier. 946 F.2d 1278 (7th Cir. 1991). Inmates filed suits alleging that they had
been denied due process in disciplinary proceedings. After the cases were consolidated,
the U.S. District Court granted motions for summary judgment in part and denied motions
in part. The district court entered judgment on a jury verdict awarding an inmate
nominal damages, and appeals were taken. The court of appeals found that state law did
not create a liberty interest in a prisoner remaining in the general prison population, so as to
sustain a claim that his placement in a segregated area of the prison violated his due
~

8.29

process rights. Procedures set forth in regulations were guidelines and did not mandate a
particular outcome if the procedures were followed, or require release from administrative
segregation if procedures were not followed. In addition, another prisoner did not have a
protected liberty interest under state law, protected by the process clause, violated by his
placement in administrative segregation pending a hearing on a charge against him; as the
regulation providing for such placement, while using mandatory language to establish pertinent
criteria for determining whether segregation should be imposed, left the ultimate resolution to
the discretion of prison officials. (Pontiac Correctional Center, Illinois)
U.S. Appeals Court
HOMOSEXUALS

Purvis v. Ponte, 929 F.2d 822 (1st Cir. 1991). A pro se inmate brought an action against
prison officials alleging a violation of the Eighth Amendment based on alleged deliberate
indifference to the need for protection from inmate threats and assaults. The U.S. District
Court dismissed the complaint as frivolous, and the inmate appealed. The court of appeals
found that the inmate failed to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The prison inmate's
allegations that cellmates had exhibited unspecified general "hostility" toward homosexuals,
had assaulted a corrections officer, had refused to live with blacks, or exhibited bizarre behavior
were not, standing alone, sufficient to establish that the inmate was subject to an unreasonable
risk of harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Old Colony Corrections Center,
Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS

Robbins v. Clarke, 946 F.2d 1331 (8th Cir. 1991). A prisoner brought a Section 1983
action alleging conspiracy to conceal the identity of prisoners testing positive for human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), failure
to take precautions to protect healthy prisoners from exposure to HIV, and failure to take
precautions to protect uninfected prisoners from exposure to hepatitis and tuberculosis. The
U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint, and the prisoner appealed. The court of appeals
found that the district court decision that prison conditions, including the presence of HIVpositive prisoners in the general prison population, was not cruel and unusual punishment
collaterally estopped litigation of the issue that the Eighth Amendment was violated by
involuntary and unprotected exposure to prisoners testing positive for HIV, and cause of AIDS
as the issues were the same. Furthermore, the district court decision that evidence failed to
show higher levels of infectious and contagious diseases among inmates collaterally estopped
litigation of the claim that the prisoners' rights were violated by the failure to make an effort to
protect them from exposure to hepatitis and tuberculosis. (Medium Security Unit, Nebraska
State Penitentiary)
·

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Siddiqi v. Lane. 763 F.Supp. 284 (N.D. Ill. 1991). A state inmate filed a prose, in forma
pauperis Section 1983 complaint in connection with upgrading of and failure to reduce his
security classification. The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint sua sponte as frivolous,
ruling that the inmate had no cause of action under Section 1983 in connection with upgrading
of or failure to reduce his security classification, despite the contention that the classification
decisions were motivated by the inmate's political and religious beliefs and legal activities.
Under state law, the inmate had no liberty interest in his security classification, and thus no
action pertaining to classification could be maintained under Section 1983. (Pontiac
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

Stuck v. Aikens, 760 F.Supp. 740 (N.D. Ind. 1991). An inmate sued prison officials,
claiming that his transfer to a prison with greater security and restrictions violated his
constitutional rights. The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court found
that the inmate had no protectable interest in his security classification while in
confinement. In addition, the inmate failed to state a claim of invidious discrimination
under Sections 1985 and 1986 and the Thirteenth Amendment with respect to his transfer to a
prison with greater security and restrictions, as he did not claim to be a member of a racially
protected group, and his status as an inmate was not a substitute for evidence of such a class
membership. It was also found that the transfer did not violate his right under the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. (Indiana State Prison)

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
TRANSFER

U.S. Appeals Court
GUIDELINES
REDUCTION

U.S. v. Gonzalez, 945 F.2d 525 (2nd Cir. 1991). A defendant was convicted of importing
cocaine and the court departed downward from a minimum term proscribed by the
sentencing guidelines. As a result, the government appealed. The court of appeals found
that the trial court's conclusion that the defendant's overall appearance and demeanor made
him unusually vulnerable to physical attack warranting a downward departure from the
sentencing guidelines was not clearly erroneous. The defendant was extremely small and
feminine looking and had an appearance of a 14 or 15-year-old making him unusually
susceptible to prison abuse, even though the defendant was neither gay nor bisexual. (Federal
Bureau of Prisons)

8.30

1992
U.S. District Court

PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

U.S. Appeals Court

PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Banks v. Fauver, 801 F.Supp. 1422 (D. N.J. 1992). An inmate who was placed in
involuntary protective confinement brought an action against prison officials alleging
violation of due process. On the officials' motion to dismiss, the district court found that the
prison officials' reliance on an anonymous caller's tip to support the involuntary protective
confmement of the inmate did not deny the inmate due process. The claims of the anonymous
informant that the inmate was in danger if left in the general population were corroborated by
information that the inmate was involved in drug trafficking, which might be thought to expose
him to the risk of violence from other inmates. In addition, the inmate received notification of
the charges against him and was afforded the opporj;unity to introduce evidence on his behalf.
(Northern State Prison, New Jersey)
Falls v. Nesbitt. 966 F.2d 375 (8th Cir. 1992). An inmate brought a suit against a prison
official for damages for injuries sustained when he was stabbed by a fellow inmate. The
U.S. District Court awarded the inmate damages in the amount of $250 and enjoined the
official from housing protective custody inmates with general population inmates. The prison
official appealed. The appeals court reversed the decision, finding that while the prison official
may have been negligent in placing the inmate in protective custody in a cell with an inmate
from the general prison population, the prison official was not deliberately indifferent to the
inmate's rights. (Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Deparbnent of Corrections)

acticm

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
TRANSFER
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION

Garcia v. Burns, 787 F.Supp. 948 (D. Nev. 1992). An inmate brought a civil rights
alleging that prison officials violated his constitutional rights when he was held in
segregated housing for more than two weeks after being classified to general population
immediately after his transfer to the correctional center. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court found that holding the prisoner in administrative
segregation for more than two weeks did not violate the prisoner's due process rights. The
correctional center had legitimate non-punitive reasons for keeping new transferees in a
designated cell until beds were available in the general population, and the prisoner had
received a classification hearing shortly after his arrival. (Northern Nevada Corr. Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
SEPARATION
FAILURE TO

James v. Milwaukee County. 956 F.2d 696 (7th Cir. 1992). An inmate who was assaulted
by another inmate brought a Section 1983 action against a county and prison official
alleging a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The U.S. District Court entered judgment
for the county and prison official, and the inmate appealed. The court of appeals found
that the county's inmate classification system was not cruel and unusual punishment
under the Eighth Amendment; there was no evidence the defendants were on notice of an
impending risk of harm to the inmate as a consequence of housing parole violators together
with probation violators. (Milwaukee County House of Correction, Wisconsin)

PROTECT

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Jensen v. Gunter, 807 F.Supp. 1463 (D.Neb. 1992). Nebraska inmates brought class
actions under a federal civil rights statute, alleging that the practice of double celling
violated the Eighth Amendment, and that the penitentiary's policy relating to the inmate
liability for contraband in a double cell violated the Fourteenth Amendment's due process
clause. The court found that random placement of new inmates in double cells under volatile
conditions that existed in the penitentiary's main housing units was not a reasonable response
to the persuasive risk of harm to those inmates, and therefore such placement violated the
Eighth Amendment. Information· gathered and compiled during the initial intake of inmates
into state prisons was not considered in the placement of new inmates into double cells, and
such information could be of valuable assistance in predicting compatibility of cellmates.
(Nebraska State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

Moore v. Mabus, 976 F.2d 268 (5th Cir. 1992). A state prisoner brought in forma pauperis
Section 1983 action claiming he had been mistreated because he had the HfV virus
(Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint as
frivolous, and an appeal was taken. The court of appeals, reversing, vacating, and remanding,
found that the claim should not have been dismissed as frivolous. There were instances of
potentially disputed facts resolved against him by the district court. However, the privacy
rights of the prisoner had not been violated by his placement into an area set aside for
prisoners who had tested positive for the virus. The court also found that the prisoner was
entitled to have court appointed counsel, as the type and complexity of issues raised in the
complaint deserved professional development. The complex subject of HfV and AIDS (Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome) management in prison environment was beyond the ability of
the prisoner to investigate adequately, the scope of questions raised and resources required to
pursue questions exceeded the capabilities of the prisoner, and apparently essential testimony
from experts would require a questioner with professional trial skills. (Mississippi State
Penitentiary, Parchman, Mississippi)

8.31

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

Muhammad v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 789 F.Supp. 449 (D.D.C. 1992). An inmat.e sued
the Bureau of Prisons, seeking writ of mandamus compelling the immediat.e removal of all
prisoners from the general inmat.e population who either have Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or have t.est.ed positive for the HIV virus, and the Bureau moved
to dismiss. The U.S. District Court found that the inmat.e was not entitled to a writ of
mandamus as the weight of authority on the issue indicat.ed that the inmat.e was not entitled to
relief in the form of segregation of such prisoners, he failed to show he was entitled to the
extraordinary remedy of mandamus. (United Stat.es Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEPARATION

Myers v. Maryland Div. of Correction, 782 F.Supp. 1095 (D. Md. 1992). Inmat.es brought
an action against the Maryland Division of Correction, regarding a threat of infection with
the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and of spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS) in prison. On motions for summary judgment, the U.S. District Court found
that the policies and programs adopt.ed by Maryland Division of Correction to combat the
spread of HIV and AIDS did not violat.e the right of HIV negative inmat.es to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment to the extent that they did not require mandatory t.esting of all
inmat.es and did not consider an inmat.e's HIV status in making housing and work assignments;
although pervasive risk of harm was present, there was no showing of deliberate indifference.
(Maryland Division of Correction)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION
DISCIPLINE

Nicholson v. Moran, 961 F.2d 996 (1st Cir. 1992). An inmat.e brought an action alleging
that he was deprived of his constitutional rights in violation of Section 1983 and certain
provisions of Rhode Island law. The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint and
appeal was taken. The court of appeals, reversing and remanding, found that the inmat.e,
by way of rules resulting from a consent decree specifying the procedure to be used by Rhode
Island correctional institutions with regard to inmat.e disciplinary actions, had a stat.e-creat.ed
liberty int.erest under the due process clause in remaining in the general prison population and,
thus, the inmat.e's complaint that he was sent.enced to punitive segregation for providing false
information in connection with a complaint he filed stat.ed a claim under Section 1983. (Rhode
Island Adult Correctional Institut.e)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
HOMOSEXUALS
TRANSFER

Taylor v. Foltz, 803 F.Supp. 1261 (E.D.Mich. 1992), affirmed, 14 F.3d 602. A stat.e prison
inmat.e brought a civil rights action against a state prison warden, stat.e prison assistant
resident unit manager, and members of a correctional facility security classification
committee. He alleged denial of en Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment and Fifth and Fourt.eenth Amendment rights not to be subject.ed to
arbitrary and capricious decisions. The warden and committ.ee members moved for summary
judgment. The district court found that a genuine issue of mat.erial fact exist.ed as to whether
the warden's operating procedure in reviewing and authorizing transfers of inmat.es was
defective so as to creat.e an unconstitutional condition under the Eighth Amendment, precluding
summary judgment for the warden on a qualified immunity basis. The court also found that
the classification committee members were entitled to qualified immunity from the stat.e prison
inmat.e's claim that because the inmat.e was mislabeled as a homosexual, he was improperly
classified, transferred, and denied a prison job. The inmat.e had failed to show that the
committ.ee members' conduct violated a right so clearly established that any official in their
position would have clearly understood that he should refrain from such conduct. (Stat.e Prison
of Southern Michigan)

1993
U.S. District Court

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS
SEGREGATION

Arney v. Thornburgh, 817 F.Supp. 83 (D.Kan. 1993). Inmat.es filed a civil rights complaint
alleging race discrimination in•the assignment of inmates to various units. On the
defendants' motion for summary judgment, the district court found that the prisoners
failed to establish race discrimination in the assignment of inmat.es to a unit at the prison
where the Department of Corrections provided a detailed statistical profile of the racial
composition of the entire Kansas prison population, the population at the Lansing facility and
the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. The information provided showed a racial composition of
these areas that was consist.ent with that of the overall inmat.e population. (Lansing
Correctional Facility and the Hutchinson Correctional Work Cent.er)
Camarillo v. McCarthy, 998 F.2d 638 (9th Cir. 1993). A former stat.e inmat.e who was
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive brought a Section 1983 action alleging that
his transfer to a housing unit for HIV-positive inmat.es violat.ed his constitutional rights.
The U.S. District Court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment, and the official
appealed. The appeals court, reversing and remanding, found that the officials were entitled to
qualified immunity from liability on the claim that the transfer to the housing unit violated the
inmat.e's constitutional rights of equal prot.ection, privacy, due process, freedom from cruel and
unusual punishment, and freedom of association, as any such rights that the inmat.e had were
not clearly established at the relevant time. (California Stat.e Prison)

8.32

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERI'Y INTEREST
POLICY/
PROCEDURE

Casey v. Lewis. 837 F.Supp. 1009 (D. Ariz. 1993). Inmates brought an action against
prison officials alleging due process violations. The district court found that inmate
classification and administrative segregation policies did not create liberty interests for
inmates in a particular classification, in not having the classification score increased, or in
remaining in the general population. Liberty interest in being free from administrative
segregation is not created even when administrative segregation involves severe hardships.
These hardships may include denial of access to educational, recreational, vocational and
rehabilitative programs, confinement to cells for long periods, or restrictions in exercise
privileges. Even if the inmates had such a liberty interest to be in the general population and
free from administrative segregation and to not have their classification scores increased, it was
found that prison officials provided the inmates with sufficient due process: (1) every six
months, the institutional classification committee OCC) conducted classification hearings for
each inmate; (2) the inmate was notified of the hearing and had an opportunity to provide a
statement or witnesses' statements; (3) the ICC decision was reviewed by the warden or
administrator of the facility and by central classification before it was implemented; (4-) the
inmate was then provided with a written notice of the determination; (5) the inmate could
appeal the final determination made by central classification to the administrator of the bureau
of offender services; and (6) the bureau had the authority to uphold or modify the classification
or to order a rehearing. (Arizona Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Crane v. Logli. 992 F.2d 136 (7th Cir. 1993), cerl denied. 114- S.Ct. 24-5. A prisoner sued
prison officials under Section 1983 for violation of his due process rights. The U.S. District
Court dismissed the complaint, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court found that
the prisoner's continued incarceration in a maximum security prison, after reversal of his
conviction for murder but before the reviewing court issued its mandate, did not violate due
process, as he did not have a liberty interest in the type of prison for his incarceration. He
continued to be a convicted prisoner and had not become a "pretrial detainee." Furthermore,
the decision of Illinois Department of Correction officials to hold the prisoner at the maximum
security prison until the Supreme Court issued its mandate following reversal of the conviction
did not violate any of the prisoner's constitutional rights. The decision was a management
decision within the scope of the officials' discretion. (Joliet Correction Center, Illinois)

CRITERIA
TRANSFER

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Goss v. Sullivan, 839 F.Supp. 1532 (D.Wyo. 1993). An inmate who had been attacked by
an inmate infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) brought a civil rights
action against various officials claiming violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
rights. The district court found that the complaint failed to state a claim for violation of equal
protection and the plaintiff inmate failed to establish a requisite deliberate indifference to a
pervasive risk of harm necessary to show a violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Wyoming
State Penitentiary, Rawlins)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
TRANSFER

Harrison v. Raney. 837 F.Supp. 875 (W.D. Tenn. 1993). A prison inmate brought a civil
rights action asserting claims that he was transferred and reclassified without a hearing.
On motion of defendants for summary judgment, the district court found that Tennessee
Department of Corrections (TDOC) regulations did not create a liberty interest requiring
state officials to afford any due process under the Fourteenth Amendment before either
reclassification or transfer of inmates. Even if the regulations required hearings to follow
certain procedures, they lacked any mandatory language that would require the warden to base
a decision on any particular criteria, and unlimited discretion was explicitly conferred on the
warden. Even if some types of transfers of inmates required security reclassification and due
process protections, population management transfers did not, under the Tennessee regulation.
(Lake County Regional Correctional Facility, Tiptonville, Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Johnson v. U.S., 816 F.Supp. 1519 (N.D. Ala. 1993). An inmate brought an action against
the Federal Bureau of Prisons and prison officials, alleging violation of his Eighth
Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. On the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, the district court, adopting a report and recommendation of a U.S.
Magistrate Judge, found that the inmate failed to show an Eighth Amendment violation
concerning his being housed in the same cell with an inmate who was dying from acquired
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). All examples listed as means by which the inmate feared
he may have contracted AIDS were based on unsubstantiated fears and ignorance. In addition,
the inmate presented no facts or allegations supporting an inference of deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs or a culpable state of mind on the part of the prison officials.
(Federal Correctional Institute, Talladega, Alabama)

8.33

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Marcussen v. Brand.stat, 836 F.Supp. 624 (N.D. Iowa 1993). An inmate filed a Section
1983 civil rights action against a warden of a correctional facility and a lieutenant and
nurse employed at the facility. He alleged that his constitutional rights were violated
when prison officials assigned a HIV-positive (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) inmate to his
cell and allowed that inmate to use his toiletries. The defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment. The district court found that the defendants were entitled to summary
judgment on the inmate's allegations that he was exposed to the risk of contracting AIDS from
the use of his drinking cup and cigarette roller by the allegedly HIV-positive inmate because
the possibility of transference of AIDS through these means was too remote. The defendants
were granted summary judgment on the inmate's claim that simply housing him with an
allegedly HIV-positive inmate violated his constitutional rights. The defendants were granted
summary judgment on the inmate's claim of exposure to pervasive risk of harm from allowing
other inmates to use sharp objects, such as a razor, that could cause blood-to-blood transmission
of HIV, because rules were in place at the correctional facility prohibiting behavior by inmates
that could result in exposure to AIDS or HIV and stating that inmates were responsible for
their personal property. The defendants were granted summary judgment on the basis of
qualified immunity since the officials' behavior was in line with standards stated in existing
precedent, and so could not have violated the clear contours of any of the inmate's rights.
(North Central Correctional Facility, Rockwell City, Iowa)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIBERTY INTEREST
SEGREGATION

Smith v. Noonan, 992 F.2d 987 (9th Cir. 1993). An inmate in the Washington State
Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 action against prison officials for violation of his liberty
interest after he was placed in administrative segregation during an investigation of
allegations that he had threatened another inmate and a corrections officer. The U.S. District
Court granted summary judgment to prison officials, and the inmate appealed. The appeals
court, affirming the decision, found that the Washington Administrative Code providing for
segregation of an inmate if, in the superintendent's judgment, his presence in the general
population would be a serious threat to others or himself, did not create a liberty interest
requiring the inmate to remain in the general prison population. (Washington State
Penitentiary)
1994

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
DUE PROCESS

Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 1994). A death row inmate filed a Section 1983
action against prison officials. The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment on the
prisoner's claim that he was denied due process when he was given a Grade B
classification. The inmate appealed. The appeals court found that the inmate's due process
rights were not violated by the prison classification committee's administrative decision to
reclassify him. The inmate could be reclassified from Grade A to Grade B for possessing inmate
manufactured alcohol and being affiliated with a prison gang. (San Quentin State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Caraballo-Sandoval v. Honsted, 35 F.3d 521 (11th Cir. 1994). A prisoner brought a civil
rights action against prison officials. The U.S. District Court dismissed the action and the
prisoner appealed. The appeals court found that the prisoner neglected to apply for any
administrative remedy after his placement in a dry cell for allegedly receiving contraband from
a visitor and, therefore, he failed to exhaust administrative remedies for the incident. (Federal
Correctional Institution, Marianna, Florida)

U.S. Supreme Court
TRANSSEXUAL

Farmer v. Brennan, 114 S.Ct. 1970 (1994). A prisoner who was transsexual brought a
Bivens suit against prison officials, claiming that officials showed "deliberate indifference"
by placing the prisoner in the general prison population, thus failing to keep him from harm
allegedly inflicted by other inmates. The U.S. District Court entered judgment for the officials
and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed and certiorari was granted. The
Supreme Court, vacating and remanding, found that prison officials may be held liable under
the Eighth Amendment for denying humane conditions of confinement only if they know that
inmates face a substantial risk of serious harm and disregard that risk by failing to take
reasonable measures to abate it. Remand would be required to determine whether prison
officials would have liability, under the above standards, for not preventing harm allegedly
occurring in this case. (Federal Correctional Institute, Oxford, Wisconsin and United States
Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Galvan v. Carothers, 855 F.Supp. 285 (D.Alaska 1994). A female inmate who was placed
on an all male wing of a prison brought an action against prison officials, alleging
violations of her constitutional rights. The officials moved for summary judgment. The district
court granted the motion, finding that Alaska regulations and prison policies did not give the
inmate a liberty interest in her right to classification hearings for purposes of her procedural
due process claim. Also, the female inmate's right not to be housed on the

8.34

all male wing was not clearly established at the time of the alleged wrongful conduct by officials
for purposes of qualified immunity. (Lemon Creek Correctional Center, Alaska)
U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST

Griffin-El v. Delo. 34 F.3d 602 (8th Cir. 1994). An inmate brought a Section 1983 action
against a prison superintendent, alleging that his due process rights were violated when
the superintendent reduced him to medium custody before referring the matter to the
classification committee for recommendation. The U.S. District Court dismissed the action and
the inmate appealed. The appeals court found that the superintendent's failure to wait for a
recommendation did not violate due process. Although the inmate had a protected liberty
interest in his classification status, the inmate was given notice and an opportunity to speak
and present witnesses before the adjustment board. (Potosi Correctional Center, Mineral Point,
Missouri)

U.S. District Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Hill v. Davidson. 844 F.Supp. 237 (E.D. Pa. 1994-). The district court found that an
indigent inmate, who claimed that he was denied employment in the prison because of his
race, presented a claim of arguable merit. However, the inmate did not show sufficient
"special circumstances" to warrant appointment of counsel. (Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE'fO

Schwartz v. County of Montgomery, 84-3 F.Supp. 962 (E.D.Pa. 1994) affirmed 37 F.3d ·
14-88. An inmate brought claims under Section 1983 and Pennsylvania law against a
county correctional facility and its employees. The district court found that the defendants
were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate'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 resulted in the attempted
strangulation of the inmate by a prisoner who was known to be extremely dangerous and who .
should have not been allowed to leave bis cell unescorted, the policies and procedures did not ·
cause the hann suffered by the inmate. According to the court, failure to communicate 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)

PROTECT

POLICY/
PROCEDURE

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
LIBERTY INTEREST
REGULATIONS

Slezak v. Evatt, 21 F.3d 590 (4-th Cir. 1994-) U.S. cert. denied 115 C.Ct. 235. Inmates in the
South Carolina prison systAml sued prison officials under Section 1983 alleging that
their constitutional rights were violated by their security classifications. The U.S. District
Court dismissed the suit and the inmates appealed. The appeals court, affirming the decision,
found that state statutes creating and defining the power of the South Carolina Department of
Corrections did not create a liberty interest in custody or security classifications protectible
under the due process clause. Furthermore, a consent decree settling a class action suit
brought by inmates to rectify prison conditions in South Carolina did not create a protected
liberty interest with respect to custody and security classifications for purposes of Section 1983.
The operational classification regulations which the state prison officials put in place, with prior
court approval, pursuant to obligations imposed by the consent decree, did not create a
protected hberty interest in an inmate's security and custody classifications. (Kirkland
Correctional Institution, South Carolina)

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
SEGREGATION

Sockwell v. Phelps, 20 F.3d 187 (5th Cir. 1994). Inmates filed a Section 1983 action
against former Louisiana prison officials alleging that the general policy of segregating
two-person cells violated equal protection. The U.S. District Court found for the inmates
and cross appeals were taken. The court of appeals found that a general policy of racially
segregating two-person cells at the state penitentiary violated equal protection, despite the
contention that security and discipline concems demanded segregation. Offending prisoners
responsible for violence should be disciplined individually, and any segregation to prevent racial
violence must be based on an individualized analysis. (Louisiana State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
SEPARATION
SPECIAL NEEDS

Young v. Larkin. 871 F.Supp. 772 (M.D. Pa. 1994-). affirmed, 4-7 F.3d 1163. A pretrial
detainee filed a civil rights action against prison officials complaining about treatment
during pretrial det.ention. On the defendants motion for summary judgment the district
court found that the prison officials' decision to hold the pretrial detainee in restricted
housing was justified by legitimate institutional security concerns. The detainee's conduct
raised serious concerns about the suitability of his release to the general population when he
engaged in a hunger strike which caused his transfer from a restricted housing unit to a
psychiatric observation room. It suggested possibilities the detainee might be seeking to harm
himself or to disrupt institutional operations, and prison officials received warnings from law
enforcement officials about the security threat posed by the detainee. (State Correctional
Institution, Dallas, Pennsylvania)
1995

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS

Anderson:!· Romero. 72 F.3d 518 (7th Cir. 1995). An inmate who was infected with the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sued prison officials alleging violation of his constitutional right
of privacy and the Illinois AIDS Confidentiality Act. 'Ihe district court denied the officials'
motion to dismiss and they appealed. 'Ihe appeals court found that the inmate's claim
8.35

regarding disclosure of his HIV status to other inmates or prison staff and other measures
taken against him on the basis of his HIV status was barred by the doctrine of official
umnunity. The court noted that HIV-positive inmates can be segregated from the rest of the
population, in view of the prevalence of HIV in prisons, the amount of violence and homosexual
intercourse. (Stateville Penitentiary, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
Benyi v_. Broome County N.Y., 887 F.Supp. 395 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). A state inmate filed pro se
SEX OFFENDERS
federal civil rights claims against local and county officials alleging failure to adequately protect
FAILURE TO PROTECT his personal security. The court found that the inmate raised triable issues of fact for his claim
that officials were deliberately indifferent to his safety. Another inmate had threatened to kill
the plaintiff because of sex crimes charged against him; the plaintiff was moved to another part
of the facility and other inmates were told that the plaintiff was charged with burglary. The
plaintiff sent three notes about "potential trouble" to the facility main desk and shortly
thereafter he was assaulted by another inmate, knocked unconscious for an hour, and suffered
injuries to his ear, eye and trachea. The inma.te had also received a threatening letter from
"vigilantes" in the facility. (Broome County Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
TRANSFER
SPECIAL NEEDS

Clarkson v. Coughlin, 898 F.Supp. 1019 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). Male and female deaf and hearingimpaired inmates sued correctional officials alleging failure to accommodate their hearing
impairments in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
due process, and the Eighth Amendment. The inmates also alleged violation of equal protection
because male inmates were granted access to a sensorially disabled unit, but not females. The
district court found that the defendants violated all statutes and constitutional provisions under
which the inmates had sought relief, warranting declaratory and injunctive relief. The court
found that deaf and hearing-impaired inmates had a parole-related liberty interest at stake
entitled them to the presence of a qualified interpreter at hearings and other proceedings.
The court found that the defendants violated the Rehabilitation Act and ADA by conducting
disciplinary, grievance and parole hearings for deaf and hearing-impaired inmates without
affording them interpretive services or assistive devices necessary to render their opportunity
to be heard meaningful.
The court held that even if all of the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired inmates were met
at a sensorially disabled unit at one prison, the defendants violated their rights under the
Rehabilitation Act and ADA by transferring them to other facilities for disciplinary, safety
anc:Vor medical reasons. Also, the court found that the fact that there were more male deaf and
hearing-impaired inmates requiring services than female did not justify the fact that many
male inmates--but no female inmates--had access to a prison's sensorially disabled unit.
(New York Department of Correctional Services)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Cody v. Jones, 895 F.Supp. 431 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). An inmate brought a § 1983 action alleging
violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court held that
although the inmate did not always receive all of the conditions of confinement for protective
custody inmates, the conditions of his confinement did not present a dramatic departure from
the basic conditions of his sentence so as to give rise to a due process violation. The inmate
alleged that he did not always receive some of the conditions that were intended for protective
custody inmates, such as two meals out-of-cell per day and three hours of out-of-cell time per
day. (Great Meadow Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

Franklin v. Barry, 909 F. Supp. 21 (D.D.C. 1995). Hispanic prisoners incarcerated in District of
Columbia correctional institutions sought equitable relief, declaratory judgment and damages
from alleged violations of their constitutional rights by a policy that denies alien prisoners
transfers to minimum security facilities. The district court found that the policy, which was
based on alienage, was not discriminatory, but also that class certification was appropriate for
the purpose of other claims raised by the prisoners. The court noted that the prisoners had
alternative means to challenge INS detainers and that transfer to a minimum security facility
was not a protected liberty interest. (District of Columbia correctional facilities)

RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
TRANSFER

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Fuller v. Rich, 925 F.Supp. 459 (N.D.Tex. 1995). An inmate brought a suit against employees
of the Bureau of Prisons alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The district court
granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, finding no constitutional violation. The court held
that the inmate's job reassignment from food preparation to a dishroom was rationally related
to the legitimate penological purpose of prot:ecting the inmate from possible harm at the hands
of other inmates, where other inmates made derogatory comments to prison officials regarding
the inmate's homosexuality and there were rumors the inmate was infected with the HIV virus.
The court not.eel that compelling prison inmates to fulfill work requirements does not violate an
inmate's constitutional rights. (Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas)

U.S. Appeals Court
SMOKING
SEPARATION

Goffman v. Gross, 59 F.3d 668 (7th Cir. 1995). A state prison inmate filed a§ 1983 action
against correctional officers alleging deliberate indifference to his immediate medical needs.
The district court entered judgment for the officers and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court found that the inmate failed to establish that his exposure to his c:ellmate's cigarett.e
smoke and the officers' refusal t.o assign him a nonsmoking cellmate constituted deliberate
indifference. The court noted that the sole testifying physician offered the opinion that because
the inmate was cured of lung cancer after the prior surgical removal of a lung, cigarette smoke

8.36

affected him no more than any other prisoner. (Menard Correctional Cent.er, Illinois)
U.S. District Court

PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
DUE PROCESS

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO

PROTECT

PRETRIAL

DETAINEE
SEPARATION

~ y. Coughlin. 885 F.Supp. 42 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). An inmat.e who had been convicted of the
murder of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found mutilated challenged the decision of prison
officials to place him in involuntary protective custody (IPC). A stat.e court ordered that the
inmat.e be transferred to the general population and the inmat.e brought a federal civil rights
action against prison officials. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants, finding that the periodic reviews of the inmat.e's IPC status were meaningful. The
court also found that the inmat.e's due process rights were not violated by his continued IPC
status because the inmat.e was presented with a written explanation that his placement was
due to the threat posed by his presence in the general population due to the heinous nature of
his crime, and the inmat.e was provided with separat.e written explanations each time he
prot.ested his status. (Auburn Correctional Facility, New York)

Hale v. Tallapoosa County. 50 F.3d 1579 (11th Cir. 1995). A pretrial detainee filed a
Section 1983 action against a county, its sheriff and a jailer arising from an alleged
beating of the detainee by other inmat.es in a group cell. The U.S. District Court ent.ered
summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals.
court, affirming in part, reversing in part and remanding, found that evidence that the
jailer failed to check on the group cell during the hour between the last check and the
beating was not sufficient to show deliberat.e indifference and causation necessary to hold the
jailer individually liable for the detainee's injuries. However, genuine issues of mat.erial fact
existed, precluding summary judgment for the sheriff and the county, on whether conditions of
the cell subjected the detainee to a substantial risk of serious harm, whether the sheriff. was
deliberat.ely indifferent to the risk, and whether the beating of the detainee was caused by the
excessive risk of violence in the group cell resulting from an atmosphere of deliberat.e
indifference. The evidence showed that the jail was overcrowded during the time in question.
In addition, the sheriff testified that he knew of inmat.e violence during periods of overcrowding
and that incidents had required hospitalization of inmat.es. Although the sheriff worked toward
the construction of a new jail, the existing jail had no policy for classifying and segregating
inmat.es, the jailer had received no professional training, and the jailer was stationed out of
eyesight and earshot of the cell. Cl'allapoosa County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
RECLASSIFICATION
CUSTODY LEVEL

Hall v. Griego, 896 F.Supp. 1043 (D.Colo. 1995). An inmat.e brought an action against prison
officials alleging violation of his rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The district court found that the inmat.e stated a claim for violation of his rights under RFRA in
being prohibited from wearing headgear and being transferred aft.er conducting religious
services. The court held that mat.erial questions of fact precluded summary judgment on
whether the inmat.e's transfers were retaliatory. The court noted that if a second correctional
facility offers fewer or inferior opportunities for religious practice, the transfer of an inmat.e to
that facility may be punitive, so as to be impermissible retaliation. The court found that
reclassification of the inmat.e's security status did not trigger constitutional due process.
(Colorado Stat.e Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION

Jones v. Moran. 900 F.Supp. 1267 (N.D.Cal. 1995). A prisoner brought a civil rights suit
against prison officials based on his confinement in a secured housing unit beyond his
scheduled release dat.e. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants,
finding that procedures employed in the prisoner's segregation did not violat.e due process and
his liberty int.erest was not infringed by retention in a secured housing unit beyond his
scheduled release dat.e. The prisoner was not transferred out of the secured housing unit until
two months aft.er a Classification Security Representative approved the move. (Secured
Housing Unit at Pelican Bay, California)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
REGULATIONS

Knox v. Lanham. 895 F.Supp. 750 (D.Md. 1995). A prisoner serving a life sentence with the
possibility of parole brought an action against stat.e corrections officials and parole
commissioners alleging constitutional violations and seeking injunctive, declaratory, and
monetary relief. The district court held that a corrections directive that moved inmat.es serving
life sent.ences to higher security, combined with the parole commission's refusal to recommend
parole unless inmat.es were on active work release--which required lower security classUication.
constituted retroactive ''punishment" in violation of the ex post facto clause. The court noted
that an unwritten policy of the parole commission requiring inmat.es to be on active work
release was "law" for ex post facto purposes where the state had not disavowed the policy nor
could the policy be deemed solely interpretive. The court found, however, 1hat the ~ a l of
inmates from family leave and work release programs, their transfer from prerelease facilities,
and their increased security levels did not violat.e equal protection. (Maryland Division of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Long v. N°JX. 877 F.Supp. 1858 (S.D. Iowa 1995). A prisoner claiming to be a transsexual
brought a Section 1983 action against prison officials seeking to have appropriat.e living
conditions and medical treatment provided for him. The district court fowid that 1he
denial of desired accommodations and medical trea1ment did not constitut.e cruel and unusual
punishment. The prisoner's transsexualism t.endencies did not constitut.e a sufficient gender
identity disorder to creat.e a serious medical need for which treatment was mandated under the

TRANSSEXUAL

8.37

Eighth Amendment. An experienced physician who examined the prisoner concluded that his
desires to cross-dress and anxieties regarding his sexual identity could be controlled by drugs.
In addition, the prisoner had not requested a sex change operation and the staff had not shown
deliberate indifference to the condition. The court also found that placing the ·prisoner claiming
to be a transsexual in an "inappropriate" facility and denying him desired medical treatment
without giving him an opportunity to be heard did not violate his Fourteenth Amendment due
process rights. Also, the inmate had no Fourteenth Amendment due process right to a
particular prison classification or status. Prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on
the claim by the inmate that he was denied a separate classification to accommodate his needs.
Officials did not violate any clearly established constitutional rights of which reasonable prison
officials would have known, as the claimant had no right to any particular medical treatment or
to be classified in a certain way. (Iowa State Penitentiary)
U.S. District Court
GANGS
SEGREGATION

Madrid y. Gomez, 889 F.Supp. 1146 (N.D.Cal. 1995). Inmates brought a class action suit
challenging conditions of confinement at a new high-security prison complex in California. The
district court found for the plaintiffs in the majority of issues 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 persons--including the 'worst of
the worst'--retain under ... our Constitution." The court held that the fact that a prison may be
new does not excuse its obligation to operate it in a constitutionally acceptable manner. The
court held that prison inmates established prison officials' deliberate indifference to the use of
excessive force by showing that they knew that unnecessary and grossly excessive force was
being employed against inmates on a frequent basis and that these practices posed a
substantial risk of harm to inmates. 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 and deterrence. The court upheld the prison's efforts to identify and separate gang
members, finding that inmate'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 opportunity to present their views to the institutional gang
investigator (IGI) and the IGI was the critical decision-maker in the process. Also, although
some 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, Calif.)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Nealy. Shimoda, 905 F.Supp. 813 (D.Hawai'i 1995). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against
prison officials alleging that their labeling of him as a "sex offender" violated his constitutional
rights. The inmate had been compelled to participate in a sex offender treatment program,
which required the inmate to admit his guilt. The inmate had refused to admit his guilt,
affecting his chances for parole and preventing him from being transferred to a minimum
security facility. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, finding that
the inmate had no constitutional liberty interest in a furlough or in freedom from being
classified as a sex offender. The court ruled that the prison's policies did not create a protected
liberty interest and that placement of the inmate in the prison's sex offender treatment program
did not violate equal protection or the Eighth Amendment. The court also found that
classifying the inmate as a sex offender, and its affect on the inmate's potential transfer to a
minimum security facility and granting of a furlough, were not improper ex post facto laws.
The court noted that even if an inmate was not convicted of any sex offense, the state had a
legitimate interest in denying untreated sex offenders parole, furlough and minimum security
classification based on their high rate of recidivism. The sex offender treatment program was
not overbroad by including inmates who engaged in sexual misconduct during the course of
nonsexual offenses. Denying the inmate parole or transfer to a minimum custody facility
because he refused to admit guilt, which was the first step necessary for completion of the sex
offender treatment program, did not violate the inmate's right against self-incrimination as the
program was not a proceeding in which the answers could incriminate the inmate in future
criminal proceedings. The program's requirement that the inmate not be in denial about his
crime did not violate his Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled testimony in light of
the recognition that rehabilitation, including acceptance of responsibility, is an important
sentencing consideration. (Halawa Correctional Facility, Hawai'i)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
SEGREGATION

Nettles v. Griffith, 883 F.Supp. 136 (E.D. Tex. 1995). A prisoner who was placed without
a hearing in administrative segregation in a section of the jail designated primarily for the
mentally imbalanced brought a Section 1983 action against the county sheriff and other
officials. The district court found that the prisoner had a protected liberty interest in
remaining in the general jail population, as opposed to administrative segregation. A jail
official t.estified that, under the jail's rules, regulations, and practices, a notice and a hearing
preceding administrative segregation was mandatory or expected. However, the prisoner's
consultation with a jail official prior to being placed in administrative segregation did not

8.38

constitute a hearing comporting with due process requirements. The official did not consider
her discussion with the prisoner to be a disciplinary hearmg, the prisoner never received even
an informal notification of charges against him, and the nature of the charges was uncertam
even at the time of the trial. Evidence supported a finding that a police lieutenant ordered the
prisoner to administrative segregation, and thus committ.ed a deliberate and mtentional act
withm the purview of Section 1983. Although the lieutenant stated that she did not order the
prisoner to administrative segregation, her statement conflicted with another officer's testimony
and with the lieutenant's earlier testimony, and another officer testified that he understood that
the prisoner was bemg placed m administrative segregation on the lieutenant's orders. The
district court found that the appropriate damage award for the prisoner was $50 per day of
segregation. (Jefferson County Detention Center, Beaumont, Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSFER
CUSTODY LEVEL

Pratt y. Rowland, 65 F.3d 802 (9th Cir. 1995). A prisoner filed a § 1983 action agamst prison
officials, alleging their transfer of him from one prison to another and his placementm a double
cell was in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights. The district court granted
a preliminary injunction agamst the inmate, which the appeals court reversed and remanded.
The appeals court held that the prisoner failed to establish that the transfer was retaliatory
and was not justified by neutral institutional objectiv.es, The, prison.er had given an interview
to a television network and had been successful in previous lawsuits agamst prison officials; the
interview occurred after the officials had met to transfer the prisoner, and there was no
evidence that officials at the new prison who placed the inmate in a double cell were aware of
the interview. (Mule Creek Prison, Califomia)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSFER
CUSTODY LEVEL

Schroeder y. McDonald, 55 F.3d 454 (9th Cir. 1995). An inmate filed a prose civil rights action
alleging he was transferred in retaliation for filing a civil rights action agamst a prison guard. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment in part and the
appeals court reversed m part and remanded. The appeals court found that the prison officials
were entitled to qualified immunity and that state prison regulations generally requiring that •
an inmate be held in the least restrictive level of confinement did not give rise to any liberty
interest protected by due process. The court noted that evidence showed that the inmate was
disrupting internal discipline during his first 16 days after transfer to a minimum security
facility and that he was creating an excessive burden on staff by constantly demanding access
to the law library and continuously requesting legal materials. The inmate was transferred
back. to the medium security facility from which he had come, and the court found that inmate
had no constitutional right to remam m a facility which corresponded to the risk level at which
he had been classified. (Hawai'i Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERrY INTEREST

Treadwell v. Murray, 878 F.Supp. 49 (E.D. Va. 1995). A state inmate brought a Section
1983 action agamst supervisory prison personnel and an unknown physician. On a motion
to dismiss, the district court found that the state inmate's broad allegations that
supervisory prison personnel deprived him of a safe and rehabilitative environment by failing to
oversee employees failed to state a Section 1983 claim based on supervisory liability where the
inmate's claim focused on the single event of an unknown physician's alleged inappropriate
initial medical classification of the inmate. In addition, neither the due process clause nor state
statutes or regulations conferred upon the inmate a protected liberty interest in a particular
classification. (Field Unit #30, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court

Williams y. Ramos, 71 F.3d 1246 (7th Cir. 1995). An inmate sued prison officials alleging due
process and Eighth Amendment violations. The district court granted summary judgment for
the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed the lower court decision. The
court found that the inmate's 19-day segregation in a closed-front cell for 24 hours per day was
not an atypical, significant deprivation that violated the inmate's rights. While in segregation
the inmate was not allowed to participate in activities available to the general population,
lacked much contact with other inmates or staff, and was handcuffed whenever he left his cell.
The inmate had a medical certificate stating he should be assigned a lower bunk; prison
officials offered him an upper bunk m a protective custody unit or a lower bunk in a segregation unit. The inmate chose the lower bunk. The court found that prison officials did not cause
the inmate needless pam and suffering nor did they place him in an impossible situation in
which he could not avoid pam or permanent injury. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois)

LOWER BUNK

1996

U.S. Appeals Court

GANGS

TRANSFER

Babcock. v. White, 102 F.3d 267 (7th Cir. 1996). A prisoner brought a Bivens claim
against prison officials alleging violation of his rights as the result of his retention in
administrative segregation and delays in transferring him to another facility. The
prisoner had requested a transfer to another prison because of gang members who had
threatened to kill him. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and
the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the
case. The appeals court held that prison officials did not violate the prisoner's Eighth
Amendment rights or due process rights by keeping him in the facility despite his fear of
physical harm, because no harm was inflicted and there was no indication of malice on the part
of the officials. The court noted that the prisoner had originally requested placement in
administrative segregation and therefore could not claim that he was deprived of the
opportunity to earn good time credits. But the appeals court found that the prisoner had stated
8.39

a claim that the officials had acted in retaliation for the prisoner's right to petition for redress
of grievances, precluding summary judgment. The court also held that the officials were not
entitled to qualified immunity. In its decision, the appeals court stat.ed "John Babcock is living
proof of the dangers that prison gangs pose to inmates, and of the logistical nightmare they
creat.e for prison administrators." Babcock had claimed that he was held in administrative
segregation for ten months while the officials processed his request to be transferred to another
prison. (Unit.ed Stat.es Penit.entiary, Terre Haut.e, Indiana)
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Christianson v. Clarke. 932 F.Supp. 1178 (D.Neb. 1996). A stat.e inmat.e brought a§ 1983
action against prison officials alleging violation of his Fourth Amendment due process rights.
The inmat.e had been placed on immediat.e segregation, administrative confinement, and
protective cwrt.od.y pending investigation of an assault charge. The district court dismissed the
case finding the inmat.e failed to allege facts sufficient to implicat.e a stat.e creat.ed liberty
int.erest and noting that even if a liberty int.erest had been creat.ed the inmat.e had received all
process due to him. The inmat.e did not allege that he faced the possibility of losing good time
credits or that his release dat.e could be affected by administrative segregation. The inmat.e was
afforded a hearing before each classification decision and the inmat.e was given notice prior to
each hearing and was given an opportunity to make a stat.ement at each hearing. (Lincoln
Correctional Cent.er, Nebraska)

U.S. Appeals Court
TRUSTY

Davis :!· Fulton County, Ark., 90 F.3d 1346 (8th Cir. 1996). A victim of rape and assault by a
prisoner who had escaped from a county detention cent.er brought an action alleging claims
under § 1983 against county staff and officials. The district court dismissed the claims and the
appeals court affirmed. The court found that the victim failed to establish that the danger to
her resulting from the prisoner leaving the det.ention center was any great.er than that faced by
the general public in the area, as required to maintain a § 1983 claim. The· court also found
that the victim failed to allege that the duty jailer acted int.entionally, or was not performing
official county functions in failing to prevent the prisoner from escaping. (Fulton County
Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court

Douglas v. DeBruyn. 936 F.Supp. 572 (S.D.Ind. 1996). An inmat.e who was assigned to
the "idle unit" of a prison filed an in forma pauperis complaint alleging violation of §
1983. The district court found the complaint to be frivolous within the meaning of the in forma
pauperis statut.e. The court held that the absence of a job, and the absence of vocational,
educational and rehabilitation programs does not violat.e due process. The court not.ed that
while such programs and activities might be useful and productive as a matt.er of correctional
policy, the absence of them does not creat.e any atypical and significanfhardships on an inmat.e
in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life. According to the court, to sustain a viable
Eighth Amendment violation the inmat.e would have to allege that conditions in the idle unit
constitut.ed an excessive risk to his health or safety. The court also not.ed that inmates have no
constitutional right to recreation and that only the objective harm that can result from
significant deprivation of movement implicates the Eighth Amendment. (Correctional
Industrial Complex, Indiana)

TREATMENT

U.S. District Court
CEIL ASSIGNMENT
CLASSIFICATION

CRITERIA

El Tabech v. Gunter. 922 F.Supp. 244 (D.Neb. 1996). Inmat.es sued corrections officials alleging
that the practice of double celling inmates with random cell assignment violated the Eighth
Amendment. The district court ordered remedial measures and the officials appealed; the
appeals court remanded the case for certification of findings. On remand, the district court held
that evidence was sufficient to find that prison officials actually knew of and disregarded the
substantial risk to the safety of inmat.es posed by making random double cell assignments
without the use of classification information and without determining inmat.e compatibility.
The court not.ed that evidence supported the conclusion that the level of violence at the
penitentiary, including violence in double cells, posed a substantial risk of harm to inmat.es.
The court found that remedial measures, such as cell moves, protective custody, or posting staff
on a gallery, did not render the decision not to use classification information reasonable. The
court found that evidence established that wardens were personally responsible for the failure
to use classification information before making cell assignments. (Nebraska Stat.e Penit.entiary)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Est.ep v. Dent, 914 F.Supp. 1462 (W.D.Ky. 1996). An inmate moved for a preliminary
injunction in this suit against prison officials. The district court denied the motion with regard
to the inmat.e's allegation that he was deprived of opportunities for out.door exercise while he
was housed in a particular housing unit. The court not.ed that prison officials had already
begun to build an out.door recreation sit.e for that unit and therefore recognized the need and
were resolving the problem. The court also denied the motion with regard to the inm.at.e's
assertion that his safety was endangered because prison officials allowed inmates of different
classifications to exercise together. (Kentucky Stat.e Penit.entiary)

U.S. District Court

Evans :!· Hennessy, 934 F.Supp. 127 (D.Del. 1996). An inmate sued a guard alleging violation
of his civil rights when the guard struck him twice on the head with a closed fist. The court
found ·that evidence established that the guard struck the inmat.e without justification or
_ reasonable apprehension of physical harm, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court
awarded damages in the amount of $7,500. However, the court found that moving the inmat.e
away from other prisoners to a cell closer to the guard post to prevent him from disrupting and
inciting other inmates was not a violation of the inmate's First Amendment right of free speech,

CEIL ASSIGNMENT

8.40

and the change of cells did not violate any constitutionally prot.ected hl>erty int.erest because the
inmate was not moved to a more restrictive unit. (Sussex Correctional Institution, Delaware)
U.S. District Court
CUS10DY LEVEL
TRANSFER

TREATMENT

U.S. Appeals Court

PROTECTIVE
CUS10DY
GANGS

Garrett v. Angelone, 940 F.Supp. 933 (W.D.Va. 1996). A state prisoner brought a prose
action against prison officials asserting § 1983 claims and violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA). The district court found found that the prisoner's allegations
were insufficient to support a claim under ADA. The court also found that changes in the
prisoner's custody status, security status, and earning rates for good conduct time did not
violate due process. The court not.eel that an inmate's security level, custody status and
opportunity to eam good conduct time are subject to change at any time during incarceration
based on the behavior of the inmate and discretion of prison officials. 1'he court also noted that
an inmate's parole eligibility date fii'd mandatory parole release date are estimates only, subject
to change based on changes in an inmate's other classifications. According to the court, an
inmate has no constitutional right to be paroled at all before the expiration of his valid criminal
sent.ence--let alone on a specific date. (Virginia Department of Corrections)
Jelinek !:· Greer, 90 F.3d 242 (7th Cir. 1996). A prison inmate who was seriously injured after
he was removed from protective custody filed a civil rights action against prison officials. The
district court granted summary judgment to the prison officials and the appeals court affirmed,
finding that moving the inmate from protective custody despite his fears of harm from gang
members whom he turned in did not show that the prison officials knowingly disregarded a
serious risk of harm to the inmate. The prison officials had assigned the inmate a space that
was less prot.ected than protective custody, but which was not in the general population.
(Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
SEPARATION

Jensen v. Clarke, 94 F.3d 1191 (8th Cir. 1996). State prison inmates brought a§ 1983
action against prison officials alleging that randomly assigning new inmates to double
cells substantially increased the risk of violence by cellmates. On remand from an
appeal of a remedial plan, the district court ruled that prison officials had actual knowledge of
and disregarded a substantial risk of safety to inmates posed by random cell assignments. The
appeals court affirmed, finding that the practice was cruel and unusual punishment and noting
that this suit was a failure-to-protect case focusing on the manner of assigning new inmates to
cells, rather than a prison crowding case. The court found that cruel and unusual punishment
was established by evidence that demonstrated the increased number of inmates found guilty of
violent offenses, the number of inmates requesting protective custody, and anecdotal evidence of
violence from prisoners. The appeals court held that prison officials were entitled to qualified
immunity in their individual capacities in light of the diversity of precedent on the need for
classifying cellmates. The appeals court found that a district court injunction which required
prison officials to use available classification information to determine cellmate compatibility
was a proper remedy, after officials chose to take a premature appeal rather than remedy the
constitutional violation. (Nebraska State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
SUICIDE
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Johnson!:· Hill, 910 F.Supp. 218 (E.D.Pa. 1996). A county prisoner sued officials alleging
violation of his rights with respect to housing and medical treatment. The district court
dismissed the case, ruling that prisoner placement in housing is a matter of prison
administration; the prisoner had claimed he was wrongfully placed in a cell block that housed
people accused of murder and rape and people with high bail. The court also found that the
inmate did not state a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation with respect to the officials'
responses to his thoughts of suicide or to his injuries when he slit his wrists. The court found
that the prisoner had not communicated a strong likelihood that he would inflict harm on
himself, but rather that there as a mere possibility that harm would occur. Medical care
received·for self-inflicted injuries to his wrist was adequate where a nurse examined his wrist
daily for two weeks following the injury. (Delaware County Prison, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court

Jones v. Russell, 950 F.Supp. 855 (N.D.Ill. 1996). A prisoner filed a§ 1983 complaint
against prison officials for denying him protective custody and sought leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The district court dismissed the complaint, finding that the
prisoner failed to state a claim absent any allegation of a history of assaults against him or of a
particular vulnerability. The court noted that in determining under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA) whether to dismiss, a motion to dismiss may be granted only if the court
concludes that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent
with the plaintiffs allegations. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois)

PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE

Keenan v. Hall. 83 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 1996). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against
prison officials and employees. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part,
finding that summary judgment was precluded for several allegations. The inmate was found to
have presented sufficient evidence to preclude summary judgment on his claim that he was
deprived of outdoor exercise, in violation of his constitutional rights, while he was confined for
six months at the muimum security prison. (Oregon State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

TREATMENT

Kerr v. Farrey, 95 F.3d 472 (7th Cir. 1996). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against
corrections officials alleging that requiring him to attend religious-based narcotics
rehabilitation meetings violated his constitutional rights. The district court granted
8.41

summary judgment to the defendants but the appeals court reversed and remanded. The
appeals court found that requiring the inmate to attend meetings upon pain of being rated a
higher security risk and suffering adverse effects for parole eligibility violated the
establishment clause, but that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. The court
held that under the establish clause the inmate could not be forced to attend meetings of an
organization for narcotics rehabilitation whose program referred to "God, as we understood
Him." (Oakhill Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFERS

Marshall v. Reno, 915 F.Supp. 426 (D.D.C. 1996). A former federal prisoner who was a
Canadian citizen sued federal officials alleging violation of his rights due to the officials' failure
to transfer or deport him to his home country and denial of access to release programs which
were available to United States citizens. The district court dismissed the case, finding that the
prisoner did not have a protected liberty interest in obtaining deportation or transfer, nor did
he have a right to be incarcerated at a particular prison or under a certain security
classification. Although there was a treaty between the United States and Canada that allowed
the transfer of the prisoner, the court noted that this was a discretionary matter which afforded
the prisoner no right to a transfer. The Federal Bureau of Prisons program statement that
limited access of aliens to community confinement facilities and minimum security facilities did
not, according to the court, violate the equal protection clause. (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

Meyer v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 940 F.Supp. 9 (D.D.C. 1996). A federal prisoner
brought an action against the Bureau of Prisons and his case manager claiming
violation of his rights under the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the
Constitution. The district court held that the prisoner was not entitled under the Privacy Act to
amend his custody classification form, since the Bureau's regulations exempted such forms from
the Privacy Act's requirements. The court ruled that summary judgment was precluded on the
prisoner's FOIA claim due to genuine issues of material fact regarding the existence of
documents which were the subject of the prisoner's FOIA request. The court held that the
prisoner failed to establish that he had suffered any adverse determination as the result of an
allegedly improper rating in his custody classification form. (Fed. Medical Ctr, Rochester, MN)

U.S. District Court
LIBERTY INTEREST
CUSTODY LEVEL

Meyer y. Reno, F.Supp. 11 (D.D.C. 1996). An inmate at a federal prison in Minnesota sued
federal authorities, alleging that prison officials and staff conspired to secure detainers against
him from local authorities in Florida, barring him from a lower custody classification. The
prisoner alleged that these actions negatively affected his programming and resulted in a longer
period of incarceration than would have been required if he had been able to attain a lower
security status. The district court ruled that it could not exert its authority over some of the
defendants. The court also found that the inmate did not have a protected liberty interest
under the due process clause, and that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity.
(Federal Bureau of Prisons, Sandstone FCI, Minnesota)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION

Ochs y. Thalacker, 90 F.3d 293 (8th Cir. 1996). A state inmate filed a§ 1983 action against
prison officials, alleging violation of his due process rights. The inmate had requested that he
be housed with persons of his own race, claiming a religious motivation, and officials refused
his request. The inmate also alleged deliberate indifference to his allergic reaction to metal
handcuffs. The district court dismissed the complaint and the appeals court affirmed. The
court held that officials had legitimate reasons for rejecting the inmate's request for segregated
housing, as they believed that random cell assignment lessened racial tensions and promoted
security. The court found that officials did not subsequently assign him to administrative
segregation in retaliation for his request; evidence showed that the officials segregated the
inmate to protect him and others because he had identified himself as a racist at a time of
racial tension in the prison. The court also held that the inmate failed to prove that he had a
serious medical need, as he experienced only a mild discomfort from two or three brief
exposures to metal handcuffs, and he was issued new protective coverings as soon as he
requested help from a medical professional. (Iowa Mens Reformatory)

U.S. Appeals Court
SMOKING
SEPARATION

Oliver v. Deen, 77 F.3d 156 (7th Cir. 1996). A state prison inmate sued prison officials seeking
damages for alleged violation of his Eighth Amendment rights by housing him with smoking
cellmates. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the
appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the inmate failed to demonstrate that he
had a sufficiently serious medical need to implicate the Eighth Amendment or to provide the
basis for an award of damages. The court noted that while the inmate was asthmatic and
showed signs of discomfort and the prison doctor issued a permit to the inmate to have a
nonsmoking cellmate, the inmate's medical records showed that his asthma was mild, that he
never required outside hospitalization, and the only evidence of a causal relationship between
smoke and the inmate's discomfort was a few general news articles which indicated that smoke
could aggravate an asthmatic condition. (Pontiac Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SPECIAL NEEDS
MENTALLY IIL
SEX OFFENDERS

Riddle y. Mondragon, 83 F.3d 1197 (10th Cir. 1996). Twenty-one inmates who had been
convicted of sex offenses filed separate civil rights claims against state prison officials, judges,
legislators and other state officials. The district court consolidated the actions and granted the
defendants' motion to dismiss. The inmates appealed the dismissal of certain claims relating to
denial of medical trea1ment, failure t.o protect, and equal protection. The appeals court affirmed
the lower court decision. The inmates alleged that prison officials failed t.o include sex offenders

8.42

within prison policies concerning minimwn custody status, work release, community corrections,
and purposeful classification in medium custody. They challenged their classification as violent
offenders which made them ineligible for various pre- and post-sentencing programs. The court
ruled that these allegations, if proven, would fail to establish that the different treatment
afforded to sex offenders was irrational or arbitrary, and that sex offenders did not constitute a
suspect class for equal protection purposes. (Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility)
U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
RECLASSIFICATION

Sandefur v. Lewis, 937 F.Supp. 890 (D.Ariz. 1996). A state inmate brought a§ 1983
action asserting violation of his due process rights when he was placed in administrative
segregation without a hearing, and when his security status was reclassified. The
district court held that confinement in administrative segregation for 141 days did not implicate
a due process liberty interest, and that security reclassification did not implicate due process.
(State Prison Complex in Tucson, Arizona)

U.S. Appeals Court
AIDS

Tokar v. Armontrout, 97 F.3d 1078 (8th Cir. 1996). A former inmate infected with the
HIV virus brought a§ 1983 action against former prison officials claiming that
conditions in the segregation unit for HIV-positive inmates constituted cruel and unusual
punishment and that his placement in the unit violated his right to privacy. The district court
_granted summary judgment in favor of the officials and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals
court held that the former inmate failed to show that the combination of broken windows and
leaking roof in his housing unit caused a deprivation of an essential human need such as food,
warmth or exercise; the inmate's cubicle did not have a window and the roof above his cubicle
did not leak, and the inmate was able to use a blanket to stay warm before broken windows in
the unit were repaired. The court also found that the inmate failed to establish that the alleged
filthiness of toilet facilities in the housing unit violated the Eighth Amendment, noting that the
inmate admitted that he had never asked for cleaning supplies. The appeals court held that the
officials were entitled to qualified immunity with regard to the inmate's claim for violation of
his right to privacy. The court noted that the inmate did not have a clearly established right to
nondisclosure of his HIV status at the time he was segregated. (Jefferson City Correctional
Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Webb v. Lawrence County, 950 F.Supp. 960 (D.S.D. 1996). A prisoner sued county
correctional officials alleging civil rights violations under § 1983 and common-law
negligence, seeking compensatory and punitive damages in connection with a sexual assault by
another prisoner. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and
dismissed the negligence and punitive damages claims. The court ruled that the incarceration of
the plaintiff in the same cell as a prisoner who sexually assaulted him did not give rise to a
cause of action against corrections officials under § 1983. The court found that the officials had
no reason to be aware and were not in fact aware of an excessive risk to the plaintiffs health or
safety, noting that the prisoner who committed the assault had assaulted no other prisoners
while incarcerated nor had the plaintiff notified officials of his fear of his cellmate or of any
assaults until he had been assaulted for four straight days. The court also found that under
South Dakota law, the purchase of liability insurance by the county on behalf of prison officials
did not waive the officials' statutory immunity from personal liability for negligence. (Lawrence
County Jail, South Dakota)

1997
U.S. District Court
BUNKS-LOWER

Boblett v. Angelone, 957 F.Supp. 808 (W.D.Va. 1997). An inmate filed a prose§ 1983
action against prison officials alleging constitutionally inadequate treatment for his knee
problems and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court found that the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) did not apply to state prisons and that prison officials' alleged denial of
proper rehabilitative therapy and knee braces did not amount to deliberate indifference. The
court also found that the officials' refusal to assign the inmate to a nonsmoking dormitory and
to assign him to a bottom bunk did not violate his constitutional rights. According to the court,
the inmate failed to establish that the level of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) to which he
was exposed for a four-day period had created an unreasonable risk of serious damage to his
future health. Although a prison physician did not examine the inmate until approximately one
month after the inmate requested to see a physician, the court found nothing in the record to
suggest that the delay stemmed from any deliberate indifference on the part of the physician or
any other prison official. The court also found that the failure of prison officials to arrange for
the inmate's immediate consultation with a prison physician regarding the inmate's request for
a medical transfer did not amount to deliberate indifference. (Bland Correctional Center,
Virginia)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Carrigan v. State of Del., 957 F.Supp. 1376 (D.Del. 1997). A female inmate brought a
civil rights action against prison officials and a guard as the result of an alleged rape by
the guard. The district court found that the inmate did not establish deliberate
indifference by prison officials where the officials had a policy forbidding sexual contact
between correctional officers and inmates. The alleged rapist had received a total of 64 hours of
8.43

training, and the inmate offered no expert opinion to rebut an expert report that the training
was adequate. The court found that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity. The
court noted that the inmate's transfer to protective custody following her alleged rape by a
guard did not show deliberate indifference but, rather, showed the prison officials' attentiveness
to her condition as they were aware that her claims put her at risk of attack by other inmates.
The court found that the inmate failed to establish an Eighth Amendment violation through
evidence of other incidents because nearly all of those incidents occurred after the alleged rape,
and those which occurred prior took place at a different institution or were unsubstantiated by
the inmate involved. However, the court found that the inmate had stated a claim based on
gross or wanton negligence, or bad faith, against the guard. (Delaware Dept. of Correction)
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SEPARATION

U.S. District Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Carty v. Farrelly, 957 F.Supp. 727 (D.Virgin Islands 1997). Detainees and inmates
housed in a criminal justice complex asked the court to find officials in civil contempt of
a consent decree. The district court found that the consent decree comported with the
principles of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) because it was narrowly drawn,
extended no further than necessary to correct the violation of federal rights, and was the least
intrusive means necessary to correct the violations. The court found the officials in contempt for
failing to comply with the terms of the consent decree, and continued noncompliance with a
court order requiring officials to pay detainees' and inmates' attorney fees. The officials
admitted they never fully complied with the order and failed to make meaningful progress
toward reducing the inmate population. The courted cited "abominable" treatment of mentally
ill inmates at the facility. Mentally ill inmates were housed together in clusters with often four
or five inmates per cell and the majority of inmate assaults occurred in the clusters. According
to the court, when overcrowding and commingling of mentally ill inmates with the general
population contributes to inmate-to-inmate violence, the failure to remedy the situation
constitutes deliberate indifference to the inmates' basic safety and security in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. The court also cited the failure of officials to house inmates according to an
objectively based classification system and the failure to maintain separate housing for violent
inmates. (Criminal Justice Complex, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands)
De La Paz v. Peters, 959 F.Supp. 909 (N.D.Ill. 1997). An incontinent prisoner brought a
§ 1983 action against corrections officials alleging they were deliberately indifferent to

his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment by refusing him daily
showers. The prisoner also alleged that denial of his request to transfer to an honor dorm that
had more showers was the product of racial discrimination in violation of equal protection. The
court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials, finding that although the prisoner's
incontinence was a serious medical condition, the officials did not display deliberate indifference
to his condition because they had made special provisions for him, including permission to
shower more frequently than other inmates. Because the law was not clearly established that
an incontinent inmate was entitled to daily showers, the court found that the officials were
entitled to qualified immunity. The court also held that the Indian-American/Mexican-American
prisoner failed to establish that denial of his request to transfer to an honor farm was
motivated by racial discrimination; the mere fact that there were very few Mexican-American
inmates in the honor dorm was insufficient to establish racial discrimination. (Joliet
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
K.F.P. v. Dane County, 110 F.3d 516 (7th Cir. 1997). An inmate brought a § 1983 action
FAILURE 1D PROTECT against a county, a sheriff, and correctional facility employees after he was assaulted by
another inmate. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and
SEPARATION
the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the inmate failed to present
evidence establishing the liability of the employees, sheriff or county. The inmate failed to
isolate for the court which individuals knew of another inmate's threatening nature and
disregarded the danger to the plaintiff inmate. The court found that the inmate failed to
establish that the county had a policy of housing violent and nonviolent inmates together, or
that any county official knew of a causal link between the alleged policy and harm to inmates.
The inmate was serving a forty-six day sentence in a dormitory-like facility used to house
inmates with work release privileges. About a week into his sentence, the inmate was sexually
assaulted by another inmate, and a week later the same inmate threatened to assault the
plaintiff inmate again. (Dane County Ferris Center, Wisconsin)
U.S. District Court
Killingsworth v. Ondahl, 978 F.Supp. 1425 (D.Kan. 1997). An inmate brought a Bivens
CELL ASSIGNMENT
action alleging that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his safety by placing
FAILURE 1D PROTECT him in a holding cell with a prisoner who had previously assaulted him. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials, finding that the record did not show
that the officials had information suggesting that the prisoner presented a threat to the
inmate's safety. According to the court, it did not appear that the inmate notified officials of his
belief that they should be separated, and the inmate did not allege that the prisoner made any
effort to harm him while they were celled together. (United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth,
Kansas)

8.44

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
LIBERTY INTEREST

Mackey v. Dyke. 111 F.3d 460 (6th Cir. 1997). A state inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against state corrections officials alleging violation of his due process right when they
failed to reclassify him promptly after he was released from administrative segregation.
The district court granted summary judgment for the officials and the inmate appealed.
The appeals court reversed and remanded, and the district court again granted
summary judgment for the officials. The appeals court affirmed, finding that because an inmate's
detention in administrative segregation did not create a liberty interest. failure to release him to
the general population upon his release from segregation did not amount to a procedural due
process violation. The court noted that the delay in transferring the inmate after his release was
understandable given the corrections system's need to find him a bed at a suitable security level
institution in an overcrowded system. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDER
DUE PROCESS

Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818 (9th Cir. 1997). Two state prisoners brought separate§
1983 actions against prison officials and administrators of a state's sex offender
treatment program. They claimed that labelling them as sex offenders and compelling
them to admit guilt violated their constitutional rights. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants and the prisoners' appeals were consolidated. The appeals court held
that the sex offender treatment program did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause because denying
a prisoner's eligibility for parole so that he could participate in treatment was not punishment.
But the appeals court found that labelling a prisoner who was not convicted of a sex offense as a
"sex offender" without a hearing, and requiring the successful completion of a treatment program
as a precondition for parole eligibility, created a liberty interest protected by due process. The
appeals court held that a prisoner is entitled to an advance statement of the reasons for the
classification and to a hearing at which he can present a defense. According to the court, a
prisoner convicted of a sex offense received all process to which he was due when he was notified
that he was classified as a sex offender due to his conviction. The court found that a prisoner
whose labelling as a sex offender violated due process was entitled to injunctive relief. The
appeals court affirmed in part, reversed and remanded in part with instructions. The appeals
court instructed the district court to issue an injunction ordering the Hawaii Parole Authority to
remove "sex offender" from one of the prisoner's classifications unless and until he is provided
with a hearing that provides him with the procedural protections contained in Wolff. (Hawaii Sex
Offender Treatment Program)
1998

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
TRANSFER
SEGREGATION

Batts v. Richards, 4 F.Supp.2d 96 (D.Conn. 1998). An inmate brought a § 1983
action against correctional officials alleging that his placement in administrative segregation
and transfer to a different facility violated his due process rights. The district court
granted summary judgment for the officials, finding that no due process violation occurred.
According to the court, the inmate received due process because he was given written notice of a
classification hearing 48 hours in advance, was given the opportunity to call witnesses, was given
a hearing before a hearing officer with a staff advocate acting on his behalf. and the hearing
officer issued a written report. (Northern Correctional Institution, Somers. Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK

Bout v. Bolden, 22 F.Supp.2d 646 (E.D.Mich. 1998). A prisoner brought a civil rights
action against prison officials. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants,
finding that a prison official was not deliberately indifferent in refusing to reassign the prisoner to
a lower bunk, even though the prisoner had been given a "medical detail" for assignment to a
lower bunk. According to the court, even assuming that the official had knowledge of the medical
detail, refusal to comply would not have posed conscious disregard for excessive risk to the
prisoner's health and safety, given evidence of malingering in the prisoner's medical records. The
court also held that drilling the prisoner's teeth without anesthesia for a short period in order to
treat a dental condition is not the sort of barbarous and wanton infliction of pain from which a
prisoner is protected by the Eighth Amendment. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY

Bullock v. Barham, 23 F.Supp.2d 883 (N.D.Ill. 1998). A prisoner sued prison officials
under § 1983 seeking to enjoin his transfer from protective custody to the general
population, alleging the officials had previously failed to protect him from inmates who had
threatened his life. The district court held that the prisoner's claim for injunctive relief to enjoin
his transfer was cognizable, even though he was currently in protective custody, because the
prison officials had previously failed to protect him from inmates and had transferred him back to
the general population several times. The court denied the prisoner's claim for damages because
the prisoner did not allege any physical injury. The prisoner had been a member of the Black
Gangster street gang and alleged that the gang had placed a "hit" on him in retaliation for leaving
the gang. (Joliet Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
SPECIAL NEEDS

Collins v. Hannigan. 14 F.Supp.2d 1239 (D.Kan. 1998). An inmate brought a pro se
action against prison officials. a physician and a nurse, alleging that his
constitutional rights were violated by their responses to his health-related complaints, which
resulted in his transfer from minimum security to maximum security. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court found that changes in the inmate's
8.46

medical and security classifications which resulted in his transfer from minimum security to
maximum security, his inability to participate in a work program, and short visitation periods, did
not pose an atypical and significant hardship that violated the due process clause. According to
the court, denial of the opportunity to participate in an in-house work program does not raise due
process concerns. The court held that a corrections officer did not violate the Eighth Amendment
when he ordered the inmate, who had a heart condition, to clean baseboards. The inmate did not
suffer serious injury but at most was dizzy and suffered some pain, and the officer checked with a
physician before ordering the inmate to work. The court also found that the Eighth Amendment
was not violated when a corrections officer allegedly waited 15 minutes before summoning
medical assistance at the request of the inmate. The court held that the transfer of the inmate to a
maximum security facility after his heart condition prevented him from working did not violate
equal protection, and was justified by his need to be located close to a prison clinic. (Hutchinson
Correctional Facility, Kansas)
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION

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

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEPARATION

Faulcon v. City of Philadelphia, 18 F.Supp.2d 537 (E.D.Pa. 1998). A pretrial detainee who had
been stabbed by another inmate sued city officials and correction officers, alleging failure to pro·
tect, failure to supervise and failure to train under the Eighth Amendment. The district court
granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding that the facility's policy of keeping pretrial
detainees in the same housing unit as convicted inmates did not constitute deliberate indifference
to a substantial risk of harm. The court also held that the lack of guidelines or training procedures
regarding segregation of convicted inmates was insufficient to support claims for failure to
supervise or failure to train. According to the court, a state statutory provision that indicated that
sentenced prisoners should be housed separately from detainees was merely a recommended
guideline rather than a mandatory requirement. (Philadelphia Industrial Corr'l Center, Penn.)

U.S. Appeals Court
INTERPRETER

Franklin v. District of Columbia, 163 F.3d 625 (D.C.Cir. 1998). Spanish-speaking
prisoners incarcerated in eight District of Columbia correctional facilities brought a
class action under§ 1983 alleging that the District violated their First, Fifth and Eighth
Amendment rights as well as federal and local statutes by failing to provide qualified interpreters
when they appeared at parole and disciplinary hearings and when they sought medical care. The
district court found that the District violated the Fifth and Eighth Amendments and entered an
injunction. The appeals court vacated in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that
the prisoners lacked standing to assert due process challenges regarding parole hearings for
misdemeanants because they did not name any members of the class who went before the parole
board as misdemeanants and did not understand the proceedings because of lack of proficiency in
English. Upon learning that the authority for parole of felons had been transferred to the United
States Parole Commission since the district court had ruled, the appeals court stated that "why
neither of the parties, and why especially the District of Columbia never alerted us to this statute
is beyond comprehension. "The appeals court found that failure to provide interpreters at all
disciplinary hearings, adjustment board hearings, housing determinations, and classification
decisions did not violate due process. The appeals court also found that the District's failure to
provide interpreters for prisoners during medical consultations was not cruel and unusual
punishment. (District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

Frost~ Agnos, 152 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 1998). A pretrial detainee brought a§ 1983
suit against a sheriff, corrections officers and others alleging that he was subjected
to unconstitutional conditions because of his disability. The district court entered judgment for the
officers and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and
remanded. The appeals court held that, as a matter of first impression, denial of adequate
handicapped-accessible shower facilities to the detainee who wore a leg cast and relied on
crutches could support a § 1983 claim. The appeals court held that the detainee failed to establish
a § 1983 claim that he was improperly classified as a close custody inmate, absent any showing
that the jail's classification system was not reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.
<Madison Street Jail, Maricopa County, Arizona)
8.46

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
LOWERBUNK

Hron v. Jenkins, 15 F.Supp.2d 1082 CD.Kan. 1998). An inmate brought a Bivens
action against prison officials alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that the officials
did not show deliberate indifference to the inmate's medical needs when they assigned him to an
upper bunk. The inmate was susceptible to seizures and he was assigned to an upper tier cell
after he returned from reconstructive knee surgery that was required after he fell from his upper
bunk. The court found that the cell and bunk assignments reflected, at most, negligence. (United
States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Mabine v. Vaughn. 25 F.Supp.2d 587 (E.D.Pa. 1998). An inmate brought a§ 1983
action against three prison officials alleging that they failed to protect him from other inmates.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that the fact that
the inmate's attacker was inadvertently released into the general prison population did not
violate the Eighth Amendment. The court also found no violation in the fact that prison officials
failed to keep the inmate separate from another inmate who was the victim's brother. (State
Correctional Institution at Graterford, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
SMOKING

McPherson v. Coombe, 29 F.Supp.2d 141 (W.D.N.Y. 1998). An inmate brought a§
1983 action alleging violations of his First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights arising
from his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The district court denied the
defendants' motion for summary judgment. finding that it was precluded by fact questions as to
whether smoke conditions in the prison violated contemporary standards of decency, whether
officials were aware of the potential risks to the inmate's future health, and whether the
superintendent was personally involved in decisions leading to denial of the inmate's request to be
housed in a smoke-free environment. The court found that prison smoking regulations, which
permitted smoking in dormitory areas, did not violate the inmate's First Amendment rights to
freedom of association because designated non-smoking areas gave the inmate opportunities to
exercise his right to associate with other inmates. The inmate had alleged that the smoking policy
restricted his movement within the dormitory in his attempt to evade contact with ETS. (Attica
Correctional Facility and Orleans Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL

Morales Feliciano v. Rossello Gonzalez, 13 F.Supp.2d 151 (D.Puerto Rico 1998). In
an ongoing action against a corrections system seeking improvement of medical and
mental health care provided to inmates, an expert witness prepared a report documenting the
state of compliance with prior orders that had been entered. The district court held that the
correctional system continued to violate inmates' Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment
rights by failing to provide adequate medical care. The court found that the officials' actions or
lack thereof contributed to the deaths of inmates and to the infliction of pain and suffering. The
court ruled that there were systematic deficiencies in staffmg, facilities, procedures and
administration, and that officials acted in a manner that was deliberately indifferent to the basic
human and health needs of inmates. The court held that the officials failed to hospitalize inmates
whose mental health condition required the therapeutic environment of a mental health
treatment facility, allowing several mentally ill patients to continue to cohabitate with the general
population without being tendered any type of mental health treatment. The court noted that
budgetary limitations or inadequate resources can never be a valid justification for constitutional
violations. The court concluded that the system had failed to provide adequate facilities and
equipment necessary for the provision of adequate health care of inmates pursuant to acceptable
professional standards. But the court noted that despite the fmdings of the expert, the National
Commission on Correctional Health Care had accredited the medical care programs in four
prisons and awarded provisional accreditation to four more in 1992. But an expert found
noncompliance with at least one essential standard at every accredited facility, and the
Department of Health provided the court monitor's staff with credible evidence that employees
had falsified documents in support of accreditation. (Administration of Correction, Puerto Rico)

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

Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections v. Yeskey. 118 S.Ct. 1952 (1998). A state prison inmate
who was denied admission to a prison boot camp program due to his history of
hypertension sued corrections officials under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The U.S. Supreme Court held that Title II of the ADA, prohibiting a "public entity" from
discriminating against a "qualified individual with a disability" applied to inmates in state
prisons. In a unanimous decision the Court stated that the text of ADA was not ambiguous and it
unmistakably included state prisons and prisoners in its coverage. (Pennsylvania Department of
Corrections)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
RACIAL DISCRIM·
!NATION

Simpson v. Hom. 25 F.Supp.2d 563 (E.D.Pa. 1998). An inmate brought a § 1983
action against a corrections commissioner and officials, alleging that conditions of
confinement at an overcrowded facility violated his Eighth Amendment rights, and
that a classification system for double-cell assignment violated the equal protection clause. The
district court found that the alleged deficiencies in the facility were not cruel and unusual
punishment, but that fact issues precluded summazy judgment on the equal protection claim. The
court questioned the officials' intent to cause racial segregation via double-celling, and ruled they
were not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to that claim. The court noted that prison
8.47

officials have the right, acting in good faith and in particularized circumstances, to take into
account racial tensions in maintaining security, discipline, and good order in prisons and jails.
The court found that housing two inmates in a cell designed for one inmate does not, per se,
violate the Eighth Amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment, but it may if
it results in deprivations of essential food, medical care, sanitation or other conditions intolerable
for human confinements. The inmate had alleged that as the result of overcrowding, inmates were
not provided with adequate furniture, cleaning supplies, laundry service, ventilation, bedding,
clothing, seating, recreational equipment, or telephones. He also alleged that food was served cold
85% of the time and that the dining hall was not kept clean or free of vermin. (State Correctional
Institution at Graterford, Pennsylvania)
U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAIN.
FAILURE TO PROT.

Turguitt v. Jefferson County. Ala., 137 F.3d 1285 (11th Cir. 1998). The estate of a pretrial
detainee who was killed during an altercation with another inmate at a county jail filed a
civil rights action against the county. The district court denied the county's motion to
dismiss and the county appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding that an
Alabama county cannot be liable in a civil rights case for harms that befall jail inmates due to
improper operation of the jail or negligent supervision of its inmates because the county has no
responsibility in that area. According to the court, the sheriff, not the county, is responsible for jail
conditions under Alabama law; counties have no duties with respect to daily operation of county
jails and have no authority to dictate how jails are run. The deceased inmate was fatally injured
in a fight with another inmate, who was a convicted felon, in the dayroom of the jail. (Jefferson
County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

U.S. v. Harmon, 999 F.Supp. 467 (W.D.N.Y. 1998). An offender brought a habeas
corpus petition following his conviction. The district court denied the petition and
held that it would not direct the federal Bureau of Prisons to lower the offender's custody
classification level. The court found that there was no allegation that his custody classification
was unlawful and there was no evidence that the defendant had sought prior administrative
relief. (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

1999
U.S. District Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
HANDICAP

Beckford v. Irvin, 49 F.Supp.2d 170 (W.D.N.Y. 1999). Defendants moved to set aside a jury
verdict and dismiss an inmate's case against them. The district court denied the motions,
finding that the award of compensatory and punitive damages was not excessive. The
inmate had been confined to a wheelchair since 1984. In 1994 he was transferred from a
psychiatric center to another correctional facility where he was assigned to a Mental Health
Observation Unit (MHU). The court noted that the inmate was " ... not placed in MHU for mental
health treatment. He was placed in MHU because the cell was bigger and because his wheelchair
fit in the cell." But shortly after his transfer officials took away his wheelchair and denied him
access to it for the majority of his time at the facility. The inmate repeatedly requested permission
to use his wheelchair and his requests were denied. The jury concluded that the inmate's rights
had been violated because he was unable to participate in outdoor exercise or to take a shower
because he was not allowed to use his wheelchair. The jury awarded $125,000 in compensatory
damages for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and punitive damages
totaling $25,000 against two supervisory officials for being deliberately indifferent to the inmate's
serious medical needs. The court noted that the fact that the jury did not assess liability on the
part of lower ranking prison officials did not preclude the jury from assessing liability on the
supervisory officials. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Cooper v. Garcia, 55 F.Supp.2d 1090 (S.D.Cal. 1999). An inmate brought a § 1983 action
against prison officials following the denial of family visitation privileges. The district court
dismissed the action, finding that the inmate did not have a liberty interest in a state family
visitation program, and the classification of the inmate as a "sex offender" did not violate his right
to procedural due process. According to the court, state regulations stated that family visitation
was a privilege, not a right. The court noted that the classification of the inmate as a "sex
offender" without an individualized assessment of security risks did not violate the inmate's due
process rights, even though the inmate was not convicted of a sex offense and the inmate was
denied family visitation as a result of the classification, because the classification did not result in
any mandatory, coercive treatment. (Centinela State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE CUST.
SEPARATION

Giroux v. Somerset County, 178 F.3d 28 (1st Cir. 1999). A jail inmate who had been
assaulted by another inmate sued a jail employee, sheriff and county alleging violations of§
1983. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the inmate appealed.
The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding that summary judgment was precluded by a
factual dispute about the scope of the jail shift supervisor's responsibility and whether he
abdicated his responsibility. The inmate was threatened by a cellmate when he left his cell to
meet with a detective. After the meeting the inmate was moved to a different cell, apparently in
response to the threat. The inmate was threatened again the next day when he was escorted past
his former cell, and was allegedly threatened by other inmates while dining. The inmate
requested protective custody. Although he was not moved, he was placed on "cell feed" status
which eliminated his contact with other inmates in the common dining area. Several days later
the inmate was involved with a visit which required him to use a common visiting area. While in

8.48

the visiting area he was assaulted by his former cellmate who was also involved with a visit. The
inmate suffered a broken nose, torn shoulder ligaments and a head laceration which required
stitches. (Somerset County Jail, Maine)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Glauner v. Miller, 184 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 1999). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action
challenging the constitutionality of a Nevada statute that requires a panel to certify that
certain sexual offenders are not a menace to the health, safety or morals of others, prior to parole
eligibility. The district court dismissed the action and the appeals court affirmed, finding that the
statute did not violate the prisoner's right to equal protection and the statute was not void for
vagueness. The court noted that heightened recidivism concerns for sexual offenders provided a
rational basis for requiring more scrutiny in parole matters than other classes of criminals.
(Nevada)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDER

Kirby v. Siegelman, 195 F.3d 1285 (11th Cir. 1999). In separate cases, state prisoners challenged
the application of a sex offender community notification statute to them in § 1983 actions. The
cases were dismissed by the district court and were consolidated on appeal The appeals court
affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded in part. The appeals court held that one prisoner,
who had not been convicted of a sex crime, was entitled to due process before being classified as a
sex offender because of the stigmatizing effect of being classified as a sex offender. The prisoner
was classified based on prior sex·related charges rather than a conviction. (Alabama's Community
Notification Statute)

U.S. District Court
RACIAL DISCRIMIN.

Mason v. Schriro, 45 F.Supp.2d 709 (W.D.Mo. 1999). A prisoner sued prison authorities
claiming that the practice of considering race in making temporary housing assignments
violated his equal protection rights. The district court found that several state prison officials,
including the Director of the state Department of Corrections, were subject to suit. The court ruled
that the prisoner did not have to allege intentional discrimination. The court found that the prison
did not show disciplinary or security justifications for the policy. According to the court, the policy
was based on the "bare conclusion" that persons of the same race were more apt to be collegial,
which was unsupported by any history of racial trouble. (Fulton Recep./Diagnostic Ctr, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAIN.
EQUAL PROTECTION
TRUSTY

MacFarlane v. Walter, 179 F.3d 1131 (9th Cir. 1999). After their state habeas petitions were
denied, state prisoners petitioned for federal habeas corpus relief, challenging two counties'
"good conduct" and "good performance" policies as they were applied to them. The district
court granted summary judgment for the respondent corrections officials, but the appeals
court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that there was an equal protection violation
in the counties' allowance of lesser good time credits for defendants who were detained pretrial in
county jails because of their financial inability to post bail, than that allowed for defendants who
were able to wait to serve their sentences until after sentencing to a state correctional facility. The
counties' early release policies limited presentence detainees to a maximum good-conduct credit of
15% of the sentence imposed; the court noted that persons who had posted bail and served their
entire sentence at a state correctional facility could end up serving 23 days less on a five· to six·
year sentence. The court upheld the policies under which pretrial detainees were not eligible for
participation in work and other programs through which they could earn good-performance credit,
finding the counties had established a strong rational connection between the legislative means
and purpose of protecting community safety. (Pierce and Clark County Jails, Washington)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Onishea v. Hopper, 171 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 1999). State inmates who tested positive for the
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) brought a class action suit against prison officials
challenging segregation of prison recreational, religious and educational programs based on
inmates' HIV-positive status. The inmates alleged that the practices were unconstitutional and
violated the Rehabilitation Act. At the male prison at which HIV-positive male inmates were
housed they were excluded from participation in various prison jobs, vocational classes, inmate
barber jobs, laundry jobs, gardening, and other activities and programs. The district court denied
relief after a bench trial and the inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and vacated
and remanded in part. On remand the district court again denied relief and the inmates again
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that a "significant risk" of HIV
transmission existed for any prison program in which HIV-positive inmates sought participation.
The appeals court affirmed the district court's finding that integrated programs would risk
violence and that segregation of HIV-positive inmates was not an exaggerated response. The court
also affirmed the finding that hiring additional guards to accommodate integration of programs
was too costly and imposed an undue burden on the prison system. The court noted that the
Rehabilitation Act did not require a state corrections department to do whatever it was legally
capable of doing to accommodate HIV-positive inmates. (Limestone Correctional Facility and Julia
Tutwiler Prison for Women, Alabama Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER

Posey v. Dewalt, 86 F.Supp.2d 565 (E.D.Va. 1999). A federal inmate filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus challenging a decision by the federal Bureau of Prisons to deny him minimum
custody status on the basis of a state detainer that had been filed against him. The district court
dismissed the petition, finding that consideration of the state detainer as part of the inmate's
classification did not implicate a liberty interest under the due process clause because the inmate
had no protected liberty interest in a particular classification or in being assigned to a particular
institution. (Federal Correctional Institution at Petersburg, Virginia)
8.49

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Roop v. Squadrito, 70 F.Supp.2d 868 (N.D.lnd. 1999). An inmate who was HIV-positive and incarcerated in a county jail on an outstanding arrest warrant brought a § 1983 claim and a claim
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against county officials. The district court
denied summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that evidence raised an issue of
material fact as to whether the inmate's medical condition required that he be treated differently
from other inmates in the jail, in violation of ADA. The inmate had informed jailers that he was
HIV-positive upon his arrival at the jail and he was given an initial medical assessment.
According to the inmate, he was told that because of "your medical condition, and you having
AIDS, you're going to be locked down." He was initially housed by himself in an old shower room,
which had a working shower but no flushable toilet. After five days he was moved to a solitary cell
located close to the jail's command module, where there was no toilet or shower in the cell. CAllen
County Jail, Indiana)
2000

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS
REVIEW
LIBERTY INTEREST

Abed v. Armstrong. 209 F.3d 63 (2 nd Cir. 2000). A state prisoner petitioned for habeas corpus relief
and the district court granted summary judgment against the prisoner. The appeals court
affirmed, finding that a state prison administrative directive making inmates classified as safety
threats ineligible to earn good time credit did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause. The court
noted that the prisoner had no protected liberty interest in the opportunity to earn good time
credit. According to the appeals court, the inmate received all process he was due before being
classified as a safety threat because a hearing was held before the inmate was classified, his
status was reviewed every six months, and he had the right to request reconsideration of his
status at any time in writing. (Connecticut Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETENTION
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Burciaga v. County of Lenawee, 123 F.Supp.2d 1076 (E.D.Mich. 2000). A pretrial detainee brought
a civil rights action against county officials, alleging harm as the result of housing him with an
assaultive prisoner. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court
held that the county did not violate the detainee's due process rights by housing him with another
detainee or by improperly classifying both inmates as medium-security inmates. Both inmates
had been previously incarcerated for assault. (Lenawee County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDERS
DUE PROCESS

Chambers v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections, 205 F.3d 1237 (10th Cir. 2000). An inmate challenged
his classification as a sex offender by a state corrections department and the district court granted
summary judgment to the department. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
The appeals court held that the requirement that the offender participate in a sex offender
treatment program was not an ex post facto violation, but that the inmate had a procedural due
process right to a hearing before being classified as a sex offender. According to the court, the
inmate had a protected liberty interest in not being labeled as a sex offender. (Colorado
Department of Corrections, Sex Offender Treatment Program)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION

Curry v. Crist, 226 F.3d 974 (8th Cir. 2000). Heirs of an inmate who was murdered by fellow
prisoners while the two were alone in an unsupervised area of a prison brought a civil rights
action against the prison warden. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
warden and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the warden was not
deliberately indifferent to the risks of allowing the inmate to work with the other prisoner in an
unsupervised area of the prison. The court noted that the prisoner who made the fatal attack had
been convicted of multiple murders and had made threats, 16 months earlier, to murder his fellow
inmates. According to the court, there was no evidence that the murderer harbored any animosity
toward the murdered inmate or that his selection of him as his victim was anything but
fortuitous. The court noted that prison officials are not required to segregate indefinitely all
inmates whose original crimes suggest that they might be capable of further violence. (Stillwater
Correctional Facility, Minnesota)

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Hallett v. New York State Dept. of Correct. Serv., 109 F.Supp.2d 190 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). A former
inmate brought an action against state correctional officials alleging he was denied access to
special programs while incarcerated due to his status as an HIV-positive amputee, in violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act and state laws. The district
court dismissed the case in part. The court found that the Eleventh Amendment did not provide
immunity for officials for alleged violations of ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. The court found
that the inmate's allegations that he was denied entrance into a shock incarceration program and
work release programs due to his disability supported claims for alleged violations of ADA and the
Rehabilitation Act. The court held that the former inmate stated a § 1983 claim by alleging that
officials failed to provide him with an adequate wheelchair for five months, despite receiving
notification that the inmate was in pain and the inmate's grievances concerning confiscation of his
personal wheelchair, along with allegations that the inmate suffered severe back pain and a cut to
his ear as the result of the officials actions. The inmate successfully alleged the personal
involvement of a prison superintendent and director. (Elmira Correctional Facility and Green
Haven Correctional Center, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETENTION
SEPARATION

Janes v. Hernandez, 215 F.3d 541 (5 th Cir. 2000). A traffic offender sued a county to recover for
alleged violation of his civil rights based upon a sheriffs policy of confining all manner of
arrestees, including those with prior felony records, in one large cell. The district court entered
judgment in favor of the offender and awarded attorney fees. The appeals court affirmed, finding
8.50

that the sheriff, as the county policymaker, did not have to know that specific felons and other
inmates with whom the traffic offender was confined posed a risk of harm to him, in order to be
liable for violation of the offender's civil rights. The appeals court found that the section of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) that limited attorney fees that may be awarded in suits by
inmates did not reply to the offender, who was not a prisoner when his complaint was filed.
(Bastrop County Jail, Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL DIS CRIMI·
NATION

Johnson v. State of Cal., 207 F.3d 650 (9th Cir. 2000). A state inmate brought a prose action for
damages and declaratory relief alleging violation of his rights because officials segregated
inmates by race and extorted money from inmates by overcharging for telephone use. The
district court dismissed the action and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affumed in part
and reversed in part. The appeals court held that the inmate's allegations supported his claim
for racial discrimination in inmate housing decisions and that officials were aware of the
deleterious effects of the practice and the practice persisted despite a court order to house
inmates in a race-neutral manner. The appeals court affumed the dismissal of the telephone
charges allegation, holding that there was no authority for the proposition that inmates were
entitled to a specific rate for telephone calls and that the facts alleged did not support the
conclusion that the rate charged was so exorbitant as to deprive inmates of telephone access all
together. (California Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Martinez Diaz v. Olsen, 110 F.Supp.2d 295 (D.N.J. 2000). An offender petitioned for habeas
corpus relief challenging the constitutionality of sex offender registration and notification
requirements. The district court denied the petition, finding that the offender who was convicted
of rape was properly classified as a sex offender for the purposes of a federal statute and the
Bureau of Prisons program statement that imposed registration and notification requirements
on sex offenders. (Federal Correctional Institute, Fairton, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
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 know ledge 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. Center, Tenn.)

U.S. District Court
AIDS
SEPARATION

Oladipupo v. Austin, 104 F.Supp.2d 626 (W.D.La. 2000). A detainee of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) who was awaiting removal from the United States brought a§
1983 action against parish jail officials challenging the constitutionality of his conditions of
confinement. The district court held that the failure of jail officials to segregate pretrial
detainees who were HIV positive did not violate the due process rights of non-infected detainees.
(Avoyelles Parish Jail, La.)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES

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
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

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

XIX

8.51

Puerto Rico, Guayama Facility)
U.S. District Court
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Simpson v. Horn, 80 F.Supp.2d 477 (E.D.Pa. 2000). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action against
state corrections officials challenging conditions of confinement at a crowded prison. The district
court denied summary judgment for the officials on the inmate's claim that the practice of
assigning inmates to cells based on their race violated his equal protection rights. The district
court found that summary judgment was precluded by material issues of fact as to whether race
was only one factor in determining dual cell assignments and whether the officials intended to
discriminate by segregating cells by race. (SCI-Graterford, Pennsylvania)

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
SEPARATION

Weiss v. Cooley, 230 F.3d 1027 (7th Cir. 2000). A suspect in a highly publicized rape case, who
had been assaulted by fellow inmates while detained in a county jail, brought a § 1983 action
against the sheriff, jail commander and a jail officer. The district court dismissed the claims
against the sheriff and jail commander and granted summary judgment for the officer. The
appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that
summary judgment for the officer was precluded by a fact issue as to whether the officer had
actual knowledge that the suspect faced an objective risk of danger. Affirming the dismissal of
the sheriff and jail commander from the action, the appeals court noted that allegations that
circumstances were such that assaults on prisoners like the suspect were inevitable, and that
the system used to classify inmates for housing safety purposes were inadequate, were
insufficient to provide adequate notice to the sheriff and commander in order to sustain an
Eighth Amendment claim against them. Upon admission to the jail, the suspect had been asked
if he had any enemies in the jail, if he needed any special care, or if he had ever assaulted
anyone or was contemplating assaulting anyone, and the suspect answered "no" to each of these
questions. (Morgan County Jail, Indiana)
2001

U.S. District Court
AIDS

Canell v. Multnomah County, 141 F.Supp.2d 1046 (D.Or. 2001). An inmate brought a§ 1983
action alleging that his conditions of confinement in a county jail violated his constitutional
rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The district court held
that the inmate did not suffer a constitutionally significant injury, sufficient to support a§ 1983
action under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), as the result of jail officials' failure to
shower and "debug'' inmates or test them for communicable diseases before double bunking
them and mixing them with the general population. The court found that the inmate's exposure
to a cellmate suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) did not violate his
rights, even though he was splashed in the eye with vomit from the cellmate, where the inmate
had not since been tested as HIV positive. (Multnomah County Jails, Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SPECIAL NEEDS

Chisolm v. McManimon, 275 F.3d 315 (3rd Cir. 2001). A hearing-impaired detainee brought a
suit against the warden of a pretrial detainment facility and county court system, alleging
violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, § 1983 and a state
discrimination law, for failing to provide an interpreter and other services. The district court
granted summary judgment for the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court
reversed and remanded, finding that the county court system was not entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity during an ongoing merger with the state court system. When the
detainee arrived at the detention facility on a Saturday, he was locked down in his cell to keep
him apart from the general population until Monday when facility classification staff arrived.
This practice was applied to all detainees admitted when classification staff members were not
working at the facility. Such unclassified detainees consumed meals in their cells and did not
have television or telephone privileges. When the detainee was not provided with an interpreter
at intake he became upset and was eventually interviewed by a nurse, who concluded that he
was a suicide risk. He was kept in solitary lockup from Saturday until Tuesday. On Monday he
was taken to meet with a classification staff member, where he was interviewed and was given a
medium security classification. But the staff member had described the detainee as a "vagrant"
in spite of the fact that he had worked for the U. S. Postal Service for 13 years and had lived at
the same address for three years. This error added two points to his classification score, moving
him from "minimum" security to "medium." (Mercer County Detention Center, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Dobbin v. Artuz, 143 F.Supp.2d 292 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). A state inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against prison officials and medical staff, arising from a fall down stairs at the prison. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding they were not
deliberately indifferent to the medical needs of the inmate. The inmate had requested to be
moved to a cell on the ground floor on several occasions but he had failed to demonstrate any
medical need for such a move. The court noted that the inmate regularly received sick calls and
medication upon request, including consultations with outside specialists in connection with his
back condition. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

XIX

8.52

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS
DUE PROCESS

Jones v. Puckett, 160 F.Supp.2d 1016 (W.D.Wis. 2001). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 action
against two corrections officials for violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights in labeling
him as a sex offender without due process. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the defendants. The court held that the prisoner did not have a liberty interest in not
being identified as a sex offender in prison records, noting that evaluation of the needs of
prisoners was a normal prison procedure and such evaluations were not made a matter of public
knowledge in such a way that would constitute a stigma. The court also found that the
defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because, at the time of the prisoner's evaluation,
no law held that an inmate had a Fourteenth Amendment liberty interest in not being so
classified. (Oshkosh Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

Lile v. Simmons, 143 F.Supp.2d 1267 (D.Kan. 2001). An inmate brought a § 1983 action,
individually and on behalf of others who are similarly situated, against state corrections
officials. The inmate alleged he was denied due process with respect to determining his custody
classification. The court denied the inmate's motion to certify a class action and granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court found that the inmate had no protected
liberty interest in a correct risk level classification, and that even if he had such an interest, his
due process rights were not violated by his current "medium" classification. The court noted that
a liberty interest in a particular custody classification may arise only if state law or prison
regulations create such a right. (Lansing Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS

Mayoral v. Sheahan, 245 F.3d 934 (7th 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
PROTECTIVE
CUSTODY
TRANSFER

Miller v. McBride, 259 F.Supp.2d 738 (N.D.lnd. 2001). A prose state prisoner sued corrections
officials under § 1983, challenging his transfer from protective custody following an altercation
with a fellow inmate. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials,
finding that the prisoner had no constitutional right to a hearing on his transfer from protective
custody. (Pendleton Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
SMOKING

Reilly v. Grayson, 157 F.Supp.2d 762 (E.D.Mich. 2001). A prisoner brought a§ 1983 action
against a warden, deputy warden, and Michigan Department of Corrections physicians, alleging
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. After a bench trial, the district court ruled that the
warden and deputy wardens were deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical need
to be placed in a smoke-free environment, supporting the prisoner's cruel and unusual
punishment claims. The court found that the wardens were reckless in their disregard of the
prisoner's rights, and awarded the prisoner $18,250 in punitive damages and $36,500 in
compensatory damages for the five years of inaction by the wardens. The prisoner had two
Individual Management Plans (IMP) which required that he be placed in a smoke-free
environment, but the non-smoking regulations in the prisoner's cell block were consistently
violated and the wardens were aware of the violations. After receiving notice that the IMPs were
not being followed, the wardens continued to do nothing to remedy the situation. The court
concluded that the three wardens "... each clearly ignored his supervisory obligations and, as a
consequence, should suffer the opprobrium of punitive damages, not so much to deter each of
them in the future, but to deter other officials in like positions of ignoring their responsibility."
(Trustee Division, State Prison of Southern Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION

Wilson v. Jones, 251 F.3d 1340 (11th Cir. 2001). A female arrestee brought a civil rights action
against a county sheriff challenging her strip search following her arrest for driving under the
influence. The district court denied the sheriffs motion to dismiss. The appeals court reversed.
The appeals court held that the strip search violated the arrestee's Fourth Amendment privacy
rights, but that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity because the unconstitutionality of
the county's blanket strip search policy was not clearly established at the time of the search. The
arrestee had been strip searched by a female corrections officer before being placed in a cell with
the general female population because the county did not have separate facilities to temporarily
hold female detainees. (Shelby County Jail, Alabama)

XIX

8.53

2002
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
RECLASSIFICATION
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

Austin v. Wilkinson, 189 F.Supp.2d 719 (N.D.Ohio 2002). A class of current and former prisoners
at a high maximum security prison brought a § 1983 action seeking injunctive relief, alleging
denial of due process in their placement and retention at the facility. The district court held
that: (1) the inmates had a liberty interest in their conditions of confinement; (2) the inmates
were entitled to due process protection in decisions to send them and retain them at the facility;
(3) the inmates were denied due process in the decisions to send them to, and retain them at, the
facility; and (4) new corrections policies failed to provide adequate due process safeguards. The
court held that the combination of conditions faced by inmates at the high maximum security
prison imposed an atypical and significant hardship, giving the inmates a liberty interested
protected by due process. The court noted that inmates in the prison were subjected to lengthy
stays of indefinite duration, had extremely limited contact with other individuals, were never
allowed outdoor recreation, were subject to extremely intrusive restrictions when they were
allowed out of their cells, and were denied parole eligibility.
The court held that inmates sent to the prison were entitled to minimal due process
consisting of. (1) twenty-four hour advance notice of all specific evidence relied upon to support
reasons for reclassification; (2) a requirement that an inmate be allowed to appear at his
reclassification hearing and present evidence, including witnesses and documents; and (3) a
requirement that the reclassification committee issue a written statement specifically describing
evidence relied on and reasons for its recommendation. "Having found that the defendants
violated, and will continue to violate, the plaintiffs' constitutionally liberty interest," the court
ordered the parties to file proposed injunctive orders to correct the violations. (Ohio State
Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE
SEPARATION

Burrell v. Hampshire County, 307 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2002). A pretrial detainee who was severely
beaten by a fellow detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county and county officials,
alleging deliberate indifference to his health and safety in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The detainee also alleged an Eighth Amendment violation resulting from failure to
segregate violent and nonviolent detainees. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The detainee had told one jail official
that he was threatened by a fellow detainee who had a history of assaults, but the officials failed
to separate them. The court noted that the plaintiff told one official he had a black belt in
martial arts and was a decorated war hero and never requested protective custody. The court
found that the county's policy of not screening or segregating potentially violent inmates from
non·violent ones did not constitute deliberate indifference to the health and safety of detainees,
because inmates were housed in single cells and were able to lock their cells from the inside at
any time. (Hampshire County Jail/House of Corrections, Massachusetts)
Estate ofFord v. Ramirez-Palmer, 301 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2002). The family and estate of a
state prison inmate who was killed by his cellmate brought a § 1983 action against an associate
warden and correctional officers. The district court denied summary judgment for the
defendants and they appealed. The appeals court reversed, finding that the defendants were
entitled to qualified immunity. The court noted that the correctional officers violated the Eighth
Amendment to the extent that the officers knew that the inmate was acting out dangerously
with his cellmates, or that he was a threat to another inmate. The cellmate had been under
observation for two weeks after an incident with a different cellmate, had been returned on
medications and was not found to be in need of single-celling. (California Medical Facility·
Vacaville)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
SEPARATION

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

XIX

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. (N.J. Dept. of Corrections)

8.54

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
CUSTODY LEVEL

Kitchen v. Upshaw, 286 F.3d 179 (4 th Cir. 2002). A former jail inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against a regional jail authority and jail officials, alleging violation of his due process rights
when he was not allowed to participate in a work release program. The district court granted
summary judgment to the defendants and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held
that the authority was not an arm of the state and was therefore not protected by Eleventh
Amendment immunity. But the court held that the inmate did not have a liberty interest under
state law in participating in a work release program that was protected by the due process
clause. (Riverside Regional Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRIVILEGES

Love v. McKune, 33 Fed.Appx. 369 (10th Cir. 2002). Four prison inmates brought a civil rights
action challenging their forced participation in a prison incentive level system that tied inmate
privileges to participation in programs and good behavior. The district court dismissed the
action and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that forced participation did not
violate the inmates' Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. The Internal Management
Policy and Procedure (IMPP) system assigned inmates to one of four levels. Each level had a
corresponding level of privileges, such as television ownership, handicrafts, participation in
organizations, use of outside funds, canteen expenditures, incentive pay, and visitation. The
system had been previously upheld by the state supreme court, which found that none of the
restrictions denied to inmates on lower levels infringed on inmates' property or liberty interests
and therefore did not implicate due process protection. (Lansing Correctional Facility, Kansas)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Montalvo v. Snyder, 207 F.Supp.2d 581 (E.D.Ky. 2002). A prisoner sued the federal Bureau of
Prisons claiming that he was wrongfully classified as a sexual offender and subjected to a
statutory requirement that authorities be notified prior to his release. The district court entered
judgment for the Bureau, finding that it was appropriate to classify the prisoner based on his
state conviction for criminal sexual abuse. The court also held that the statute requiring the
Bureau of notify authorities when a sex offender was about to be released did not violate the
Double Jeopardy Clause, because Congress intended the statute to be remedial by serving law
enforcement and protecting the public, rather than punitive. (Federal Correctional Institution,
Manchester, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Munoz v. Kolender, 208 F.Supp.2d 1125 (S.D.Cal. 2002). A civil detainee who was confined in a
county jail under the provisions of California's Sexually Violent Predator Act brought a § 1983
action against a county sheriff, challenging his confinement and the conditions of his
confinement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the sheriff. The court
held that the Act had a dual purpose, to remove dangerous sexually violent predators from
society and to provide them with treatment, and that confinement pursuant to the Act was civil
in nature, rather than criminal and punitive. (San Diego County Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Smith v. Muccino, 223 F.Supp.2d 396 (D.Conn. 2002). A state prisoner brought a prose action
alleging that the practice of housing him with violent inmates, sometimes in retaliation for his
complaints, violated his constitutional rights. After an agreement to settle the case fell through,
the court reopened the case and held that the prisoner's allegations stated a claim for an Eighth
Amendment violation. The court noted that the prisoner was not claiming that double-celling
was per se unlawful. The prisoner, who is Caucasian and who believes he is perceived to be gay,
alleged that he was repeatedly housed with racist and homophobic inmates, and that his
requests for a cell change were ignored. (Osborn Correctional Institution, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
HOMOSEXUALS
EQUAL
PROTECTION

Veney v. Wyche, 293 F.3d 726 (4 th Cir. 2002). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging they treated him differently from other inmates because of his gender and
sexual preference, in violation of his right to equal protection. The district court dismissed the
claim and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the prison practice of
segregating homosexual male inmates was based on legitimate penological interests, and that
the gender-related disparate treatment in the housing of homosexuals was rationally calibrated
to address legitimate concerns. According to the court, institutions for females are much less
violent than those for males, and male inmates were more likely than females to have
homophobic attitudes. The court noted that prison officials had an absence of ready alternatives
available. (Riverside Regional Jail, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
GANGS

Washington v. LaPorte County Sheriffs Dept., 306 F.3d 515 (7th Cir. 2002). A pretrial detainee
brought a § 1983 due process claim against a jail and its officers, alleging that injuries he
suffered when he was attacked by another inmate were caused by the jail's cell assignment
policy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainee
appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the jail's cell assignment policy did not
demonstrate deliberate indifference on the part of officials to a substantial risk of serious harm
to the detainee. The policy allowed inmates to choose their own cell assignments. The detainee
was charged with driving with a suspended license and he was detained at the jail pending trial,
as he was unable to post bond. He was assigned to a cell block originally designed to hold ten
inmates, but which actually housed seventeen. The detainee was allowed to choose his own cell

XIX

8.55

assignment within the housing unit. The court noted that the detainee shared a cell with the
inmate who eventually assaulted him for two weeks without incident prior to the attack, and did
not inform jail officers he had fought with the inmate or that he feared harm. (LaPointe County
Jail, Indiana)
U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDER
CIVIL COMMIT·
MENT

West v. Macht, 235 F.Supp.2d 966 (E.D.Wis. 2002). Civilly-committed sex offenders brought a§
1983 action against employees of a state treatment facility. The district court held that security·
related seclusion placements did not violate the offenders' substantive due process rights because
they were rationally related to the purpose of maintaining institutional security and could not
reasonably be characterized as punitive. But the court found that fact issues existed as to
whether treatment-related placements were based on staff psychologists' reasonable professional
judgment, because expert testimony asserted that the placements were not consistent with
accepted professional norms. (Wisconsin Resource Center, Wisconsin Department of Health and
Family Services)
2003

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER

Adler v. Menifee, 293 F.Supp.2d 363 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). A federal prisoner sought an order
compelling the federal Bureau of Prisons to disregard the statutory requirement that limits the
period of time an inmate may spend in a community confinement center to 10% of his total
sentence. The district court held that the Bureau's application of the statute did not implicate the
Administrative Procedures Act and did not violate the ex post facto clause. (U.S. District Court,
Southern District New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION

Cardenas v. Lewis, 66 Fed.Appx. 86 (9th Cir. 2003). [unpublished] A pretrial detainee brought a
pro se § 1983 action against a county, alleging deliberate indifference to a substantial risk to his
safety. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainee
appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. The appeals
court held that officers who placed the detainee in a holding tank with an inmate, from whom the
detainee was supposed to be kept separated, were not acting with deliberate indifference, even if
the officers were negligent in failing to check the detainee's "keep separate" wristband. The court
found that the detainee was deprived of due process in disciplinary proceedings in which he was
allegedly not allowed to call witnesses, to have his exculpatory statement read, or to tape the
hearings, and was placed in segregation without a hearing. (Yakima County Department of
Corrections, Washington)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOWER BUNK

Hoover v. Keating, 59 Fed.Appx. 288 (10th Cir. 2003) [unpublished]. A state inmate filed a§ 1983
action alleging that his disciplinary citations should have been reversed for his refusal to comply
with housing assignments, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of
the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the officials did
not violate ADA by disciplining the inmate for refusing to obey housing orders. The court held
that assigning the inmate randomly, rather than using restrictive housing, did not deprive the
inmate of due process. The inmate had a medical condition that required him to be assigned to a
lower bunk only, but the court found that the inmate's refusal was based on the race of his newly·
assigned cell mate, rather than on his alleged disability. (Dick Conner Correction Center,
Oklahoma)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
RACIAL DISCRIMI·
NATION
DOUBLE CELLING

Johnson v. State of California, 321 F.3d 791 (9th Cir. 2003). An African-American state prison
inmate brought an action against prison administrators, alleging that a prison policy of using
race as a factor in assigning a new inmate's initial cell mate violated the equal protection clause.
The district court dismissed the case, but the appeals court reversed in part and remanded. On
remand, the district court granted summary judgment for the prison administrators on qualified
immunity grounds. The inmate appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held
that the policy did not violate the equal protection clause, given high racial tensions and violence
existing at the prison. The court found the policy to be rationally related to a legitimate
penological interest in protecting the safety of inmates, and found the policy to be neutral in that
it did not provide an advantage or disadvantage to any race. The court noted that the policy was
limited to the first 60 days after admission to a prison and that the remaining time in prison was
integrated. Administrators had told the court that ignoring race in initial cell assignments would
increase violence in those cells and would have a ripple effect on inmates and staff. The officials
told the court that the suggested alternatives to the policy·· asking inmates about their gang
affiliation or racial biases·· were not reasonable. (California Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
GANGS

Mooring v. San Francisco Sh;riff's Dept., 289 F.Supp.2d 1110 (N.D.Cal. 2003). A county jail
inmate brought a prose§ 1983 action alleging deliberate indifference to his safety when he was
housed unwillingly with gang rivals who assaulted him. The court granted summary judgment
for the defendants. The court held that a deputy sheriff did not violate the inmate's due process
right to protection from violence, absent any evidence that the deputy knew the inmate's

XIX

8.56

particular gang affiliation or that the deputy could have learned the inmate's gang affiliation
from information on the inmate's housing records. (San Francisco County Jail, California)
U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
CUSTODY LEVEL

Torres v. Stewart, 263 F.Supp.2d 463 (D.Conn. 2003). A state inmate sued prison officials,
alleging that as a pretrial detainee he was designated as a security risk without a hearing, and
confined in segregation in violation of his due process rights. The inmate sought damages and the
restoration of forfeited good time credits. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of
the defendants. The court held that the inmate's request for restoration of good time credits was
not cognizable under§ 1983, and that as a pretrial detainee, he had not protected liberty interest
in his classification. The court noted that the classification was not punishment proscribed by due
process principles. The detainee had received a notice of his hearing two days prior to its
scheduled date, declined to present witnesses, declined the assistance of an advocate, admitted to
being a soldier for a gang, was identified as a regional commander in the gang, and had been
arrested for the murder of a rival gang member. (Northern Correctional Institution, Connecticut)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDERS

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 Treatment Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEX OFFENDERS

Williams v. Meyer, 346 F.3d 607 (6th Cir. 2003). A state prisoner who was committed under
Michigan's Criminal Sexual Psychopath Act sought habeas relief. The district court denied the
petition and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed, vacated and remanded. The
appeals court held that the prisoner's claim that it was more difficult to obtain release under the
Act than under Michigan's Mental Health Code could warrant habeas relief, if the state's reasons
for such differences were not compelling. The prisoner alleged that the Act's discharge provision
did not necessarily require proof of likelihood of a prisoner's future dangerousness for continued
commitment, in violation of due process. (Michigan)
2004

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
TRANSFER

Ashford v. District of Columbia, 306 F.Supp.2d 8 (D.D.C. 2004). A prisoner brought a civil rights
action against the District of Columbia and its employees, alleging they were liable to him for
injuries resulting from an attack by other inmates. The district court held that the prisoner
stated a sufficient causal connection between his injuries and the District's alleged policy or
custom of transferring inmates without informing the receiving institutions about active
separation orders. The court also found that the prisoner stated a claim under § 1983 against the
District's Interstate Compacts administrator. The court noted that the prisoner told prison
officials at the receiving facility about the separation orders, but that an official separation order
would have received more consideration and attention. (Pleasant Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

Austin v. Wilkinson, 372 F.3d 346 (6th 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 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)

XIX

8.57

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
SEPARATION
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

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. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER

Colton v. Ashcroft, 299 F.Supp.2d 681 (E.D.Ky. 2004). A federal prisoner filed a petition for
habeas corpus relief alleging that the federal Bureau of Prison's new regulation, which would
delay his release to a halfway house until only ten percent of his sentence remained, violated the
notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The district court
granted the prisoner's motion for a preliminary injunction. The court held that the Prison
Litigation Reform Act's (PLRA) exhaustion requirements did not apply to a habeas petition. The
court noted that the public interest would be served by the grant of an injunction and that
theprisoner would be irreparably harmed in the absence of an injunction. The court ordered the
prisoner to be immediately transferred to a halfway house without regard to the new regulation.
(FMC· Lexington, Kentucky, Fed. Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
SMOKING

Johnson v. Pearson, 316 F.Supp.2d 307 (E.D.Va. 2004). A prisoner brought a civil rights action
under§ 1983 against state prison officials, alleging that they acted with deliberate indifference to
his risk of medical harm when they refused to assign him to a nonsmoking cell. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in part, and denied in part. The court held
that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to the risk of serious damage to the
prisoner's future health as the result of his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and that
the defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity from the prisoner's future injury claims.
The court also held that the prisoner's allegations regarding present injuries from environmental
tobacco smoke stated a cognizable claim under the Eighth Amendment, and that the defendants
were not entitled to qualified immunity from that claim. The inmate alleged that he experienced
mild headaches, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, runny nose, dizziness, and occasional sto·mach
cramping when he was housed with a smoking inmate. The court noted that officials never
considered the consequences of future health problems when they refused to transfer the inmate
to a nonsmoking cell, but were only concerned with administrative convenience. (Sussex II State
Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDER
DUE PROCESS

Kritenbrink v. Crawford, 313 F.Supp.2d 1043 (D.Nev. 2004). Former and current state inmates
filed§ 1983 actions alleging that the state provided no adequate due process procedures for them
to challenge their classification as sex offenders. The district court dismissed the action, finding
that the current inmate had to exhaust his administrative remedies, and that the state did not
violate the former inmate's procedural due process rights. The court found that the State of
Nevada provided an adequate administrative procedure for the inmate to challenge his
classification as a sex offender, where administrative regulations stated that classification
decisions were grievable and that the grievance procedure had to afford a meaningful remedy.
(Northern Nevada Correctional Center, and Warm Springs Correctional Center, Nevada)

U.S. Appeals Court
SMOKING

Lehn v. Holmes, 364 F.3d 862 (7th Cir. 2004). A prose state prisoner sued a state, alleging denial
of access to the courts and living conditions that violated the Eighth Amendment. The district
court dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded.
The appeals court held that the State of Illinois, the state in which the prisoner was confined, was
the proper defendant on the prisoner's claim that denial of access to Maryland legal materials
hampered his ability to respond to pending Maryland criminal charges. The court also found that
the prisoner had standing to challenge the corrections department's system-wide practice of
housing nonsmoking inmates with smokers, by alleging concrete, particularized and actual
injuries traceable to the practice. The court noted that the plaintiff held a Ph.D. in biochemistry
and was a former Resident Research Assistant at the National Cancer Institute, and that he
"knows a lot about the ill effects of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke." (Pontiac Correctional
Center, Big Muddy Correctional Center, and Graham Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK

Pennington v. Taylor, 343 F.Supp.2d 508 (E.D.Va. 2004). A state prisoner brought a prose§ 1983
against a correctional officer, alleging that the officer showed deliberate indifference to a risk of
harm by assigning him to a top bunk in light of certain medical conditions. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the officer. The court held that the officer was not
deliberately indifferent because he simply had the prisoner's representations as to his medical

XIX

8.58

condition, and she had no duty to confirm the representations because she had no authority over
bed assignments, and there was no prior medically-authorized bottom bunk assignment. The
court noted that the officer informed the prisoner of the steps he needed to take to change his
bunk assignment, and there was no immediate indication that the prisoner was at risk.
(Mecklenburg Correctional Center, Virginia)
U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Pierson v. Hartley, 391 F.3d 898 (7 th Cir. 2004). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials for failing to protect him from an assault by another inmate. Following a jury verdict in
favor of the inmate, the district court entered judgment as a matter of law in favor of the officials.
The inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that evidence
was sufficient to create a fact issue for the jury as to whether officials disregarded risk to the
inmate by assigning the assailant to a low-security dorm and allowing him to remain there
following his weapons conviction in a prison disciplinary system. According to the court, the
officials probably reviewed a letter from a county sheriff warning of the assailant's aberrant
behavior and calling him an escape and assault risk, and the officials were likely aware of the
assailant's disciplinary conviction of weapon possession. The court also found that the officials
knew that the assailant had neither one year in the general prison population nor ten years
without any serious convictions of conduct violations, as required by prison policy for placement
in a low-security level dorm. (Indiana State Prison)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL

Scott v. Federal Bureau ofPrisons, 317 F.Supp.2d 529 (D.N.J. 2004). A prisoner who had filed a
habeas corpus petition filed a motion for injunctive relief to compel the federal Bureau of Prisons
(BOP) to make a determination of his eligibility for release to a community corrections center
(CCC) pursuant to a former BOP policy. The district court granted injunctive relief, finding that
the prisoner was denied due process by a Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel memo,
which misinterpreted the law, thereby unlawfully restricting the BOP's discretion in determining
how a prisoner's level of custody was to be implemented. (Fed. Corr'l. Ctr., Fort Dix, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE

U.S. v. Catalan-Roman, 329 F.Supp.2d 240 (D.Puerto Rico 2004). Two pretrial detainees filed a
motion contesting their placement in administrative segregation after they were certified as being
death-penalty eligible. The district court granted their motion, finding that death certification did
not justify their automatic placement in administrative detention. The court noted that the
detainees had resided in the general prison population without incident for over one year before
being death-certified, there was no evidence that death-certified detainees were more likely to be
disruptive or to take hostages, and their placement in administrative segregation eliminated
their ability to establish mitigating evidence relative to their character and adjustment to life in
prison. (Metropolitan Detention Center-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEE
SEGREGATION

U.S. v. Lopez, 327 F.Supp.2d 138 (D.Puerto Rico 2004). A pretrial detainee who was placed in a
special housing unit because he faced the death penalty, filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing
on the conditions of his pretrial confinement. The district court held that the detainee's placement
in a special housing unit solely because he faced the death penalty amounted to unconstitutional
punishment. (Spec.ial Housing Unit, MDC-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)
2005

U.S. District Court
SMOKING

Bartlett v. Pearson, 406 F.Supp.2d 626 (E.D.Va. 2005). A state prison inmate who was a nonsmoker suffering from asthma, brought a § 1983 Eighth Amendment action against corrections
officials alleging that being housed in a cell and housing unit with inmates who smoked
endangered his health. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
The court held the officials were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's request for nonsmoking housing and they were not indifferent to the inmate's asthma. The court noted that an
allegation that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) posed an unreasonable risk of
serious damage to future health is cognizable under the Eighth Amendment. The prison had a
policy aimed at limiting, when practicable, inmates' exposure to ETS, and they twice offered the
inmate the option of residing in special or segregated housing. The inmate was moved to a nonsmoking area after being housed with smokers for a total of 17 weeks, which the court found to be
"not unreasonable" given the level of crowding at the prison and the fact that safety concerns took
precedence over smoking preferences. (Sussex II State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Esmont v. City ofNew York, 371 F.Supp.2d 202 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). An arrestee filed a§ 1983 action
alleging that city health inspectors and police officers violated her constitutional rights during
her arrest and detention for violations of a city nuisance law. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the officials were not deliberately
indifferent to the arrestee's serious medical needs when they did not comply with the arrestee's
request for hot tea during an asthma attack, but called emergency medical services instead. The
female detainee was handcuffed to a cross bar outside of a holding cell for over 7 hours, with no
place to rest her elbow. She was required to use a bathroom that was monitored by a security
camera and an officer insisted on watching her while she used the bathroom. She sought medical

XIX

8.59

attention two days after her release for damage caused to her wrist by the handcuffing. The court
held that the detainee was not exposed to excessive force, where the jail had only one cell and
officials had a policy of not placing prisoners of opposite sexes in the cell together. The court noted
that there was no evidence that the handcuffs were too tight, and the arrestee did not request
that her handcuffs be loosened. (City of New York Police Department)
U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
GANGS

Harbin-Bey v. Rutter, 420 F.3d 571 (6th Cir. 2005). A state prisoner filed a prose§ 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." (Alger Maximum Security Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

Harris v. Meulemans, 389 F.Supp.2d 438 (D.Conn. 2005). An inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against a warden and corrections officials to challenge, as a violation of procedural due process, a
hearing the resulted in his classification as a "Security Risk Group Member." The district court
dismissed the action for failure to state a claim. The court held that an inmate has no due process
liberty interest in a particular security classification, accrual of good time credits, or placement in
a less-restrictive half-way house or work-release setting. (Cheshire Corr'l Inst., Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
PRIVILEGES

King v. Frank, 371 F.Supp.2d 977 (W.D.Wis. 2005). A state prison inmate brought a§ 1983 action
against corrections officials, alleging undue restrictions on telephone usage and access to written
publications, improper cell illumination, and failure to provide adequate mental health care. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials. The court found that policies
that placed extra restrictions on telephone use and the number of visitations for inmates in
segregation status, and prohibited those inmates from possessing publications other than books,
were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. According to the court, the policies
were designed to promote security and rehabilitation by allowing for the award of increased
privileges for segregated inmates who demonstrated good behavior. (Waupun Correctional
Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
POLICY/
PROCEDURE
FAILURE TO
PROTECT

Little v. Shelby County, Tenn., 384 F.Supp.2d 1169 (W.D.Tenn. 2005). An inmate brought a§
1983 action against a county and sheriff, alleging that he had been raped in jail in violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights. The county stipulated to liability and an order of injunctive relief was
issued. Later, the district court found the county in contempt, and the county sought to purge
itself of the contempt finding. The court entered a purgation order. The court held that the county
and sheriff complied with the Eighth Amendment and purged themselves of contempt through
the adoption of a structured reform to correct conditions that included violence, rape and gang
control among inmates. In reaching its conclusion, the court considered whether officials took all
reasonable steps within their power to comply with the order, which included whether they
marshaled their own resources, asserted their highest authority, and demanded the results
needed from subordinate persons and agencies in order to effectuate the course of action required
by the order. The court praised the county, noting that it had adopted a focused, systemic and
information-driven structural reform based on critical exert assessment of essential institutional
functions. The county adopted a 14-point remedial scheme that included implementing direct
supervision management of inmate cellblocks, improving population management, collecting and
utilizing data, and installing an objective inmate classification system. (Shelby Co. Jail, Tenn)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION

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 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
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS

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

XIX

8.60

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)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Purcell ex rel. Estate of Morgan v. Toombs County, 400 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir. 2005). The mother of

a county jail inmate who died after he was beaten and injured by three other inmates brought a §
1983 action against a sheriff and jail administrator. The district court denied qualified immunity
for the defendants, and Eleventh Amendment immunity for the sheriff, and they appealed. The
appeals court reversed. The court held that the conditions at the county jail did not pose a
“substantial risk of serious harm” as required to show an Eighth Amendment violation. The
inmate was beaten by three other inmates in his cell over an alleged money dispute. Inmates
were allowed to keep money in their cells, play cards and gamble, the jail had a history of inmateon-inmate assaults, and the jail’s layout presented some difficulty in the continuous observation
of inmates. But the court noted that inmates were segregated based on particularized factors,
including the kind of crime committed and personal conflicts, the jail was not understaffed at the
time of the attack, serious inmate-on-inmate violence was not the norm, fights that did occur
were not linked to any recurring specific cause, and jailers had a history of punishing inmate
violence. At the time of the incident the jail held 118 inmates and was staffed at normal levels,
having five officers on duty. The sheriff had directed that a new commissary system be instituted
to manage inmate funds so that inmates would not have to keep money on their persons, but the
system had not been put in place by the day of the incident. (Toombs County Jail, Georgia)

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK

Reimann v. Frank, 397 F.Supp.2d 1059 (W.D.Wis. 2005). A state prison inmate sued various

U.S. District Court
ISOLATION

Scarver v. Litscher, 371 F.Supp.2d 986 (W.D.Wis. 2005). A state prison inmate sued officials

U.S. District Court
TRANSFER

Scott v. Garcia, 370 F.Supp.2d 1056 (S.D.Cal. 2005). An inmate brought a suit against a state
corrections department alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and
against individual department employees for violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in part and denied it in part. The
court held that summary judgment was precluded on a claim that members of the prison’s
classification committee violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights by not recommending
his transfer to a facility with acute hospital care, and on a claim that the prison system violated
ADA by not allowing him a longer time to eat his meals or by allowing him to eat small frequent
meals. (High Desert State Prison, Centinela State Prison, California)

XX

correctional officials under § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights. The inmate
petitioned for the right to proceed in forma pauperis and the district court granted the petition in
part, and denied it in part. The court held that denial of weight training facilities was not an
Eighth Amendment violation where there was no showing that a corrections official knew that
weight training was necessary to treat the inmate’s femoral neuropathy and other leg ailments.
The court also held that a warden and nurse practitioner did not violate the inmate’s Eighth
Amendment rights by denying him access to indoor recreational facilities that were needed for
the rehabilitation of his leg. They had been following a regulation that barred inmates who were
on “low bunk restriction” due to medical conditions from indoor recreation. The court found that
the inmate stated an Eighth Amendment claim with his allegations that a nurse practitioner
countermanded an earlier order of a physician that only soft restraints were to be used. The court
noted that there was a possibility that the nurse practitioner sought to deliberately inflict pain,
rather than implement a differing medical assessment of the inmate’s condition. (Stanley
Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
seeking damages for their alleged indifference to his illness and challenging his conditions of
confinement. The district court entered judgment in favor of the officials. The court held that the
officials did not show deliberate indifference to the inmate’s mental illness condition, because he
was examined and prescribed various antipsychotic medications. The inmate alleged that the only
deficiency in his treatment was that officials failed to provide art supplies when they were
requested. The court found that there were fact issues as to whether the inmate was subjected to
conditions that were severe enough to violate the Eighth Amendment, but that the officials had
qualified immunity from the inmate’s damages suit. The court held that placing the mentally ill
inmate in a continuously-illuminated maximum security cell without windows was not clearly
established to be an Eighth Amendment violation at the time they placed the inmate in the most
extreme isolation section of the maximum security prison. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

8.61

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
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)
2006

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
DUE PROCESS
CUSTODY LEVEL

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

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
DUE PROCESS
CUSTODY LEVEL

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

U.S. Appeals Court
MENTALLY ILL
SEGREGATION

Clark-Murphy v. Foreback, 439 F.3d 280 (6th Cir. 2006). The estate of a state inmate who died of
dehydration while in an observation cell brought two civil rights suits against prison employees,
alleging deliberate indifference to the prisoner's medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. The district court denied qualified immunity to 15 corrections officers and they
appealed. The appeals court held that a captain and sergeant who assisted the inmate after he
collapsed outside the mess hall were not subjectively indifferent to his serious medical needs in
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, and thus were entitled to qualified immunity. The
court noted that each perceived that the inmate faced risks to his psychological health and took
reasonable steps to ensure that officers in charge of the inmate's care secured psychological
services for him, and that neither officer had any further contact with the inmate or any reason to
believe that the inmate's medical needs were not being met. The court found that prison officers
and a psychologist who were in the position to perceive that the inmate, who was acting strangely
and had been locked in an observation cell and had not received the psychological assistance he
needed, were not entitled to qualified immunity on the Eighth Amendment claim alleging
deliberate indifference given their interactions with the inmate and their apparent failure to go
up the chain of command when a referral did not secure assistance for the inmate. The court also
found that the officers and psychologist were not entitled to qualified immunity on the claim that
they were deliberately indifferent to the hydration needs of the inmate who died of dehydration
after six days in an observation cell, as they could have perceived a serious risk to the inmate

XX

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
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)

8.62

based on a heat wave, the fact that water was repeatedly cut off to inmate's cell during their
shifts, and the reports of other inmates that the inmate had called out for water. The court found
that a correctional nurse who worked just one shift shortly after the inmate's placement in an
observation cell was entitled to qualified immunity from liability given her limited exposure to
the inmate and the resulting absence of evidence that there was reason to believe that the nurse
perceived that psychological help had not been obtained for the inmate or that his condition was
deteriorating. (Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, Michigan)
U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DISCIPLINE
EQUAL
PROTECTION

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

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE
SPECIAL NEEDS

Drake ex rel. Cotton v. Koss, 445 F.3d 1038 (8th Cir. 2006). The legal guardian for an
incapacitated person who attempted to commit suicide while he was a pretrial detainee in a
county jail, and a state department of human services sued a county and various officials in their
individual and official capacities under § 1983, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments, and asserted a state law claim for negligence. The district court granted the
defendants' motion for summary judgment and the guardian appealed. The appeals court
affirmed. On rehearing, the appeals court held that county jailers' actions did not constitute
deliberate indifference, and the jailers' decision not to assign a special need classification to the
pretrial detainee was a discretionary decision protected by official immunity. According to the
court, the jailers' actions of conducting well-being checks of the pretrial detainee only every 30
minutes, failing to remove bedding and clothing, and failing to fill the detainee's anti-anxiety
prescription in a timely manner did not constitute deliberate indifference. The court found that
the jailers' view of the risk was shaped by the diagnosis and recommendations of a psychiatrist,
who indicated that the detainee was not suicidal but simply manipulative. The court noted that
the jailers' decision not to assign a special need classification to the pretrial detainee, that would
have required more frequent observation, was a discretionary decision rather than a ministerial
duty, protected by official immunity. The detainee was discovered hanging by a bed sheet from a
ceiling vent in his cell. He was not breathing and the jailers immediately set to work resuscitating
him and then transported him to a nearby hospital. He survived, but suffered serious brain
injuries as a result of the suicide attempt. (McLeod County Jail, Minnesota)

U.S. District Court
SEX OFFENDERS
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA

Fox v. Lappin, 409 F.Supp.2d 79 (D.Mass. 2006). A federal prisoner brought suit against the

U.S. Appeals Court
TRANSFER
LIBERTY
INTEREST

Garcia v. Lemaster, 439 F.3d 1215 (10th Cir. 2006). A New Mexico inmate housed in California

XX

various corrections defendants, alleging unlawful conditions of confinement and excessive force.
The district court dismissed the claims. The court held that: (1) placement of the prisoner in
isolation for not more than two months at a time did not implicate a liberty interest; (2) neither
Delaware law nor Department of Corrections regulations created a due process liberty interest in
a prisoner’s classification within an institution, and the prisoner had no property or liberty
interest in the prison classification program or his housing assignment; (3) the prisoner failed to
state an equal protection claim based on the allegation that a majority of the inmates in the
special housing unit were black; (4) the denial of the disciplined prisoner’s television privilege did
not give rise to an Eighth Amendment claim since television privileges did not constitute
necessities; and (5) the failure to serve brand name cereals and cold fresh water during meal time
were not an Eighth Amendment violation. (Delaware Correctional Center)

Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a warden, seeking declaratory judgment that his
classification as a sex offender based on a 1981 state sexual assault conviction was improper. The
prisoner also challenged the Bureau's failure to consider him for community center placement
based on his failure to participate in a sex offender program. The district court held that a federal
prisoner cannot be designated as a sex offender based on a state sex offense for purposes of the
federal statute requiring that notice be given to state and local authorities of an inmate's release
if the inmate has been designated as a sex offender, and that designated sex offender register in
the state in which he will reside, because the Attorney General's authority under the statute is
limited to designating federal offenses as sex offenses. The court found that as a matter of inmate
classification, a prisoner's classification as a sex offender on basis of state sexual assault
conviction was not an abuse of discretion. The court held that the BOP policy that categorically
excludes inmates with sex offender safety factors from placement in community corrections
centers is a permissible interpretation of the rule and that the BOP did not abuse its discretion in
denying an inmate designated as a sex offender placement in a community corrections center
based on his failure to participate in a mandatory sex offender program. The court noted that the
federal statute governing pre-release custody of a federal prisoner does not create a liberty
interest in the prisoner's transfer to the less restrictive environment of community center
placement, as the statute does not mandate community center placement nor any placement in a
less restrictive environment, it merely insures placement under pre-release conditions except
where no such placement is practicable. (Federal Medical Center, Devens, Massachusetts)

pursuant to an Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC) filed a civil rights action against New
Mexico defendants challenging his classification and denial of recreation in California. The
district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and the inmate
appealed. The court of appeals affirmed, finding that the inmate was required to bring his civil

8.63

rights suit challenging the conditions of his confinement against his California custodians, and
that the inmate did not have a state-created liberty interest in conditions of confinement in
accord with New Mexico regulations when he was housed in another state. According to the court,
an inmate incarcerated in another state pursuant to the ICC had no liberty interest entitling him
to the application of the sending state's classification and recreation rules while confined in the
receiving state. The court also found that the inmate had no statutory right under the ICC to be
classified and afforded recreation pursuant to New Mexico regulations, noting that the ICC
specifically provided that such inmates were entitled to treatment equal to that afforded similar
inmates of the receiving state. (New Mexico State Penitentiary, New Mexico Department of
Corrections)
U.S. District Court
LIBERTY
INTEREST

Gaskins v. Johnson, 443 F.Supp.2d 800 (E.D.Va. 2006). A state inmate, proceeding pro se, filed a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the denial of good conduct credits. The district
court dismissed the petition. The court held that the appropriate remedy for the inmate's
challenge to the denial of good conduct credits was an action pursuant to § 1983, not a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus. The court found that the inmate did not have a protected liberty interest
in either maintaining a current classification or obtaining a new classification, as required to
prevail on a § 1983 claim. (Powhatan Correctional Center, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
CELL ASSIGNMENT
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Lindell v. Houser, 442 F.3d 1033 (7th Cir. 2006). A white-supremacist inmate brought an action

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
TRANSFER

Moots v. Lombardi, 453 F.3d 1020 (8th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner sued various prison officials,
alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to his serious mental health needs and that they
retaliated against him for filing a grievance. The district court entered summary judgment for the
officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed and held that: (1) the failure to
house the prisoner with cellmates of his choosing did not constitute deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs, where the officials had ample reasons for their action, including safety
concerns, and the officials had no reason to know that their housing choices would have a serious
negative impact on the prisoner’s mental health; (2) any failure to ensure that the prisoner’s
medications were promptly transferred to solitary confinement did not constitute deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs, absent a showing by the prisoner that he suffered harm
as a result; (3) a conduct violation for fighting did not constitute retaliatory discipline, where the
prisoner was bruised around his eye, and the fact that a conduct violation was later expunged did
not mean that there was not some evidence for its imposition; and (4) transfer to another prison
did not constitute disciplinary retaliation, where he disputed neither the computation of his
classification score nor the conclusion that his score made him ineligible to remain at the prison
from which he was transferred. (Missouri Eastern Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Morales v. Tilton, 465 F.Supp.2d 972 (N.D.Cal. 2006). A death row inmate filed a § 1983 action
alleging that California’s protocol governing executions by lethal injection violated the Eighth
Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The court held that the protocol,
as implemented, violated the Eighth Amendment, even though the sequence of three drugs
described in the protocol, when properly administered, would provide for a constitutionally
adequate level of anesthesia. The court found that there were systemic flaws in the
implementation of the protocol that made it impossible to determine with any degree of certainty
whether inmates may have been conscious during previous executions or whether there was any
reasonable assurance going forward that an inmate would be adequately anesthetized. The court
noted “Any legal proceeding arising in this contest thus acts as a powerful magnet, an
opportunity for people who care about this divisive issue to express their opinions and vent their
frustrations.” (San Quentin State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIBERTY
INTEREST

Myron v. Terhune, 457 F.3d 996 (9th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
several correctional officers and medical personnel at a prison. The district court dismissed the
action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that a state
regulation governing the security classification of prisoners did not give the state prisoner a

XX

alleging that prison official violated the Eighth Amendment by housing him with a black inmate.
The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the official and the inmate appealed.
The court of appeals held that the official did not violate the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights
by placing him in a cell with a black inmate, even though the official knew of the black inmate's
involvement with a gang and the white inmate's expression of fear. The court found that the
official did not have reason to believe that the white inmate was at a serious risk since eighteen
months had passed without incident after the cellmates' initial fight and nothing indicated
specific threats had been made by the black inmate or other members of the gang. The court
noted that the inmate had no constitutional right to be housed with members of his own race,
culture, or temperament. The court held that the inmate was not entitled to a court-appointed
lawyer to help him prosecute his case against prison officials, noting that the inmate was
experienced in litigation, and that any difficulty prosecuting his case was largely caused by the
inmate’s choice to pursue other cases at the same time. (Waupun Correctional Institution,
Wisconsin)

8.64

liberty interest, protected by the due process clause, in the security level to which he was classified, noting that
the regulation provided that prison officials retained discretion in making placement decisions. (Salinas Valley
State Prison, California)
U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
SUICIDE
MENTALLY ILL

Perez v. Oakland County, 466 F.3d 416 (6th Cir. 2006). The father and personal representative of an inmate's
estate brought a § 1983 action against a county, sheriff department, sheriff deputies, inmate caseworker, and
psychiatrist alleging the defendants violated the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights by failing to provide
appropriate mental health treatment or monitoring while he was being held in a county jail, leading to the
inmate's suicide. The eighteen-year-old inmate had hanged himself from a bedsheet tied to a vent in his single
cell. The district court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment and the father appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that a county policy allowing a caseworker, who was not medical
personnel, to make decisions regarding housing assignments for mentally ill inmates did not demonstrate
deliberate indifference. The court noted that the caseworker was well-trained in mental health needs and suicide,
nothing established that the policy had ever resulted in suicide or attempted suicide by another prisoner in the
county jail, and the father's expert stated that prisoner screening and placement decisions were commonly made
by non-medical officials. The court held that the caseworker was entitled to qualified immunity because it was
not clearly established at the time of the suicide that a county jail caseworker could be found to be deliberately
indifferent to an inmate's medical needs by moving him to single cell housing without first consulting the
inmate's treating physician or the jail's psychiatrist, even though the inmate had threatened suicide and attempted
suicide in the past. The court noted that the inmate was not deemed suicidal when he was moved to a single cell,
the inmate was not generally deprived of medical treatment involving his mental health needs, and prisoners had
no general right to be correctly screened for suicidal tendencies. (Oakland County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOWER BUNK
SPECIAL NEEDS

Phillips v. Jasper County Jail, 437 F.3d 791 (8th Cir. 2006). An inmate at a county jail brought a § 1983 action
against various jail employees and the jail's doctor, alleging violation of his constitutional rights. The district
court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment and the inmate appealed. The court of appeals held
that the inmate was not entitled to appointed counsel where discovery had just begun at the time the inmate
requested counsel and there was no conflicting testimony, there was no indication that the inmate was unable to
investigate or present his case, the inmate correctly identified the applicable legal standard governing his claims
and successfully amended his complaint to include essential information, his claims involved information readily
available to him, the inmate was able to avoid procedural default, the complaint was sufficient to survive the first
motion for summary judgment, and the inmate had been able to file more than thirty documents with the court.
The court found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether jail
employees assigned the inmate to a top bunk, despite the fact that he suffered from a seizure disorder. (Jasper
County Jail, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
TRANSFER
CUSTODY LEVEL

Price v. Wall, 464 F.Supp.2d 90 (D.R.I. 2006). A state prisoner brought a pro se civil rights action under § 1983
against various prison officials, alleging the officials retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment
rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that: (1) the
prisoner’s transfer to an out-of-state correctional system was not adverse; (2) the prisoner’s classification while
confined in the out-of-state correctional facility to a restrictive or harsh classification was not adverse, for the
purposes of his First Amendment retaliation claim; and (4) the officials were not liable for retaliation based on
the prisoner’s classification while confined in the out-of-state correctional facility. The court noted that the
prisoner’s classification was not significantly more severe than his classification while confined at the in-state
correctional facility. (Rhode Island Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
JUVENILE
HOMOSEXUALS
DUE PROCESS

R.G. v. Koller, 415 F.Supp.2d 1129 (D.Hawai’i 2006). Three juveniles who either identified themselves as, or
were perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and who had been confined at a state juvenile
correctional facility brought claims against the facility alleging due process, equal protection, Establishment
Clause, and access to counsel violations. The district court granted the juveniles’ motion for a preliminary
injunction in part, and denied in part. The court held that the juveniles had standing to seek a preliminary
injunction preventing the facility officials from engaging in unconstitutional conduct and requiring them to
implement policies and procedures to ensure their safety at the facility. Although none of the juveniles were
incarcerated at the time the complaint was filed, the court found that enjoining certain unconstitutional conduct
and requiring officials to implement policies and procedures to remedy those conditions would remedy the
juveniles' injury, and, the juveniles showed a likelihood of repetition of the injury given that each of the juveniles
had been incarcerated at the facility two to three times over a relatively short period of time, each had been
released only to return to the facility a short time later, and the juveniles' experiences indicated that, at the time
the complaint was filed, each juvenile was likely to return to the facility. The court found that the facility's
adoption of a youth rights policy providing that youth should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual
orientation did not render moot the juveniles' claims for injunctive relief from sexual orientation harassment,
absent evidence, aside from the policies themselves, that the facility had altered its treatment of its lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender wards. According to the court, the facility's use of isolation to “protect” its lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender wards was not within the range of acceptable professional practices and constituted
punishment in violation of their due process rights. The court found that such practices were, at best, an
excessive and therefore unconstitutional, response to the legitimate safety needs of the institution. (Hawai‘i
Youth Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
GANGS
DUE PROCESS

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.

XXI

8.65

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
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
DISCIPLINE

Wilson v. Taylor, 466 F.Supp.2d 567 (D.Del. 2006). Thirty-one Black inmates filed a § 1983 action alleging that
state prison officials routinely denied their right to procedural due process during disciplinary hearings and
security classification determinations. The officials moved to dismiss the complaint and the inmates asked for
summary judgment. The motions were granted in part and denied in part. The court held that Delaware has
created no constitutionally protected liberty interest in an inmate’s security classification, even when the change
in classification is for disciplinary reasons. The court found that the black inmates did not have a liberty interest
in prison jobs, a particular security classification, or assignments to particular buildings, and thus the state prison
officials’ decision in those matters did not violate the inmates’ due process rights. The court noted that state
prison policies and procedures did not give a reasonable expectation of employment, a particular security
classification, or a particular building assignment. The court denied summary judgment for the defendants on the
issue of whether state prison officials consistently treated black inmates differently from similarly situated white
inmates in job assignments, disciplinary actions, and security classification, and racially segregated the inmates
within the facility. According to the court, the issue involved fact questions that could not be resolved on a
motion to dismiss the claim against officials for violating their equal protection rights. The court held that an
inmate’s allegation that he was transferred to a housing unit with far fewer privileges after filing a civil rights
action against the prison officials, in violation of his First Amendment right of access to courts, sufficiently
alleged a retaliation claim against the officials, and that a genuine issue of material fact as to the reason for the
inmate’s transfer to a more restrictive facility precluded summary judgment. (Delaware Dept. of Correction)
2007

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

Ashford v. U.S., 511 F.3d 501 (5th Cir. 2007). An inmate sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims
Act (FTCA) alleging that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was negligent in placing him in a prison
population with a gang member who had attacked him in the past. The district court entered summary judgment
for the BOP and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the
discretionary-function exception to FTCA did not apply if the inmate raised a concern at a prison intake
interview that he would be endangered if he were placed in the prison population with the gang member. The
court noted that a prison policy required that the inmate be put into solitary confinement pending an
investigation if he raised such a concern, leaving prison officials with no discretion. According to the court,
genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the inmate raised a concern at the prison intake interview,
precluding summary judgment. (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER
LIBERTY INTEREST

Farmer v. Kavanagh, 494 F.Supp.2d 345 (D.Md. 2007). A state prison inmate sued officials, claiming her
Fourteenth Amendment due process rights and her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment were violated when she was transferred from a medium to a maximum security facility. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court entered judgment for the officials on the federal
claims and dismissed the state law claim. The court held that the inmate had a liberty interest in not being sent to
a maximum security prison, as required in order to bring a claim that transfer to maximum security facility
without prior notice and an opportunity to be heard, was a violation of her Fourteenth Amendment rights. The
court noted that the maximum security prison's strict control over every aspect of an inmate's life, and almost
virtual isolation from any human contact, imposed conditions of confinement far worse than her previous
situation in the general population of a medium security prison. But the court found that the officials had
qualified immunity from the inmate's due process claim because, at the time of the transfer, it was not clearly
established that an inmate could have a liberty interest in not being transferred to a maximum security prison.
(Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center [“Supermax”])

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK
POLICY/PROCEDURE

Felix-Torres v. Graham, 521 F.Supp.2d 157, (N.D.N.Y. 2007). A prisoner filed a pro se § 1983 suit against the
New York Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), alleging that named DOCS employees and four “John
Doe” defendants violated his constitutional rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, related to
injuries suffered from a fall from his assigned upper bunk during a diabetic low blood sugar reaction and seizure.
The named employees moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion in part
and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner sufficiently alleged that prison officials were personally
involved in the deprivation of his Eighth Amendment rights and that they were not protected by qualified
immunity. The court found that the prisoner sufficiently alleged that a nurse administrator was deliberately
indifferent to a risk for the prisoner and that the prisoner’s allegations were sufficient for a § 1983 claim of
deprivation of rights. According to the court, the prisoner sufficiently alleged the “personal involvement” of a
superintendent and deputy superintendents of the prison based on the officials' creation and administration of
prison procedures for assignment of inmates to upper bunks, and by supervision of subordinates who assigned
the prisoner to an upper bunk despite his known medical condition. (Auburn Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Guzman v. Sheahan, 495 F.3d 852 (7th Cir. 2007). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against county jail
officials and a sheriff alleging violations of his right to due process as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and the detainee appealed. The appeals

XXI

8.66

court affirmed. The court held that a corrections officer was not deliberately indifferent to the detainee's
safety and welfare, as required for the detainee's § 1983 due process claim, arising out of a fight with
another inmate and resulting in serious injury to the detainee. The court noted that the detainee had never
before interacted with the inmate involved in the altercation nor had he ever communicated to the
corrections officer or to anyone else that the inmate might be a specific danger to him. Immediately after
the fight broke out, the officer called for back-up. The court held that there was no evidence that the sheriff
had knowledge that the classification and reclassification of inmates were being poorly implemented by
corrections officers, as required for the detainee's § 1983 official capacity claim against the sheriff. (Cook
County Jail, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
POLICY/PROCEDURE
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

Jenkins v. DeKalb County, Ga., 528 F.Supp.2d 1329 (N.D.Ga. 2007). Survivors of a county jail detainee who
had died as the result of an apparent beating by a fellow inmate brought a § 1983, Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment action against a county sheriff in his individual capacity, and against corrections officers. The
defendants moved for summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. The district court granted the motion.
The 71 year old pretrial detainee suffered from multiple mental illnesses including schizophrenia and dementia,
which reportedly manifested themselves in theform of delusions, paranoia, bizarre thoughts and behavior,
physical violence, and verbal outbursts that included racial epithets. The court held that county corrections
officers' putting the inmate into a cell different from the one to which he had been assigned, allegedly leading to
the beating death of a pretrial detainee who shared the same cell, did not violate the detainee's right against cruel
and unusual punishment. The court noted that even though the action violated a jail policy, the policy was
created primarily to keep track of inmates' placement, not to maintain inmate safety, and there was no evidence
of widespread inmate-on-inmate violence due to the misplacement of inmates. The court found that the plaintiffs
failed to show that the sheriff's alleged poor training and supervision of corrections officers led to the officers'
allegedly inadequate reaction to the incident between the jail inmates, which ended with the beating death of one
inmate. The court also found that the sheriff's failure to comply with a court order to transfer the pretrial detainee
to a mental health facility did not show supervisory liability because the purpose of the transfer order was likely
to get the detainee treatment for mental illness, not to protect him. The court held that the county corrections
officers were acting within the scope of their duties when they mistakenly placed a fellow inmate in the same
cell with a pretrial detainee, and thus the officers were eligible for qualified immunity in the detainee’s survivors'
§ 1983 Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment action. The court noted that the fact that the mistake violated jail
policies or procedures did not mean that the officers were not exercising discretionary authority. (DeKalb
County Jail, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST

Myron v. Terhune, 476 F.3d 716 (9th Cir. 2007). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against several
correctional officers and medical personnel at a prison. The district court dismissed the claims and the
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that California regulations governing
security classification of prisoners and subsequent facility placement did not give the state prisoner a liberty
interest, protected by the due process clause, in placement at a facility consistent with his security level.
According to the court, placement at a higher security level facility than an inmate’s classification did not
present an atypical and significant hardship, as there was no showing that conditions at the higher security
prisons differed significantly from those imposed upon inmates in lower level prisons or in administrative
segregation and protective custody. The court noted that there was no showing that the prisoner’s
classification would invariably affect the duration of his sentence. The court concluded that the prisoner’s
allegedly improper classification to a higher-level security facility than indicated by his individual security
classification did not violate the Eighth Amendment, as classification to such a facility did not amount to
the infliction of pain. (Salinas Valley State Prison, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
PROTECTIVE CUSTODY

O'Brien v. Indiana Dept. of Correction ex rel. Turner, 495 F.3d 505 (7th Cir. 2007). A prisoner brought a § 1983
action against a department of correction and a warden arising from an attack by other inmates, alleging
the warden was deliberately indifferent to his safety in violation of the Eighth Amendment. After denying
the prisoner's motion to add additional defendants, the district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the district court did not abuse
its discretion in denying the motion to amend. The court found that the warden was not deliberately
indifferent to a substantial risk of harm to the prisoner by placing the prisoner, who was a former prison
guard convicted of rape and other charges, in a unit where other at-risk inmates were placed,
notwithstanding that the prisoner was severely beaten by other inmates some four and one-half years after
his placement in the unit. The court noted that prison staff initially brought the prisoner into segregation for
his safety, and, having considered the nature of the threat against him and the availability of placing him
among the at-risk population, the prison chose to place him with the other former police officers, guards,
and prosecutors, a course of action that had been followed repeatedly in the past. (Wabash Valley
Correctional Facility, Indiana)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEPARATION

Rigano v. County of Sullivan, 486 F.Supp.2d 244 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). An inmate brought § 1983 and negligence
claims against a county, county sheriff, jail administrator, corrections officers and fellow inmates, alleging
that he was harassed and beaten by the inmate defendants while serving his sentence at the county jail, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The
court held that the county jail's procedure for determining where and in what manner new inmates were to
be housed did not amount to deliberate indifference to the inmate's safety, as would violate the Eighth
Amendment, despite the fact that the inmate was allegedly harassed and physically assaulted by other
inmates in the cell block where he was placed. The court noted that, pursuant to the jail's placement
procedure, corrections officers asked each inmate a series of questions to assist in placing them, including

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questions about any enemies the inmate had in the current prison population, the inmate failed to indicate
when asked any reason why he should not be placed in the general prison population, and the officers had
no reason to know that the inmate would be harassed and assaulted by other inmates. (Sullivan County
Jail, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS

Stevenson v. Carroll, 495 F.3d 62 (3rd Cir. 2007). Three pretrial detainees filed a pro se § 1983 action against a
warden, alleging that their placement in restrictive confinement violated their substantive and procedural
due process rights. The district court dismissed the action and the detainees appealed. The appeals court
vacated and remanded. The court held that the detainees’ allegations stated a claim for violation of
substantive due process rights and a claim for violation of procedural due process rights. The court
remanded the case for consideration of the qualified immunity claim. The detainees alleged that they were
punished prior to being sentenced by being placed in restrictive confinement, that they were subjected to
lengthy stays in isolation with prisoners who had disciplinary problems or who were in protective custody,
and that they were subjected to additional hardships that were not shared by the general prison population.
The court found that the detainees’ allegations were sufficiently factual to raise the detainees' right to relief
above a speculative level. The detainees also alleged that they were placed in restrictive confinement
indefinitely and removed from the general prison population while awaiting resentencing after their
sentences were vacated, and that they were not given any explanation or opportunity to contest the
restrictive placement. (Security Housing Unit [SHU], Delaware)
2008

U.S. District Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
DOUBLE CELLING
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION

Alves v. Murphy, 530 F.Supp.2d 381 (D.Mass. 2008). A person who had been civilly committed as a sexually
dangerous person (SDP) brought a civil rights action alleging that treatment center officials placed him at a risk
of harm by not adhering to certain mandatory procedures prior to implementing a double-bunking policy. The
plaintiff also alleged that the officials violated equal protection principles by granting privileges to certain
residents at the center, but not to others. A magistrate judge dismissed the action. The judge held that failure of
the state treatment center to follow its own procedures regarding double-bunking, standing alone, was not a
sufficient basis for a § 1983 claim. The court noted that the First Circuit analyzes the constitutional claims of
pretrial detainees, who, like civil committees, may not be punished, under the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. But, according to the court, the court draws on Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and
applies the “deliberate indifference” standard when analyzing a pretrial detainee's failure-to-protect claims.
(Massachusetts Treatment Center)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
PRETRIAL DETAINEE

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
CELL ASSIGNMENT
EQUAL PROTECTION
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Brand v. Motley, 526 F.3d 921 (6th Cir. 2008). A Black inmate, proceeding in forma pauperis, brought a § 1983
action after prison officials denied his request to share a cell with a white inmate in part because a “Black/White
move is more difficult to do than a same race move.” The district court dismissed the complaint as frivolous. The
inmate appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The court found that the prisoner’s allegations--that
he was discriminated against based on his race because his race figured into the denial of his request to move
cells--was not frivolous, since prisoners were protected from racial discrimination under the Equal Protection
Clause. (Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
GANGS
SEPARATION

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 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
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Jones v. Oakland County, 585 F.Supp.2d 914 (E.D.Mich. 2008). The personal representative of an arrestee's
estate brought an action against a county and two employees of the jail where the arrestee died of heart failure.
The arrestee had been brought to the jail on a bench warrant for failing to appear at a court proceeding. Two days
after her admission she was found unresponsive in her cell and could not be revived. It was subsequently
determined that she died of heart failure (ischemic cardiomyopathy). The defendants moved for summary

8.68
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judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that neither a jail interviewer, whose only
contact with the arrestee was a classification interview lasting between five and fifteen minutes, nor a jail nurse,
who first came into contact with the arrestee when she was summoned to assist in CPR and other efforts to
revive the arrestee after she was found unresponsive in her jail cell, were deliberately indifferent to the arrestee's
serious medical needs. According to the court, neither employee perceived a substantial risk to the arrestee's
health and well-being and yet disregarded that risk, and any purported negligence in the interviewer's assessment
of the arrestee's medical needs did not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. The court held that the conduct
of the interviewer, whose only contact with the arrestee was a classification interview lasting between five and
fifteen minutes, did not amount to “gross negligence” within the meaning of Michigan's governmental immunity
statute, and therefore she was not liable for failing to secure immediate medical treatment for a condition that
shortly would result in the arrestee's death. (Oakland County Jail, Michigan)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEPARATION
SEX OFFENDERS

Sain v. Wood, 512 F.3d 886 (7th Cir. 2008). A civilly-committed sex offender brought a § 1983 action alleging
that his conditions of confinement violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of some defendants and denied a motion for summary judgment based on
qualified immunity for the clinical director of a detention facility. The clinical director appealed. The appeals
court reversed and remanded. The court held that the district court did not commit plain error in assuming
implicitly that the clinical director was entitled to assert qualified immunity as a state actor. The court held that
the failure of the clinical director to transfer the offender to the newer, more comfortable and sanitary unit of the
facility did not amount to deliberate indifference, even assuming that the director knew of the allegedly poor
conditions of confinement that included cockroach infestations. The court noted that the director decided that a
transfer would contravene the offender's treatment objectives because the rooms in the new unit were double
occupancy. The court noted that the offender had refused to participate in sex offender treatment programs and
he had a history of sexual aggression with other inmates. (Joliet Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois
Department of Human Services)

U.S. District Court
RELIGION
TRANSFER

Shilling v. Crawford, 536 F.Supp.2d 1227 (D.Nev. 2008). A Washington prisoner who was being housed in
Nevada brought an action against prison officials, claiming violation of his rights under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted the officials’ motion for summary
judgment. The court held that prison authorities imposed a substantial burden on the prisoner's religious beliefs
when they conditioned the prisoner's receipt of a kosher meal on his relinquishment of the benefits of living in a
lower-security facility. But the court held that even if the prisoner could bring an individual capacity claim
against prison officials under RLUIPA, the officials would be entitled to qualified immunity since it would not
have been clear to a reasonable official in April 2004 that offering the prisoner a transfer to a higher security
prison to accommodate his religious diet would violate his rights under RLUIPA. (High Desert State Prison,
Nevada, and Washington Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION

Stanko v. Patton, 568 F.Supp.2d 1061 (D.Neb. 2008). A pretrial detainee brought two actions against jail
personnel alleging a number of constitutional violations. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The court noted that the detainee “…is a white supremacist. He is also a prolific pro se litigator who
makes a habit of suing jail and prison officials when he is charged with a crime. Those facts are central to
understanding these related civil cases.” The court held that the detainee's alleged belief in the Church of the
Creator and “White Man's Bible” was not protected and the jail had valid reasons for denying the detainee's
alleged religious dietary requests. The court found that there was no evidence that jail employees were aware of
facts from which an inference could be drawn that the detainee faced a serious risk of harm by being celled with
killers, robbers, and psychopaths, or that they actually drew such an inference, as required to establish deliberate
indifference. (Douglas County Correctional Center, Nebraska)
2009

U.S. District Court
SUICIDE

Cuebas v. Davila, 618 F.Supp.2d 124 (D.Puerto Rico 2009). The mother of a man who committed suicide in a
jail cell filed a § 1983 action on behalf of herself, her minor daughter, and her deceased son, claiming
deprivation of constitutional rights by the arresting police officers and their supervisors, and seeking
compensatory damages for pain and suffering due to the loss of her mentally ill son. The district court dismissed
the case in part, and declined to dismiss in part. The court held that the mother, as sole heir of her deceased son,
under Puerto Rico law, had Article III standing to bring a § 1983 suit on behalf of her son against the police
officers and supervisors for alleged constitutional violations, since the mother inherited her son's cause of action.
The court found that the mother's allegations that arresting officers and their superiors were deliberately
indifferent to her son’s risk of suicide in his jail cell following his arrest were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim
that the son's due process rights were violated under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court held that the mother's
allegations that the police officer in charge of detainees was deliberately indifferent to her son's risk of suicide
were factually sufficient to state a § 1983 claim that the officer violated her son's due process rights, including
allegations that the officer was aware of the likelihood that the arrestee might commit suicide, and that the
officer did not take obvious steps to prevent the arrestee's suicide. The mother had explained to the officers that
her son was mentally ill and that he had recently attempted suicide. The son was placed in a cell after his shoes
and belt had been removed. At some point during that night he committed suicide. The mother alleged that he
was not properly monitored while being held in custody, as he should have been, by the officers who were aware
he was suicidal. She alleged that his cell was not adequately monitored even though the police officers who
arrested him and who monitored him knew that he was mentally ill and had recently attempted suicide. (Puerto
Rico Police Department, Salinas Police Headquarters)

8.69
XXII

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
POLICY/PROCEDURE

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
LIBERTY INTEREST
SEX OFFENDERS

Gilmore v. Bostic, 636 F.Supp.2d 496 (S.D.W.Va. 2009). A state prison inmate brought an action against a
probation officer, the state parole board, and state correctional facility employees, asserting that his
constitutional rights were violated by allegedly false information in his presentence report for a burglary
conviction and in the prison file which resulted in the inmate's classification in the state penal system at a higher
level than was appropriate and in a sex offender designation. The district court held that: (1) the board was
entitled to absolute immunity; (2) employees were not liable in their official capacities on claims for
compensatory relief but the employees sued in their individual capacities were liable; (3) the inmate stated a
violation of a protected liberty interest in parole release under the state constitution; (4) the inmate stated a claim
under the state constitution for violation of a protected liberty interest in not being required to undergo sex
offender treatment; and (5) the inmate adequately alleged a physical injury required to recover for mental or
emotional injury. (Kanawha County Adult Probation Department, West Virginia Board of Probation and Parole,
Huttonsville Correctional Center, West Virginia)

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK

Goodson v. Willard Drug Treatment Campus, 615 F.Supp.2d 100 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). A state prisoner filed a pro
se § 1983 action against prison officials and a prison's drug treatment facility, claiming violation of his rights
under the Eighth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The district court granted summary judgment for
the defendants. The court held that the prison's assignment of the prisoner to a top bunk from which he fell and
was injured while confined in the prison's drug treatment facility, where he was sent for medical reasons relating
to a herniated disc in his lower back, did not deprive the prisoner of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment. The court noted that the prisoner did not have a serious medical need for a lower
bunk, and the prison did not make the top bunk assignment in deliberate indifference to the prisoner's medical
needs. (Willard Drug Treatment Campus, New York State Department of Correctional Services)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOWER BUNK

Griffin v. Arpaio, 557 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2009). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff
and others, alleging cruel and unusual punishment and unsafe living conditions based on their failure to assign
him a lower bunk for medical reasons. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative
remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The district court granted the motion and the inmate
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. Although the court found that a prison grievance need only alert the prison
to the nature of the wrong for which redress is sought and the inmate's failure to grieve deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs did not invalidate his exhaustion attempt, the inmate did not properly exhaust
administrative remedies under PLRA. The court held that the inmate's grievance regarding his need for a lower
bunk assignment did not provide sufficient notice of the staff's alleged disregard of his lower bunk assignments
to allow officials to take appropriate responsive measures, as required to properly exhaust administrative
remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) before he brought a § 1983 action. The officials
responding to the inmate's grievance reasonably concluded that a nurse's order for a lower bunk assignment
solved the inmate's problem. (Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
LIBERTY INTEREST
POLICY/PROCEDURE
TRANSFER

Holland v. Taylor, 604 F.Supp.2d 692 (D.Del. 2009). A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against a
Department of Correction (DOC) and DOC officials, alleging violations of his constitutional rights to equal
protection and due process, deliberate indifference, cruel and unusual punishment, and false imprisonment. The
prisoner moved to appoint counsel, and the defendants brought a renewed motion for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion for summary judgment and denied the motion to appoint counsel. The court
found that neither Delaware law nor Delaware Department of Correction regulations create a liberty interest, the
denial of which would constitute a due process violation, in a prisoner's classification within an institution. The
court found that the state prisoner had no constitutionally protected right to work release, and thus, neither the
alleged failure of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) member to inform the inmate of a disciplinary review
meeting regarding his alleged work release program violation, nor the prisoner's transfer following completion of
the sentence imposed in connection with the disciplinary meeting, to another facility to await return to the workrelease facility, violated the prisoner's due process rights, absent any atypical or significant hardship by being
housed at the other facility as compared to a work-release facility. (Delaware Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
PROTECTIVE CUSTORY

Houseknecht v. Doe, 653 F.Supp.2d 547 (E.D.Pa. 2009). An inmate brought an action against current and former
deputy wardens alleging they violated his right to freely exercise his religion under the First Amendment. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court
held that the restriction of the inmate's religious rights due to his election to enter into protective custody, under
which there were no formal religious ceremonies or formal classes similar to those provided to general
population inmates, was rationally related to legitimate penological interest in maintaining security and order,
and thus did not violate inmate's First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. According to the court, it
was reasonable for an inmate who opted for more protective conditions to enjoy fewer amenities. The court
noted that the inmate had regular communication with a chaplain who regularly brought reading materials to the
inmates in protective custody, and the inmate was not prevented from sitting with other inmates and doing his

8.70
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own Bible study in the unit day room. The court held that it could not require the prison to permit inmates in
protective custody to attend formal gatherings with other inmates, given the purpose of protective custody to
segregate inmates who believed that other inmates posed a danger to them, and the provision of additional
reading materials or access to additional religious media programming could likely not be accomplished without
significant cost. The court found that the Inmate's religious exercise was not substantially burdened by his
election to enter into protective custody, under which there were no formal religious ceremonies or formal
classes similar to those provided to general population inmates, as required to establish a violation of the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court found that there was no suggestion
that prison officials placed substantial pressure on the inmate to substantially modify his behavior or to violate
his beliefs, he was not forced to choose between following the precepts of his religion and forfeiting benefits
otherwise generally available to other inmates, and he acknowledged that he received and read the inmate
handbook, which advised that protective custody carried with it restrictions on religious access. (Berks County
Prison, Pennsylvania)

XXIII

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SEPARATION

Moyle v. Anderson, 571 F.3d 814 (8th Cir. 2009). The son of an inmate murdered in a county jail, and the son's
trustee, brought a § 1983 action against a county, seeking damages for the murder of the son's father based on the
county's booking policy. The district court granted the county's motion for summary judgment and the son
appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the county's booking policy, classifying an incoming
inmate as high or low risk after an intake interview, and then housing those incoming inmates designated as high
risk in a separate area of the jail, was not itself unconstitutional, so as to establish the county's municipal liability
under § 1983 for the murder of an inmate killed by another inmate. The inmate who murdered the plaintiff’s
father had been transferred from a maximum security state prison and had previously attacked a fellow inmate.
The policy vested discretion in the booking officer to determine whether additional information about an
inmate's criminal or incarceration history was necessary and whether the inmate posed a risk to others and
needed to be placed in a separate unit. According to the court, there was no evidence that the county had notice
of an alleged inadequacy in its booking policy, or that the policy's alleged inadequacy in failing to require
officers to seek information about an incoming individual's history for violence prior to classification was so
patently obvious that the county should have known that a constitutional violation was inevitable, as required to
impose § 1983 liability on county, based on deliberate indifference. The father was arrested for having no proof
of auto insurance and was placed in a cell in the Alpha Intake Unit (AIU) after it was determined that he would
be unable to go before a county judge that day. When the inmate who murdered the father arrived at the jail, he
was booked by a county corrections officer under the booking policy at the time that required the officer to ask
an arriving inmate several questions, to observe the inmate's demeanor, to review any additional information
provided about the inmate, and then to classify the inmate as either high or low risk. Under the policy, if there
was no information provided about the inmate's previous history, the policy did not require the officer to seek
such information. Incoming inmates classified as low risk, including those transferred from other correctional
facilities, were placed in the AIU for a 72 hour observation period, after which their classification was reviewed.
If classified as high risk, inmates were placed in a separate housing unit. The booking officer was unaware that
the prison inmate had been in segregation 23 hours a day at a high security prison, that he had a history of mental
illness, and that the assault related to his court appearance had been an unprovoked, violent attack on a fellow
inmate. The officer classified him as low risk, based on the information she had and the inmate’s calm, polite
demeanor during the booking process. (Sherburne County Jail, Minnesota)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEPARATION

Norman v. Schuetzle, 585 F.3d 1097 (8th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 claim against various prison
officials for their alleged failure to protect him from an attack by a fellow inmate. The district court granted
qualified immunity to all but four officials. The four officials appealed. The appeals court reversed and
remanded. The appeals court held that: (1) the warden did not violate the Eighth Amendment rights of the
prisoner when an inmate with a violent history was allowed to remain in the general population after an incident
in which he cut a “C” into the prisoner’s hair to identify him as child molester while performing a haircut; (2) the
first case worker did not violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights when he failed to take additional
security measures; (3) the second worker did not violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights when she did
nothing after seeing a logbook entry; and (4) it was not clearly established that the director's actions of allowing
other inmates to view complaints would unreasonably subject the prisoner to a threat of substantial harm. (North
Dakota State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION
SEGREGATION

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 individual-capacity 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)

8.71

U.S. District Court
HANDICAP

Thomas v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Corr., 615 F.Supp.2d 411 (W.D.Pa. 2009). A state prison inmate who was an
above-the-knee amputee brought a § 1983 action against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and
individual corrections officials and medical personnel, alleging that denial of his request for a handicap cell, and
the delay in replacing and inadequate replacement of his prosthesis, violated the Eighth Amendment,
Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state law. The district court granted summary
judgment for the defendants. The court found that there was no evidence that state corrections officials were
aware that the amputee prisoner was at risk of assault at the hands of fellow inmates due to the denial of his
request for a handicap cell, as required to support the prisoner's Eighth Amendment failure-to-protect claim
against officials. Except for a single reference to an altercation with a fellow prisoner, the prisoner's requests for
a handicap cell included no indication that the prisoner was concerned about being attacked, only that he was
having difficulty moving about in a standard cell. According to the court, the state medical personnel's denial of
the amputee prisoner's requests for a handicap cell did not amount to deliberate indifference to the prisoner's
medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Each request for a handicap cell was reviewed, but a
determination was made that since the prisoner ambulated well with crutches and subsequently was fitted with a
prosthesis, a handicap cell was medically unnecessary. The court found that the prisoner's disagreement with that
determination did not render it deliberate indifference. (State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, State
Correctional Institution at Houtzdale, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
RECLASSIFICATION
SECURITY
CLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER

U.S. v. Rojas-Yepes, 630 F.Supp.2d 18 (D.D.C. 2009). A prisoner who was being held in a medium-security
facility after his extradition from Colombia and who was pending trial, moved to modify his jail conditions after
the Department of Corrections (DOC) received a copy of the indictment and he was therefore reclassified as a
“maximum custody” prisoner and placed in a special management unit (SMU) pending his transfer to a
maximum-security facility. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the prisoner’s claim for
modification of his jail conditions would be construed as a habeas petition. The court found that the prisoner
lacked a property or liberty interest in his classification and placement. The court noted that classification was
not a fixed entitlement, but rather was revisited every 90 days based on changed conditions and new facts.
According to the court, the DOC did not violate the prisoner's equal protection rights by reclassifying him, where
the prisoner was reclassified based, not on national origin, but rather on the nature of the charges against him and
how much power and influence he was alleged to have within the charged drug-trafficking conspiracy. The court
found that the DOC's classification procedures were rationally related to a legitimate interest in maintaining
order and safety in detention facilities. (Correctional Treatment Facility, District of Columbia Jail)
2010

XXIII

U.S. Appeals Court
SUICIDE
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Clouthier v. County of Contra Costa, 591 F.3d 1232 (9th Cir. 2010). The estate of a pretrial detainee brought a §
1983 action against a county, mental health specialist, and two sheriff's deputies alleging they violated the
detainee’s due process rights by failing to prevent his suicide while he was confined. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the estate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the estate had to show that the detainee was confined under
conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm and that correction officers were deliberately indifferent to
that risk. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
the mental health specialist at the jail, who was on notice of the pretrial detainee's suicidal condition, was
deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of harm to the detainee when she removed the detainee from an
observation log and told deputies that the detainee could be given regular clothes and bedding. According to the
court, it was clearly established at the time of detention that a reasonable mental health professional would not
have removed key suicide prevention measures put in place by a prior mental health staff member, and therefore
the specialist was not entitled to qualified immunity. The court found that the estate failed to establish that a
sheriff's deputy at the jail knew that moving the detainee to the general population in the jail posed a substantial
risk of serious harm to the detainee, where the deputy only knew that the detainee had missed meals and free
time, and that the detainee had been taken off an observation log. The court noted that the deputy spoke to the
detainee all weekend and noted he had a positive outlook on wanting to get out of the room, and earlier that day
the mental health specialist found that the detainee was not actively suicidal at the time. The court held that the
estate failed to establish that another sheriff’s deputy knew that the detainee was suicidal and deliberately
ignored that risk, where the deputy knew only that the detainee was suicidal and needed to be on 15-minute
checks and the mental health specialist told the deputy to give the detainee his regular clothes and bedding. The
court noted that nothing indicated that the deputy saw the detainee's knotted sheet. According to the court, the
county did not have a longstanding custom or practice of moving pretrial detainees from an observation cell into
the general population without consultation with mental health staff, or a longstanding practice of
miscommunication between mental health staff and custodial staff. The court found no pattern of repeated
wrongful conduct by county staff, and nothing that indicated another suicide resulted from the improper transfer
of a detainee. (Contra Costa County Martinez Detention Facility, California)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
LIBERTY INTEREST

Dodge v. Shoemaker, 695 F.Supp.2d 1127 (D.Colo. 2010). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action, proceeding
in forma pauperis, against prison officials, alleging that she was raped by a lieutenant while incarcerated, and
asserting various due process, equal protection, and Eighth Amendment violations. The officials moved to
dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the issue of whether
the state prisoner's placement in administrative segregation for a period of one year violated her due process
rights could not be determined at the motion to dismiss stage of the prisoner's § 1983 action against prison
officials, because of a factual dispute as to whether the duration of confinement was atypical and significant.
According to the court, the contours of constitutional law were sufficiently clear that the state prison officials
were on notice that assignment of a prisoner to administrative segregation under conditions that imposed a
significant and atypical hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life could give rise to a liberty

8.72

interest protected by due process, and, thus, the officials were not entitled to qualified immunity in the prisoner's
§ 1983 action, with respect to her due process claim.( Denver Women's Correctional Facility, Colorado)

XXIII

U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL

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

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
LIBERTY INTEREST
POLICY/PROCEDURE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PUNITIVE SEGREGATION
RECLASSIFICATION

Ford v. Clarke, 746 F.Supp.2d 273 (D.Mass. 2010). An inmate brought an action challenging his confinement in
a Departmental Disciplinary Unit (DDU) at a prison while a pretrial detainee and, later, as a convicted felon
serving his sentence. The Department of Corrections' employees filed a motion for summary judgment, which
the court allowed in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee's incarceration in the DDU was
intended as punishment, and thus, the Department of Corrections violated the detainee's substantive due process
rights. According to the court, the Deputy Commissioner of the Prison Division of Department of Corrections
stated, when he placed the pretrial detainee in DDU after his criminal sentence had been completed, that it was
meant as punishment and deterrence, as well as for the safety and security of the institution and staff. The
detainee's confinement in DDU was imposed as part of 10–year disciplinary sanction that he had received while
serving his prior criminal sentence, and the Commissioner never reassessed the detainee's threat to the institution
or others, but, instead relied on conduct which had occurred years earlier. According to the court, the detainee
retained a liberty interest in freedom from disciplinary confinement without due process, even after he pled
guilty and was sentenced, and thus, the Deputy Commissioner of Correction's failure to provide the detainee with
any procedural protections at the time he was returned to DDU as a pretrial detainee, or at the time he was placed
in the DDU as a convicted prisoner, violated his procedural due process rights. (Departmental Disciplinary Unit
MCI–Cedar Junction, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
TRANSFER

Hawkins v. Brooks, 694 F.Supp.2d 434 (W.D.Pa. 2010.) A state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against
various prison officials and corrections officers, alleging retaliation, harassment, due process violations,
defamation of character, and mental anguish. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the
motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner's conduct of pressing charges against a
corrections officer who the prisoner claimed raped and impregnated her and complaining about other officers'
alleged harassment amounted to a “constitutionally protected activity,” as required for the prisoner to state a §
1983 retaliation claim. The court found that corrections officers' alleged conduct of withholding the prisoner's
incoming and outgoing mail in retaliation for the prisoner's pressing rape charges against an officer at another
prison amounted to an “adverse action,” as required to establish a prima facie pro se § 1983 retaliation claim
against the officers. But the court found that a prison official's alleged conduct of reassigning the prisoner to a
different unit in the same prison did not rise to the level of an “adverse action,” as required to establish a prima
facie pro se § 1983 retaliation claim. The court found that the prisoner had no liberty interest in her place of
confinement, transfer, or classification, and thus, prison officials' alleged refusal to have the prisoner transferred
to an out-of-state institution did not violate her due process rights. The court found that the prisoner's assertions
that she made supervisory prison officials aware of the harassment and retaliation she allegedly suffered at the
hands of correctional officers as a result of her pressing rape charges against a correctional officer at another
facility, and that none of the supervisory officials offered assistance or took any corrective action, were sufficient
to state a claim for supervisory liability, in her § 1983 retaliation action. (State Correctional Institution at
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SEGREGATION
RELIGION

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)

8.73

XXIII

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Jackson v. Stevens, 694 F.Supp.2d 1334 (M.D.Ga. 2010.) An inmate brought a § 1983 suit against a prison
official asserting an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim. The official moved for summary judgment
and the district court denied the motion. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues
of material fact as to whether the prison official had subjective knowledge of a serious risk of harm to the inmate
from a second inmate, whom the official heard say that he would try to kill or harm the first inmate if they were
put in a cell together, and whether the official disregarded the risk when she admonished the second inmate
before placing him in a cell with the first inmate. Immediately after the official closed the cell door, the second
inmate immediately hit the inmate. (Washington State Prison)

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT

Johnston v. Maha, 606 F.3d 39 (2nd Cir. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against employees of a
county jail, alleging violations of his constitutional rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in
connection with detention and medical care while in jail. The district court granted the defendants summary
judgment. The inmate petitioned for the appointment of counsel in his appeal. The appeals court granted the
petition. The court held that the appointment of counsel was appropriate in connection with the inmate's appeal
from dismissal of his claim that his placement in solitary confinement, and subsequent excessive force he
suffered, violated his constitutional rights, since there was likely merit in the inmate's claims. The court found
that it appeared from the inmate's complaint that he might have been a pretrial detainee at the time he was placed
in solitary confinement, and thus the claim that the inmate was subjected to excessive force as a detainee would
arise under the Fifth, not the Eighth Amendment, because as a detainee he could not be punished at all. The court
noted that there was no evidence that the inmate violated any rule or was provided with a pre-deprivation
hearing. According to the court, the legal issues were fairly complex, especially with respect to whether the
inmate's pretrial detention was substantial enough to give rise to a constitutional violation of a procedural due
process right. (Genesee County Jail, New York).

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
HANDICAPPED INMATES
HARASSMENT
MEDICAL CARE
WORK

Jones v. Michigan, 698 F.Supp.2d 905 (E.D.Mich. 2010). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against a state
correctional facility's classification director and a correction officer. The defendants moved for summary
judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the inmate's grievance against the
classification director and correction officer gave fair notice of his claim that he was harassed and forced to
perform work as a sports equipment handler, despite fact that he was wearing a neck brace and walking with a
cane due to injuries arising from an automobile accident. But the court found that the correction officer was not
deliberately indifferent to the inmate's injuries, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the officer was
never told by the inmate that he could not perform work duties as a sports equipment handler. Similarly, the
classification director was not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's injuries, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment, where the director was never advised of an accommodation notice or of the physician's diagnoses
that the inmate could not perform work duties. (Saginaw Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
WORK

Lymon v. Aramark Corp., 728 F.Supp.2d 1222 (D.N.M. 2010). A former state prisoner brought an action against
the New Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC), its secretary, prison officers, the private company that
managed a prison kitchen, and two of the company's employees, alleging various constitutional claims and
negligence under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act (NMTCA). The prisoner had sustained injuries from work he
was required to perform in a kitchen, and he made allegations about the injuries and his subsequent treatment.
The state defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that no New
Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC) policy or regulation made any provision for the state prisoner's
liberty interest in a labor assignment or otherwise provided the prisoner with protection from corrections officers
ordering him to perform work in a prison kitchen or protection from orders in contravention of a medical order.
The court ruled that the prisoner's § 1983 procedural due process claim arising from injuries he allegedly
sustained while performing kitchen work was precluded. According to the court, corrections officers' alleged
misclassification and denial of a grievance process did not rise to the degree of outrageousness, or the
magnitude of potential or actual harm, that was truly conscience-shocking, precluding the state prisoner's § 1983
substantive due process claims. The court noted that the state prisoner made no allegation that he contracted any
disease while working in the prison kitchen, but only that he suffered a shoulder injury as the result of a heavylifting component of his work, thus precluding his § 1983 unconstitutional conditions claim against the New
Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC) and its secretary. The court held that the prisoner did not
personally suffer any injury as a result of a corrections officer's classification of prisoners for work duty,
purportedly assigning inmates with known transmissible diseases to kitchen work, precluding the prisoner's
claim for an alleged violation of federal public health policy. (Aramark Corporation, Central New Mexico
Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

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)

8.74

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
LOWER BUNK

Robinson v. Catlett, 725 F.Supp.2d 1203 (S.D.Cal. 2010). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action against prison
officials alleging constitutional violations and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
Rehabilitation Act. The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court
held that the decision to assign the inmate to an upper bunk did not demonstrate deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs. The court noted that the inmate requested a vacant cell, rather than a lower bunk
assignment, and officials assigned the inmate to a lower bunk once they understood problem. The court held the
confiscation of the inmate's cane did not demonstrate deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and did
not violate the Rehabilitation Act. The cane was confiscated after the inmate attempted to strike another prisoner
with it. The court found that prison officials' denial of the disabled inmate's request for his own cell did not
amount to intentional discrimination on the basis of a disability, required to warrant the award of monetary
damages under ADA or the Rehabilitation Act, even though officials had initially placed the inmate in an upper
bunk. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
DUE PROCESS
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MENTALLY ILL
SUICIDE

Silvera v. Connecticut Dept. of Corrections, 726 F.Supp.2d 183 (D.Conn. 2010). The representative of a pretrial
detainee's estate filed a § 1983 action alleging that state prison officials' decision to house the detainee with a
convicted inmate and their failure to provide adequate mental health care caused the detainee's suicide death.
The officials moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held
that allegations that prison medical staff ignored abundant evidence demonstrating that the pretrial detainee was
an acute suicide risk were sufficient to state a claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in
violation of the Due Process Clause. The court noted that evidence included a judge's instructions to keep him on
suicide watch, the detainee's prior medical records, contemporaneous complaints and behavior, and examinations
by medical staff, all of whom concluded that the detainee suffered from severe mental health issues.
Nonetheless, officials placed him in a cell by himself, rather than in specialized housing, with access to materials
with which he could hang himself, failed to check on him regularly, and ignored signs that his mental condition
had deteriorated. The court found that a state prison supervisor was not liable under § 1983 for the pretrial
detainee's suicide death, even if the supervisor had some training with regards to caring for mentally ill
detainees, and his subordinates failed to properly oversee the detainee's activities. The court noted that the
detainee was placed in the general prison population based on a mental health professional's recommendation,
the supervisor was not aware that the detainee posed an excessive risk of suicide, and subordinates were given
proper orders to keep the detainee under constant surveillance and interact with him at frequent, irregular
intervals. The court described the change in the detainee’s conditions of confinement prior to his suicide.
“Inmates housed in the Charlie Unit—apparently unlike those in the specialized housing unit where Mr. Lyle
was held from May 11 until May 15—have the ability to turn the cell's lights on and off at will. Additionally, the
Charlie Unit has bunk-style beds, which are outfitted with standard-issue sheets and pillow case—both of which
would play a role in Mr. Lyle's suicide. Once transferred to the Charlie Unit, Mr. Lyle was given standard DOC
clothing, whereas previously he had been given only a ‘suicide gown.’” According to the court, the pretrial
detainee's right to due process was not violated merely because he was forced to share a cell with a convicted
prisoner, absent an allegation that the detainee suffered an injury from being housed with a convicted inmate, or
that placement with the convicted inmate was intended to punish the detainee. (Garner Corr’l Institute, Conn.)
2011

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
RECLASSIFICATION

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. (Communication Management Units at Federal Correctional
Institutions in Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois)

8.75

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
DUE PROCESS

Baggett v. Keller, 796 F.Supp.2d 718 (E.D.N.C. 2011). State prisoners, who were each convicted of first-degree
murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, petitioned for federal habeas relief on the ground that their accrued
good time, gain time, and merit time credits entitled them to unconditional release. The district court dismissed
the petitions. The court held that the decision to withhold application of credits from the calculation of the date
for unconditional release did not violate the prisoners' due process rights. The court noted that the credits were
solely for the purpose of allowing prisoners serving life sentences to move to less restrictive custody grades, not
for allowing unconditional release. The court held that the decision did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause,
where the DOC never promulgated a regulation under state law shortening or modifying prisoner's sentences and
never applied sentence reduction credits toward calculating the date of their unconditional release. (North
Carolina Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
GANGS
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION

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)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Bishop v. Hackel, 636 F.3d 757 (6th Cir. 2011). A jail inmate brought a § 1983 claim against deputies, alleging
that he suffered sexual abuse by another inmate as the result of their deliberate indifference to his safety needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied the deputies' motion for summary judgment and
the deputies appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the deputies' alleged failure to
protect the inmate from sexual assault by another inmate was objectively serious. The court held that the deputy
who processed the inmate through booking when he entered the jail and completed a referral form that scheduled
the inmate for a mental health assessment did not subjectively ignore any risk to the inmate's safety, and thus
was not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's safety needs, noting that the deputy had no further contact with
the inmate. The court also found that a deputy who ordinarily worked road patrol, and worked in the jail only on
the day that the inmate reported that he had been sexually assaulted by another inmate, did not subjectively
ignore any risk to the inmate's safety, and thus was not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's safety needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the deputy did not have sufficient contact with the inmate to permit
the deputy to perceive his asserted status as a vulnerable inmate, or to observe his alleged altercations with the
other inmate. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to
whether one deputy, who was familiar with the inmate who reported the alleged sexual assault as well as the
inmate who allegedly assaulted him, knew of the risk to inmate's safety because of his status as a vulnerable
inmate and the other inmate's status as a predatory inmate, and as to whether the deputy knew of the risk to the
inmate's safety based on noise generated by the alleged assaults. (Macomb County Jail, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL
POLICY/PROCEDURE
PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
RECLASSIFICATION

Chess v. U.S., 836 F.Supp.2d 742 (N.D.Ill. 2011). An inmate who suffered personal injuries in an assault by a
fellow inmate brought an action against the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA),
alleging it failed to properly screen the fellow inmate upon intake and also failed to monitor him. The inmate had
suffered second-degree burns when the other inmate threw a cup of scalding water onto his face and then
physically assaulted him by hitting him with the cup and punching him. The parties cross-moved for summary
judgment. The district court denied the plaintiff's motion, and granted the defendants’ motion in part and denied
in part. The court held that the government failed to comply with certain directives aimed at monitoring federal
prisoners suffering from mental illness, for the purposes of its attempt to avoid liability to the federal inmate who
suffered personal injuries in an assault by a fellow inmate under the discretionary function exception to the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waiver of sovereign immunity. The court found that the inmate’s claims
relating to a corrections officer's alleged failure to monitor inmates during lockup were not barred by the Federal
Tort Claims Act (FTCA) discretionary function exception. According to the court, while there was a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials complied with requirements to review the
inmate's central file upon intake and to review the assaulting inmate's mental health on a monthly basis, the
assaulted inmate failed to raise the issue for trial as to whether the Bureau’s failure to review the assailing
inmate's central file proximately caused his injury. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by a
genuine issue of material fact, as to whether, after his second placement, BOP officials knew or reasonably
should have known that the inmate should have been segregated from the administrative population. The court
also found genuine issues of material fact as to whether a correctional officer's alleged failure to monitor the unit
at the time of the attack constituted negligence and proximately caused the attacked inmate's injuries. (Federal
Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEX OFFENDER

Holden v. Hirner, 663 F.3d 336 (8th Cir. 2011). A pretrial detainee filed a § 1983 action against officials of a
county jail for allegedly violating his Fourteenth Amendment rights under the Due Process Clause by allegedly
failing to protect him from an assault by three other inmates, and failing to provide adequate medical treatment
for his tooth pain. The district court granted prison officials summary judgment and the detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that there was no evidence that the pretrial detainee was incarcerated

8.76

under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm in the protective custody pod in which the detainee
was imprisoned as a sex offender, even though one of the assaulting inmates was involved in another fight four
days before the altercation with the detainee. The court noted that the pod was designed to provide greater
supervision and security for vulnerable inmates who were more likely to be assaulted, and nothing in the record
established that the prior fight involved a sex offender. According to the court, even if the pretrial detainee faced
a substantial risk of serious harm from other inmates in the protective custody pod, there was no evidence that
officials at the county jail were deliberately indifferent to his safety, where the detainee did not tell officials that
he felt threatened by other inmates, and the officials had no knowledge of any specific danger to the detainee in
the pod. (Marion County Jail, Missouri)
U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
EQUAL PROTECTION

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. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
DOUBLE CELLING

Murray v. Bledsoe, 650 F.3d 246 (3rd Cir. 2011). An inmate brought a pro se petition for judicial review of a
decision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rejecting his claim that he had a right to choose his cellmate.
The district court denied relief, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that
the inmate had no Ninth Amendment right to choose his cellmate. (Special Management Unit, United States
Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
ISOLATION
JUVENILES
LIBERTY INTEREST
TRANSFER

Troy D. v. Mickens, 806 F.Supp.2d 758 (D.N.J. 2011). Two juvenile delinquents brought a § 1983 action against
mental health providers and the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), alleging that the actions of the
defendants while the delinquents were in custody violated the Fourteenth Amendment and New Jersey law. One
of the plaintiffs was 15 years old when he was adjudicated as delinquent and remained in custody for a total of
225 days. For approximately 178 of those days, the delinquent was held in isolation under a special observation
status requiring close or constant watch, purportedly for his own safety. Although the delinquents were placed in
isolation for different reasons, the conditions they experienced were similar. Both delinquents were allegedly
denied mental health treatment during their periods in isolation. The court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) whether the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
(JJC) and mental health providers were deliberately indifferent towards conditions of confinement, in protecting
and in providing medical care for the juvenile delinquent housed in JJC facilities; (2) whether placing the
juvenile delinquent housed in temporary close custody and special observation status implicated a liberty
interest; (3) whether a juvenile delinquent housed in New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) facilities
had procedural due process protections available to him upon a change of status; (4) whether the juvenile
delinquent had a liberty interest implicated in his transfer to a more restrictive placement; (5) whether the
juvenile delinquent had sufficient procedural due process protections available to him upon transfer to a more
restrictive placement; and (6) whether the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and mental health
providers acted with malice or reckless indifference. (New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, Juvenile
Medium Security Facility, New Jersey Training School, Juvenile Reception and Assessment Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
POLICY/PROCEDURE
DUE PROCESS

Williams v. Hobbs, 662 F.3d 994 (8th Cir. 2011). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against deputy director
of a department of correction and various wardens alleging that his approximately 14-year continuous detention
in administrative segregation violated his procedural due process rights. Following a bench trial, the district
court found that four of the five defendants had denied the inmate due process, awarded $4,846 in nominal
damages, and denied punitive damages. Both parties appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in
part, and remanded. The court held that the inmate's administrative segregation reviews were not meaningful
under the due process clause. The court noted that one warden testified that the inmate's seven-years' worth of
clean history was irrelevant to him, another warden confirmed that even if the inmate proved to be a model
prisoner his vote would always be that the inmate remain in administrative segregation in light of his past
transgressions, and the wardens failed to explain to the inmate with any specificity why he constituted a
continuing threat to the security and good order of prison. The court found that the director conducted his review
in a meaningful fashion. The court ruled that the inmate was not entitled to a per-day nominal damages award for
each day spent in administrative segregation, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion by not
awarding punitive damages. (Tucker Maximum Security Unit, Arkansas)
2012

U.S. Appeals Court
LOWER BUNK
CELL ASSIGNMENT
SPECIAL NEEDS

Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against correctional
officers, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in connection with the officers' alleged
failure to comply with the prisoner’s medical orders, which required the prisoner to be housed in a ground floor
cell. The district court dismissed the action and denied the prisoner's motion to alter or amend the judgment. The
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed and remanded. The court held that the district court abused its
discretion by failing to consider arguments that directed the court to crucial facts showing he might have
exhausted his administrative remedies, and in addition to being pro se, the prisoner was illiterate, disabled, and

8.77

had limited English skills. The court found that the prisoner satisfied the administrative exhaustion requirement
of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) prior to filing his § 1983 action against the correctional officers,
where the prisoner filed grievances addressing the officers' alleged failure to comply with medical orders several
months before filing the complaint. The court held that the prisoner stated a § 1983 Eighth Amendment claim
against correctional officers for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs .The prisoner alleged that he
suffered from numerous medical conditions and was hearing and mobility impaired, that his medical orders
stated that the prisoner was mobility impaired and had housing restrictions requiring a lower bunk, no stairs, and
no triple bunk, and that the correctional officers knew of those medical orders, but failed to comply with them.
(Mule Creek State Prison, California)
U.S. District Court
DISCIPLINE
LIBERTY INTEREST

Brown v. Hannah, 850 F.Supp.2d 471 (M.D.Pa. 2012). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The officials filed a motion to dismiss
and the district court granted the motion. The district court held that: (1) the inmate did not have a liberty interest
in remaining free from disciplinary confinement; (2) placement in confinement was not an atypical and
significant hardship; (3) the inmate did not have a constitutionally protected right in the prison setting to use
inappropriate, disrespectful, and derogatory language to a prison official; (4) rejection of his grievance was not
an attempt to frustrate his ability to pursue a lawsuit; and (5) allegations were insufficient to state a conspiracy
claim. (State Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL
SUICIDE
SEGREGATION

Disability Law Center v. Massachusetts Dept. of Correction, 960 F.Supp.2d 271 (D.Mass. 2012). A nonprofit
organization, which represented mentally ill prisoners, brought an action against a state's Department of
Correction, alleging that the Department and its officials violated the federal constitutional rights of prisoners by
subjecting them to disciplinary and other forms of segregation for prolonged periods of time. After extensive
negotiations, the parties jointly moved for approval of a settlement agreement. The district court granted the
motion, finding the agreement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate. The court noted that the agreement addressed
the fundamental issue of prison suicides by providing a process for minimizing the possibility that inmates with
serious mental illnesses would be confined in segregation, and for reviewing their mental health while in
segregation. The court held that the agreement did not order any “prospective relief,” or in fact any “relief” at all,
thereby precluding the applicability of the requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), that
prospective relief not extend further than necessary to remedy violation of a federal right. (Massachusetts
Department of Correction)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
FAILURE TO PROTECT
GANGS
POLICY/PROCEDURE

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, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
POLICY/PROCEDURE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SUICIDE

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. (Fayette County Prison, Pennsylvania, and PrimeCare Medical, Inc.)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SUICIDE
DUE PROCESS

Glover v. Gartman, 899 F.Supp.2d 1115 (D.N.M. 2012). The personal representative of the estate of a pretrial
detainee who committed suicide while in custody brought an action against a warden of a county detention
center and corrections officers, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants violated his substantive due process
rights when they provided him with razor blades and failed to respond in a timely manner to his emergency calls
for help. The officers moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion. The

8.78

court held that a county corrections officer's act of providing the pretrial detainee with two razor blades and then
leaving the detainee alone for over an hour so that detainee could shave before trial, during which time the
detainee committed suicide, did not violate the detainee's substantive due process rights under the United States
Constitution or the New Mexico Constitution, where the officer did not know that the detainee posed any suicide
risk. The court also held that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity from the § 1983 claim that the officer
violated the pretrial detainee's substantive due process rights, where there was no due process violation, as the
officer did not know that the detainee posed any suicide risk, and a detainee's substantive due process right not to
be left alone with razor blades was not clearly established at the time of the incident. The court also found that a
corrections officer was entitled to qualified immunity from the § 1983 claim that the officer violated the
substantive due process rights of the detainee by failing to respond to the detainee's calls for help. According to
the court, the officer's conduct did not rise to the level of a due process violation, and the substantive due process
right of the detainee to have an officer respond to a call was not clearly established absent evidence that the
officer heard the call or knew of a suicide risk. (Lea County Detention Center, New Mexico)
U.S. District Court
AIDS- Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
MEDICAL CARE
POLICY/PROCEDURE
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER
WORK

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

U.S. Appeals Court
RECLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER

King v. Zamiara, 680 F.3d 686 (6th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner sued several corrections employees under § 1983
for violating his First Amendment rights when they transferred him to an increased security level facility in
retaliation for his participation in a state-court class action against corrections officials regarding inmate
property, as well as for his assistance to other inmates in filing grievances. The district court entered judgment in
favor of the defendants, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded. The court held that a causal connection existed between the adverse action in increasing the prisoner's
security level and the prisoner's purportedly disruptive First Amendment protected conduct, and that certain
officials failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that they would have taken the same action absent
the protected conduct. The court found that a deputy warden could be held liable on the prisoner's § 1983 First
Amendment retaliation claim, where her memo complaining about the prisoner's behavior was the actual and
proximate cause of the increase in the prisoner's security level, and where she helped execute the order
increasing the prisoner's security level with the knowledge that it was intended to retaliate for the prisoner's
protected conduct. According to the court, the transfer coordinator was not liable on the prisoner's § 1983 First
Amendment retaliation claim based on his editing of the prisoner's security screen to replace the initial notation
with the notation that the prisoner was manipulative, where there was no showing that he knew or should have
known that his superior's order to do so was meant to retaliate for the prisoner's protected conduct a month
earlier. The court held that an assistant deputy warden was not liable on the prisoner's § 1983 First Amendment
retaliation claim based on his signing a backdated security screen approving the prisoner's transfer to the
increased security facility, where he neither knew or should have known that he was implementing punishment
for the prisoner's exercise of his protected rights. (Michigan Department of Corrections, Brooks Correctional
Facility, Chippewa Correctional Facility)

U.S. Appeals Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
SEX OFFENDER
TREATMENT
DUE PROCESS

Lane v. Williams, 689 F.3d 879 (7th Cir. 2012). Convicted sex offenders who, after completing their sentences,
remained in state custody as civil detainees pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act,
brought a § 1983 action, alleging constitutional problems with the conditions of their confinement at a treatment
facility. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants and the detainees appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The appeals court held that security restrictions on face-to-face interactions between the civil
detainees held in different units within the state's treatment facility for sexually violent persons (SVP) did not
constitute treatment decisions which, as a matter of due process, had to be made by health professionals, merely
because the security restrictions affected treatment options. The court found that requiring the civil detainees to

8.79

use United States Mail, rather than the facility's internal mail system, to send letters to detainees in the facility's
other units did not violate the detainees' First Amendment associational rights, even if the facility's internal mail
system was a superior means of sending letters. The court noted that commitment under the Illinois Sexually
Violent Persons Commitment Act is civil and may be for purposes such as incapacitation and treatment, but not
for punishment. As a general matter, persons who have been involuntarily civilly committed are entitled to more
considerate treatment and conditions of confinement than criminals whose conditions of confinement are
designed to punish. (Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL
TRANSFER

Shah v. Danberg, 855 F.Supp.2d 215 (D.Del. 2012). A state inmate who pled guilty but mentally ill to a charge of
first degree murder filed a § 1983 action against a state judge and prison officials alleging that his placement in a
correctional center, rather than in a psychiatric center, violated his constitutional rights. The court held that the
state judge was entitled to absolute judicial immunity from liability in inmate's § 1983 action despite the inmate's
contention that the judge's incorrect application of a state statute resulted in violation of his constitutional rights,
where there were no allegations that the judge acted outside the scope of her judicial capacity, or in the absence
of jurisdiction. The could ruled that the state inmate failed to establish the likelihood of success on the merits of
his claim and thus was not entitled to a preliminary injunction ordering his transfer, despite the inmate's
contention that he was mentally unstable and had repeatedly caused himself physical injury during his suicide
attempts, where medical records the inmate submitted were ten years old, and a state supreme court recognized
that prison officials had discretion to house inmates at facilities they chose. The court ordered the appointment of
counsel, noting that the inmate was unable to afford legal representation, he had a history of mental health
problems, and the matter presented complex legal issues. (James T. Vaughn Corr’l. Center, Smyrna, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
SEPARATION

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

U.S. District Court
LENGTH OF
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
CUSTODY LEVEL
POLICY/PROCEDURE
RECLASSIFICATION
TRANSFER

U.S. v. Jones, 869 F.Supp.2d 373 (E.D.N.Y. 2012). After a defendant, convicted of racketeering and racketeering
conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, use of a firearm in furtherance of the distribution conspiracy, and
four instances of small-scale marijuana distribution, but found not guilty of charges relating to a murder, was
sentenced, he filed a motion challenging the decision of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to classify his
security level as “high” and designate him for incarceration at a high-security facility. The district court held that
the remedy for the inmate's alleged misclassification lay primarily with the BOP. The court noted that the
classification and designation of inmates is a matter within BOP’s sole discretion. According to the court,
although a district court has habeas jurisdiction to address the execution of a sentence, it does not have
jurisdiction over a habeas petition challenging the petitioner's classification by the Bureau of Prisons. (United
States Penitentiary, Big Sandy, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
POLICY/PROCEDURE
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

U.S. v. Maricopa County, Ariz., 915 F.Supp.2d 1073 (D.Ariz. 2012). The United States filed an action against a
county, the county sheriff's office, and the sheriff in his official capacity, relating to treatment of Latinos,
including jail detainees, and asserting claims for violations of the Fourth Amendment, retaliation in violation of
the First Amendment, violations of equal protection and due process, and discrimination on the basis of race,
color, or national origin in violation of Title VI and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. The
defendants filed motions to dismiss. The district court denied the county's motion, and granted the sheriff and
sheriff's office motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the sheriff's office was an entity that was
not capable of being sued in its own name. The court held that the allegations stated a claim under Title VI for
disparate impact discrimination, stated a claim for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, and that the

8.80

allegations satisfied the requirements for pleading the municipal liability of the county. According to the court,
allegations by the United States, that officers from the county sheriff's office routinely and unlawfully targeted
Latinos through pretextual traffic stops, crime suppression sweeps, and worksite raids, and that as a result
Latinos were far more likely to be deprived of their constitutional rights than non-Latinos, stated a claim for
disparate impact discrimination under Title VI by programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
The court found that allegations that the county sheriff's office and the sheriff conducted jail operations in
English and provided inadequate language assistance to the large jail population of Latino inmates who were
limited English proficient (LEP) individuals, thereby denying the Latino LEP inmates meaningful access to jail
programs such as sanitary needs, food, clothing, legal information, and religious services, stated a claim for
disparate impact discrimination under Title VI by programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, Arizona)
U.S. District Court
AIDS- Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome
CUSTODY LEVEL
HOMOSEXUALS

Way v. Johnson, 893 F.Supp.2d 15 (D.D.C. 2012). A District of Columbia inmate brought an action against
wardens, an investigator, federal agencies, and other officials, alleging failure to investigate, and that his removal
from a drug treatment program was discrimination based on his homosexuality and HIV-positive status. The
district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The court held that the inmate failed to exhaust
administrative remedies in either of the two prisons in which he was housed as to removal from the drug
treatment program or a change of housing, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), where the
inmate did not file any grievance in the first prison, and only filed an informal grievance form at the second
prison. The court noted that the inmate did not appeal upon the response from the warden at the second prison.
(United States Parole Commission, Secure Residential Treatment Program, Court Services and Offender
Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia)

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
POLICY/PROCEDURE
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)
2013

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEGREGATION

Allah v. Milling, 982 F.Supp.2d 172 (D.Conn. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought an action against prison
officials, asserting claims for violation of the Eighth Amendment and his due process rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment based on his placement in an administrative segregation program. The officials moved for summary
judgment on the due process claims. The district court denied the motion, finding that summary judgment was
precluded by several fact issues. The court held that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the
decision by prison officials to place the pretrial detainee, who had previously been in an administrative
segregation program before being discharged from the correctional facility, in administrative segregation
immediately upon his readmission for a subsequent offense, was for a punitive purpose or was based on a
legitimate non-punitive purpose. The court found that a fact issue existed as to whether the restrictions imposed
upon the detainee during his confinement in administrative segregation, including handcuffs and leg shackles,
constituted punishment. (Garner Correctional Institution, Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEPARATION

Alsobrook v. Alvarado, 986 F.Supp.2d 1312 (S.D.Fla. 2013). A state prisoner who was seriously injured in a
fight with his cellmate brought a § 1983 action against a warden, corrections officers, prison nurse, the prison's
healthcare provider, and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. The defendants moved to
dismiss. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoner
sufficiently alleged that a corrections officer was deliberately indifferent to a risk of serious harm posed by the
cellmate, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where: (1) the prisoner alleged that his cellmate told the officer
that he would become violent if the prisoner was not removed from the cell; (2) the prisoner requested to be
separated from his cellmate; (3) the officer did nothing in response to this information; and (4) that a fight
ensued, which resulted in serious injuries to the prisoner. (South Florida Reception Center, Florida)

8.81

U.S. Appeals Court
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
MEDICAL CARE
MENTALLY ILL
SUICIDE

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

U.S. District Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
RECLASSIFICATION

Brooks v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 959 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2013). A federal prisoner brought an action against the
Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging violations of the Privacy Act. DOJ moved to dismiss. The district court
granted the motion. The court held that a constitutional claim arising from alleged violations of the Privacy Act
was not cognizable. The court also found that the prisoner could not maintain an action under the Privacy Act
seeking reassessment of his custody classification by BOP and a designation to a lower security facility, based
on alleged errors in information in the presentence investigation report (PSI) that had been prepared in
connection with his prior offense, which BOP allegedly relied on in deeming him ineligible for designation to a
lower security facility. The court noted that BOP had exempted the Inmate Central Records System and the files
maintained therein from the substantive provision of the Act regarding its recordkeeping obligations. (U.S. Dept.
of Justice, Bureau of Prisons)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
DOUBLE CELLING

Brown v. Massachusetts, 950 F.Supp.2d 274 (D.Mass. 2013). An inmate brought an action under § 1983 for
deliberate indifference to his health, against corrections facility officers and a superintendent. The officers and
superintendent moved to dismiss. 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 inmate's complaints
about another inmate who had violent tendencies being placed in his cell, and corrections officers' refusal to
move him, were able to be grieved within the meaning of the provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA) that required the exhaustion of administrative remedies for grievable complaints. According to the court,
summary judgment was also precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the corrections officers
were aware they exposed the inmate to a serious risk of harm by placing another inmate who had violent
tendencies in his cell, and by refusing to separate the two after the first inmate explained to the officers that he
feared for his safety. Summary judgment was also precluded due to fact issues as to whether the inmate’s
complaint to the corrections officers that he did not feel safe with another inmate who had been placed in his
cell, would trigger the inmate's clearly established right to be free from violence at the hands of other
prisoners.(Essex County Corrections Facility, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
DUE PROCESS
REGULATIONS

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. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENTS
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Davis v. Pickell, 939 F.Supp.2d 771 (E.D.Mich. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
sheriff, undersheriff, and deputies, alleging various claims, including excessive force. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The detainee had been
booked into a holding cell at the jail and then he was removed from the multi-prisoner cell and taken to a singleinmate “safety cell.” He alleges that during the transfer, deputy sheriffs subjected him to excessive force in the
course of removing his jacket and shoes. The district court found that “[T]he videotape provides substance to
those allegations.” The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to
whether the deputies' use of force against the detainee shocked the conscience, whether the deputies maliciously

8.82

used force, and whether the use of force on the detainee was outrageous conduct. (Genesee County Jail,
Michigan)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
GANGS
PROTECTIVE CUSTODY

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
FAILURE TO PROTECT
HARASSMENT
HOMOSEXUALS
EQUAL PROTECTION
SEPARATION

Fletcher v. Little, 5 F.Supp.3d 655 (D.Del. 2013). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a prison
official, alleging that the official failed to protect him from an attempted rape by a known sexual offender and
that she discriminated against him based on his sexual orientation as a homosexual. The prisoner filed motions to
compel, for appointment of counsel, for partial summary judgment, and for a preliminary injunction, and the
official filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court denied the prisoner’s motions and granted the
official’s motion. The court held that the prison official was not deliberately indifferent to the risk that the
prisoner would be assaulted by a cellmate because of the prisoner's homosexuality, where the official did not
ignore the prisoner's concern. The court noted that before the assault, the official had the prisoner and cellmate
removed from their cell and separately interviewed them. Each reported they feared the other, the official
instructed them to “stop bickering” or face time in isolation, they agreed to stop and were returned to the cell,
and when the official conducted a check 30 minutes later, the prisoner and cellmate were asleep in their beds.
The court found that the prison official's alleged statements to the homosexual prisoner, including a comment
that because he was a “gay man,” he should expect harassment from other inmates who had “not been with a
woman in a long time,” and that he should “man-up and stop coming to jail,” did not support an equal protection
claim, no matter how offensive or derogatory the alleged statements were, because they were merely verbal
abuse. (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS

Grohs v. Yatauro, 984 F.Supp.2d 273 (D.N.J. 2013). A civilly-committed resident at a special treatment unit
(STU) operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) brought action an against NJDOC
officials, alleging violations of his substantive due process rights under § 1983. The district court held that the
resident's claims against the officials in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity. The court
held that the resident's allegations adequately pled the officials’ personal involvement in his complaint that: (1)
there were visibly leaking steam pipes in a special treatment unit (STU) for which trash cans were used to collect
water; (2) NJDOC officials personally toured STU; (3) STU received numerous written complaints from
residents about inadequate hot water; and (4) an STU assistant administrator told the resident that defective
piping valves were too expensive to repair. The court found that the officials were subject to liability under §
1983 in their individual capacities. The court held that NJDOC officials were not entitled to qualified immunity
from the civilly committed resident's § 1983 conditions of civil commitment claim under the Due Process
Clause, arising from inadequate hot water at a special treatment unit (STU) in which he was housed. (Special
Treatment Unit, Avenel, Middlesex County, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
PUNITIVE
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
SEGREGATION

Hardaway v. Meyerhoff, 734 F.3d 740 (7th Cir. 2013). A state prisoner who had spent six months in segregation
as punishment for a disciplinary misconduct charge which was later expunged, filed a § 1983 action, alleging
that the segregation violated his due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner's placement in
disciplinary segregation in a cell with a solid metal door and a confrontational cell mate for 182 days, with only
weekly access to the shower and the recreation yard, did not amount to atypical and significant hardships, as
required to establish a deprivation of the prisoner's due process liberty interests, where the prisoner was not
deprived of all human contact or sensory stimuli. The court found that the state prison officials were entitled to
qualified immunity for their conduct in placing the prisoner in disciplinary segregation, as the disciplinary
segregation did not violate any clearly established right. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
EQUAL PROTECTION
POLICY/PROCEDURE
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION

Hernandez v. Cate, 918 F.Supp.2d 987 (C.D.Cal. 2013). An Hispanic state inmate, whose ethnicity was
classified as “other,” brought an in forma pauperis civil rights action against California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials, alleging, among other things, that the officials discriminated
against him on basis of his race, in violation of his equal protection and due process rights, and that the officials
violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The officials moved to
dismiss the complaint for failure to state claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part.
The court held that state prison officials applied a suspect racial classification to Hispanic inmates, who were
ethnically classified as “other,” when the officials placed those inmates on modified program status in lockstep
with the lockdown of Mexican inmates, while non-Hispanic inmates who associated with the Mexican inmates
or disruptive inmates of other ethnic groups were not subjected to same lockstep treatment. According to the
court, prison policies were not narrowly tailored to control prison disturbances, as required to survive strict
scrutiny of the § 1983 equal protection claim brought by Hispanic inmate. The court held that the state prison
warden's authority and discretion to justify modified programs imposed on the Hispanic inmate and to deny the
inmate relief at the administrative level were sufficient to show the warden's personal involvement in the alleged

8.83

deprivations of the inmate's equal protection and Eighth Amendment rights so as to subject the warden to
supervisory liability under § 1983. The court found that state prison officials were not entitled to qualified
immunity from the § 1983 equal protection claim brought by the Hispanic inmate where it would have been clear
to a reasonable official that it was unlawful to place the inmate on a modified program on the basis of his race,
ethnicity, or national origin. (Ironwood State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
MEDICAL CARE
SMOKING

Mearin v. Swartz, 951 F.Supp.2d 776 (W.D.Pa. 2013). State inmates, proceeding pro se, brought an action
against prison officials and employees, alleging that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) violated
the Eighth Amendment, as well as asserting First Amendment retaliation claims. The defendants moved to
dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prisoners'
allegations were sufficient to plead they were exposed to unreasonably high levels of environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS), as required to state a § 1983 claim for violations of the Eighth Amendment against various prison
officials and employees. One prisoner alleged that he was exposed to constant smoking by cellmates, inmates in
neighboring cells, and by corrections officers and staff, which resulted in his suffering from constant coughs,
headaches, chest pains, shortness of breath, vomiting, and fatigue. A second prisoner alleged that he was
constantly exposed to second hand smoke by other inmates and employees while in certain housing, which
resulted in his suffering from constant headaches, coughs, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and burning
sensations in his chest. The prisoners alleged that officials and employees had actual knowledge of their
exposure to ETS and of the risks of harm to the prisoners' health, but failed to rectify conditions and to enforce
the prison's zero tolerance smoking policy. The court found that the prisoners' allegations that they had made
requests to unit managers to be housed with non-smoking cellmates, that the managers had knowledge of the
prisoners' need to be housed with non-smokers, that the managers denied the requests, that the prisoners suffered
various health conditions from exposure to smoke, and that the prisoners submitted grievances about smoke
exposure, were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim against case managers for violations of the Eighth Amendment.
(State Correctional Institution at Greene, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

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

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
DUE PROCESS

Potts v. Moreci, 12 F.Supp.3d 1065 (N.D.Ill. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county,
employees of the county jail in their individual capacities, and a sheriff, in his individual and official capacities,
alleging retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights, deprivation of his procedural due process and
equal protection rights, denial of access to the courts, municipal liability, and statutory indemnification. The
sheriff moved to dismiss the claims asserted against him. The district court granted the motion in part and denied
in part. The court found that the detainee who allegedly was placed in a segregation unit at the county jail
without adequate grounds and without an opportunity to contest such placement stated a claim for a procedural
due process violation against the sheriff, in his individual capacity, under § 1983. The court noted that the
sheriff's personal responsibility for the detainee's placement in segregation could be assumed in determining
whether the detainee adequately pleaded the claim, and the detainee also sufficiently alleged the sheriff's
knowledge of the detainee's allegedly unconstitutional confinement in segregation by asserting that the sheriff
attended periodic meetings at which the detainee's confinement was discussed, which permitted the inference
that sheriff knew about the challenged conduct and facilitated, approved, condoned, or turned a blind eye to it.
(Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
CLASSIFICATION
EQUAL PROTECTION
FAILURE TO PROTECT
MEDICAL CARE
MENTALLY ILL
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
WORK

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

8.84

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 less-restrictive location. (Green Haven Correctional Facility,
Protective Custody Unit, New York State Department of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
FAILURE TO PROTECT
LOWER BUNK
MEDICAL CARE

Robinson v. Phelps, 946 F.Supp.2d 354 (D.Del. 2013). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials alleging excessive force and failure to protect. The district court held that the prisoner stated cognizable
and non-frivolous claims for excessive force, failure to protect, and denial of medical care. The prisoner alleged
that on one occasion a sergeant assaulted him and that a lieutenant arrived during the assault and that he
sustained injuries but was denied medical care by these officers and other prison personnel, that another sergeant
shoved and pushed him when he was taken to a medical grievance hearing, making his injuries worse, that this
sergeant shoved him to the ground while escorting him to the shower, and then dragged him when he could not
get up, requiring that he be taken away by stretcher, and that other officers later choked him until he lost
consciousness. The court found that the prisoner also stated cognizable and non-frivolous Eighth Amendment
claims against a prison physician for denial or delay of medical treatment; the prisoner alleged that after he was
assaulted by a corrections officer, he was seen by the physician, who would not prescribe pain medication and
advised the prisoner that he would be x-rayed within seven to ten days, but the x-rays were not taken for a month
and a half, and he alleged that some months later he was taken to an outside facility for a magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) of the neck and back. According to the court, the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to state an
Eighth Amendment claim that the physicians denied his requests for medically necessary accommodations. The
prisoner alleged that medical officials did not authorize his housing on a lower bunk and, as a result, he slept on
the floor, that an officer later moved him to an upstairs cell even though he knew that the prisoner required lower
housing due to his neck and back injuries, and that the prisoner showed the officer a memo from a superior
officer indicating the prisoner needed the housing, (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
DUE PROCESS
POLICY/PROCEDURE
SEGREGATION

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 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
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
DUE PROCESS

Selby v. Caruso, 734 F.3d 554 (6th Cir. 2013). A prisoner brought a civil rights action against a state prison and
its personnel, alleging violation of his due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The
appeals court held that: (1) the prisoner's confinement in administrative segregation for 13 years was sufficiently
atypical as to give rise to a protected due process liberty interest; (2) a factual issue existed as to whether the
prisoner received meaningful periodic reviews and whether state prison officials' decision to continue the

8.85

prisoner's confinement in administrative segregation for nearly 13 years was supported by “some evidence”; (3)
the defendant state prison and prison personnel could not be granted qualified immunity at the summary
judgment stage on the prisoner's civil rights claim alleging violation of his due process rights; and (4) the
prisoner's First Amendment religious freedom claim was deemed abandoned. The court noted that a reasonable
prison official should have known that the prisoner could not be confined in administrative segregation for
pretextual reasons. (Marquette Branch Prison, Michigan Department of Corrections.)
U.S. District Court
TRANSSEXUAL
FAILURE TO PROTECT

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
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
SEPARATION
DUE PROCESS
REGULATIONS

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
CELL ASSIGNMENT
TRUSTY
WORK

Spencer v. Jackson County, Mo., 738 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 2013). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against
county detention center employees, alleging violation of his First Amendment rights. The district court granted
the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by issues of material fast as to: (1) the inmate's First
Amendment retaliation claim against a supervisor; (2) First Amendment retaliation claims arising from the
inmate's transfer to another housing module; and (3) claims arising from the alleged obstruction of the inmate's
access to a grievance process. The court found a dispute of material fact as to whether a program supervisor was
motivated by the lawsuit the inmate had previously filed against her, when she removed the inmate from a
trustee program almost immediately after he reminded her about his having filed the suit, resulting in his loss of
access to income, work opportunities, and housing advantages as well as other privileges.
A fact issue was found as to whether the 53-year old inmate would have been transferred from a housing
module for older inmates to a module that housed younger and more violent offenders, but for his use of the
grievance process. The inmate had been approved for the detention center's Inmate Worker Program (IWP), also
known as the “trustee program.” Inmates in the trustee program received job assignments within the detention
center and were paid for each shift, with an opportunity to earn more for additional work. They also received a
number of privileges and incentives. They were housed in a trustee module and were eligible for late nights,
weekend contact visitation rewards, and access to popcorn, soda, and a movie player. One of inmate's work
assignments was in the kitchen, where inmates received extra food and may have one meal per work day in the
break room area. (Jackson County Detention Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
LOWER BUNK
MEDICAL CARE

Staples v. U.S., 948 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C.2013). A federal prisoner brought a pro se action against the United
States and several employees of the Bureau of Prisons, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district
court held that the inmate stated Eighth Amendment violations with his allegations that: (1) two corrections
officers at the federal prison ignored the his medical restriction, which required him to sleep on a lower bunk
bed; (2) the officers told the prisoner t osleep on a top bed or to sleep on the floor; (3) he was forced to sleep on
the floor and suffered unnecessary physical pain in his back and left hip; and (4) his condition was ignored. The

8.86

prisoner alleged that the conditions continued for over two weeks in spite of his complaints. (Federal
Correctional Institution Schuylkill, Minersville, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
EQUAL PROTECTION
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
LIBERTY INTEREST
SEGREGATION
SEX OFFENDERS

Tavares v. Amato, 954 F.Supp.2d 79 (N.D.N.Y. 2013). An inmate who had recently been released from the
custody of a county jail filed a pro se suit against a sheriff and jail administrator, claiming his First Amendment
rights were violated by his inability to access a law library and to engage in religious worship while confined in
involuntary protective custody (IPC). The inmate also alleged that he was discriminated against and placed in
IPC because he was a sex offender, in contravention of the Equal Protection Clause, and that his conditions of
confinement violated the Eighth Amendment. Both sides moved for summary judgment. The district court
denied the plaintiff's motion, and granted the defendants' motion in part and denied in part. The court held that:
(1) there was no evidence of injury, as required to support a claim for violation of the First Amendment's right of
access to the courts; (2) there was no evidence that the inmate had firmly held religious beliefs, as required to
support a claim for violation of his First Amendment's right to free exercise of religion; (3) confinement of the
inmate in administrative segregation for 132 days was not cruel or unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment; and (4) the inmate's initial five-day segregation, for purposes of a determining a housing
classification, was insufficient to establish a liberty interest.
But the court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact: (1) as to whether
the county jail had a rational basis for housing inmates with sex offender criminal histories in administrative
segregation, rather than with the general prison population; (2) whether there was a violation of the Equal
Protection Clause; and (3) on the officials' claim for qualified immunity.
According to the court, there was no evidence that the inmate suffered any type of actual injury as a result of
receiving only one trip to the facility's law library during his 132-day confinement in involuntary protective
custody (IPC). The court found that the inmate’s claims, even if proven, that jail officials confined him in
administrative segregation for 132 days, for 23 hours each day, only allowing him to shower during his one hour
long recreation period, prohibiting him from wandering around outside of his cell, and forcing him to pick and
choose which amenities he wanted to avail himself to given his limited amount of time outside of his cell, did
not amount to cruel or unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, since the officials' actions
involved no specific deprivation of any human need. (Montgomery County Jail, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
LOWER BUNK
MEDICAL CARE

Withers v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 710 F.3d 688 (7th Cir. 2013). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action
against a variety of health professionals employed by or under contract to a state prison, alleging deliberate
indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether
a nurse who allegedly let the prisoner who was suffering from back pain to climb a ladderless bunk bed,
resulting in his fall from the bunk bed, was deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's medical needs, precluding
summary judgment. (Danville Correctional Center, Illinois)
2014

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED INMATE

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

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT
DUE PROCESS
REVIEW
PRIVILEGES

Brown v. Oregon Dept. of Corrections, 751 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2014). A state prison inmate brought a pro se §
1983 action against the Oregon Department of Corrections alleging that prison officials violated his due process
rights by housing him in an intensive management unit without periodic, meaningful review of his status. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The inmate appealed. The
appeals court affirmed. The court held that the inmate's 27-month confinement in an intensive management unit
deprived him of a due-process protected liberty interest, but the inmate's due-process protected liberty interest in
periodic, meaningful review of his status was not clearly established, and thus prison officials were entitled to
qualified immunity. The court noted that the inmate experienced an atypical and significant hardship in that he
was subjected to solitary confinement for over 23 hours each day, with almost no interpersonal contact, and he
was denied most privileges afforded to inmates in the general population. (Snake River Correctional Institution,
Oregon)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega, 748 F.3d 1090 (11th. Cir. 2014). A federal prisoner who was assaulted and
stabbed by his cellmate filed a pro se Bivens action against federal corrections officers, alleging deliberate
indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
officers. The prisoner appealed, and counsel was appointed to represent prisoner. The appeals court vacated and
remanded, finding that fact issues precluded summary judgment, and that the officers were not entitled to

8.87

qualified immunity. The court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the federal prison officers had
actual subjective knowledge that the federal prisoner faced a substantial risk of serious harm from the cellmate,
who had a known history of violence, before the officers placed the prisoner in the cell with the cellmate, where
he was assaulted and stabbed. The court noted that they had a known history of violence and had already
threatened the prisoner's safety by setting their locked cell on fire. (FCI–Talladega, Alabama)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
HANDICAPPED INMATE
MENTALLY ILL

Cox v. Massachusetts Dept. of Correction, 18 F.Supp.3d 38 (D.Mass. 2014). A mentally disabled state prisoner
brought an action against a state department of correction (DOC) and various officials, alleging violations of the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Massachusetts Declaration of
Rights. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The
court found that the prisoner's grievance alleging he was improperly classified, resulting in a sexual assault,
provided the DOC with sufficient notice to investigate, and therefore, the prisoner's claims under the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) were administratively exhausted. The prisoner alleged that the DOC did not keep
him safe and that he was mentally challenged. According to the court, the prisoner's allegations that he was
sexually assaulted by other inmates, that he suffered other abuses, that prison officials knew of the risk of harm
to the prisoner, that his history of mental illness was well-documented, and that officials were responsible for
policies, procedures, and training that led to his injury were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim against the officials
for violations of the Eighth Amendment, and a claim under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, absent
allegations of threats, intimidation, or coercion by officials. The court held that the prisoner’s allegations that
prison officials knew of his disability, that medical professionals encouraged staff to provide appropriate housing
to prevent the prisoner from being targeted by other inmates, and that he was sexually assaulted after failure to
provide appropriate housing were sufficient to state a failure to accommodate claim under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). (Massachusetts Department of Correction, Old Colony Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
GANGS
SEX OFFENDERS

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
GANGS

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
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)

U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL
POLICY/PROCEDURE
SEGREGATION
SUICIDE
DUE PROCESS
LIBERTY INTEREST
PUNITIVE
SEGREGATION
PRIVILEGES

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

8.88

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

Keith v. DeKalb County, Georgia, 749 F.3d 1034 (11th Cir. 2014). The administrator of the estate of a pretrial
detainee who was murdered by a fellow inmate in a jail's mental health unit brought an action against a county,
the county sheriff, and correctional officers, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants violated the detainee's
substantive due process rights. The district court denied the sheriff's motion for summary judgment based on the
doctrine of qualified immunity. The sheriff appealed. The appeals court reversed. The court held that while a
correctional officer on duty at the time the detainee was murdered by a fellow inmate may have acted contrary to
jail policy by using a cell phone within the jail, the administrator of the detainee's estate failed to show that the
use of personal cell phones within the jail was a widespread problem or that the county sheriff was aware that
officers routinely violated the policy and failed to correct the problem.
The court found that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity on the § 1983 due process claim that he
was deliberately indifferent to the safety of the detainee, in failing to segregate mental health inmates with
violent histories from those with nonviolent histories and by failing to separate mental health inmates charged
with a violent crime from those charged with a nonviolent crime. According to the court, even if the sheriff
violated the detainee's due process rights, it was not clearly established that he had a constitutional obligation to
disregard the medical expertise of mental health contractors he hired to ensure that inmates' mental health was
tended to. The court also found that the administrator of the estate of the detainee failed to show that the county
sheriff was subjectively aware that the jail's policy of requiring detention officers to alert mental health staff
when relocating mental health inmates to different cells within the same pod was disregarded on a widespread
basis, as would have subjected the sheriff to supervisory liability under § 1983.
The court found that a prior isolated incident in which a pretrial detainee was killed by another inmate when
the two were placed in the same cell in the jail's mental health pod did not provide requisite notice to the county
sheriff that training provided to detention officers was constitutionally deficient, as would subject the sheriff to
liability under § 1983 with respect to claims arising from the subsequent murder of a pretrial detainee by a
fellow inmate in the same pod. (DeKalb County Jail, Georgia)

U.S. District Court
LIBERTY INTEREST

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
MENTAL HEALTH
HANDICAPPED INMATE

Meeks v. Schofield, 10 F.Supp.3d 774 (M.D.Tenn. 2014). A state prisoner, who allegedly suffered from
paruresis, a mental anxiety disorder that made it difficult to urinate without complete privacy, brought an action
against the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction, its Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) officer, a housing unit supervisor, a grievance board chairman, and a warden, asserting § 1983 claims for
First Amendment retaliation and violation of his right to privacy, and alleging violations of the ADA and Title
VII. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the
prisoner failed to establish retaliation claims against the ADA officer, the housing unit supervisor, and the
warden. The court found that the prisoner, who was assisting other inmates with their legal work, was not
engaged in “protected conduct,” as required to establish a First Amendment retaliation claim against the housing
unit supervisor, where the prisoner was not authorized to help other inmates with legal work, and thus was in
violation of department policy. According to the court, the state prison's decision to remove exterior bathroom
doors and refusal to put at least one door back to accommodate the prisoner, who allegedly suffered from
paruresis, a mental anxiety disorder that made it difficult to urinate without complete privacy, was not
intentionally discriminatory and did not violate the ADA.
The court held that the transfer of the prisoner to a medical housing unit did not result in denial of access to
prison programs and services available to the general population, so as to support an ADA claim of
discrimination on the basis of a perceived disability. The court noted that the transfer was intended to
accommodate the prisoner's complaints about bathroom doors being removed in the general housing unit, and the
prisoner was allowed to continue his prison job, have access to the law library, and participate in the same
activities he was allowed to participate in while he was housed with the general population. (Lois M. DeBerry
Special Needs Facility, Tennessee)

U.S. District Court
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

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

8.89

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. The prisoner alleged that the prison had a policy
or custom of segregating blacks and non-blacks, and that prison officials refused to place him in a non-black cell
to get away from pests in his cell. The court held that the administrators allowed ants to infest his cell for weeks
and that as a result, he received ant bites that caused him to scratch until his skin was broken due to severe
itching, in violation of his conditions of confinement rights under § 1983 and the Eighth Amendment. (Little
Sandy Correctional Complex, Green River Correctional Complex, Kentucky)
U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
CELL ASSIGNMENT
GANGS
SEPARATION

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 visitinginmate 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. Appeals Court
LIBERTY INTEREST
MENTALLY ILL
SOLIARY CONFINEMENT
SPECIAL NEEDS

Townsend v. Cooper, 759 F.3d 678 (7th Cir. 2014). An inmate suffering from a significant mental illness brought
a § 1983 action against prison officials, claiming that imposition of a behavior action plan in response to the
inmate's disruptive behavior and threats of suicide violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights,
deprived him of the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and exhibited an indifference to his serious
medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment for the
prison officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The
court held that the behavior action plan resulted in an atypical and significant hardship compared to ordinary
prison life, and thus, the inmate had a liberty interest in not being placed on the plan sufficient to support his
Fourteenth Amendment due process challenge against the prison officials, where the plan involved removal of
the inmate's personal property from his cell, provision of a bag lunch, provision of a paper gown, and limited
access to toiletries. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as
to whether prison officials acted in disregard of a substantial risk of serious harm to the inmate, and a fact issue
as to whether the behavior action plan was imposed for safety reasons or as a disciplinary measure.
The court found that prison psychologists were not deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of the
inmate when they placed the inmate on the behavior action plan, where the psychologists repeatedly visited the
inmate, regularly adjusted the inmate's access to property that he could use to harm himself, and repeatedly
placed the inmate on observation status to ensure his safety when he was suicidal. (Green Bay Correctional
Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
LENGTH OF
SEGREGATION
LIBERTY INTEREST

Wilkerson v. Goodwin, 774 F.3d 845 (5th Cir. 2014). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, asserting procedural due process violations relating to his lengthy and continuing incarceration in
solitary confinement. The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment based on qualified
immunity. The officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner's solitary
confinement constituted an atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life,
such that a due-process liberty interest in avoiding the deprivation arose. The court noted that the prisoner's
incarceration in solitary confinement was approaching an extraordinary 39 years, including 35 years before his
transfer to the current prison, the prisoner's solitary confinement was effectively indefinite, and restrictions
during solitary confinement were severe, including cell isolation for 23 hours per day, limited physical exercise,
and limited human contact. (David Wade Correctional Facility, Louisiana)
2015

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

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

8.90

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
SANITATION
FLOOR-SLEEPING

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

U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Bloom v. Toliver, 133 F.Supp.3d 1314 (N.D. Okla. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
jail's administrator, shift supervisors, detention officer, and county sheriff, alleging violations of his Fourth,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights in connection with an attack on him by another inmate while being
transferred from a holding cell to a segregation cell. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a
genuine issue of material fact as to whether the jail shift supervisor who made the decision to move the pretrial
detainee from a holding cell to a segregation cell did so with a desire to punish the detainee, in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. The supervisor admitted that there were cells other than the one
where the detainee was moved, and testified that his intent in moving the detainee “was to discipline [the
detainee] Bloom,” and that placement in any of the other cells “wouldn't have been disciplinary.” The court also
found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the jail's detention
officer violated the pretrial detainee's Fourteenth Amendment right to be protected from substantial risks of
assault from other inmates by moving him from the holding cell to a segregation cell in which another inmate
was being held.(Creek County Criminal Justice Center Oklahoma)

U.S. District Court
SEPARATION
MEDICAL CARE

Brown v. Moore, 93 F.Supp.3d 1032 (W.D. Ark. 2015). An inmate, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brought a § 1983 action against a sheriff and jail officials, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in
part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of fact as to whether the inmate’s being
housed with a prisoner who had a staph infection constituted deliberate indifference. The court held that
summary judgment on the inmate’s First Amendment claim was precluded by material issues of fact as to how
many newspapers were distributed at the jail, how they were distributed, whether they were available on a daily
basis, and who distributed the newspapers. (Boone County Detention Center, Arkansas)

U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEPARATION

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
DOUBLE-CELLING
SEPARATION

Castro v. County of Los Angeles, 797 F.3d 654 (9th Cir. 2015). An arrestee brought an action against a county, its
sheriff’s department, and two officers under § 1983 for violation of his Fourth Amendment right to be protected
from harm by other inmates, arising out of an attack against the arrestee by another arrestee with whom he was
jailed. A jury returned a verdict for the arrestee, and the district court denied the defendants’ motion for
judgment as a matter of law. The defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
The court held that: (1) the right of inmates to be protected from attacks by other inmates was established with
sufficient clarity to guide a reasonable officer; (2) substantial evidence supported the jury’s determination that
the officer was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to the arrestee; (3) sufficient evidence
supported the jury’s determination that the officer’s deliberate indifference was the actual and proximate cause
of harm to the arrestee; (4) sufficient evidence supported the jury’s determination that the supervising officer
was aware of, but disregarded, the risk to the arrestee posed by the other inmate; (5) the design of a jail by a
municipality is the result of a series of deliberate choices that render the design a formal municipal policy for the
purposes of municipal liability under § 1983; (6) arrestee failed to establish that the county had actual knowledge
of a risk of harm from the design of the jail, as required to establish liability under § 1983; and (7) the award of
future damages to the arrestee was supported by the record. The jury returned a verdict for the arrestee on all
counts and awarded him $2,605,632 in damages. The parties later stipulated to $840,000 in attorney fees,

8.91

$18,000 in punitive damages.
The arrestee had been placed in a “sobering cell” after his arrest for public drunkenness and was seriously
injured by another drunken inmate in the sobering cell. When the other inmate was admitted, staff determined
that he posed a threat to officers, requiring supervision by two officers at all times. The other arrestee was placed
in the same cell as the plaintiff, even though the jail policy was to place combative inmates in a separate cell, and
separate cells were available but left unused on the night of the incident. The court noted that the arrestee
submitted billing records from his cognitive assistant and his treating psychologist and a chart detailing the
charges for medical expenses he already had incurred, and proffered several medical experts who testified to his
need for ongoing medical care. (Los Angeles Sheriff’s West Hollywood Station, California)
U.S. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
FAILURE TO PROTECT
SEPARATION

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. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
WORK
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Estate of Johnson v. Weber, 785 F.3d 267 (8th Cir. 2015). The estate of a state prison guard who was murdered
by inmates who attempted to escape brought a § 1983 action in state court against various prison officials and
the state department of corrections (DOC), alleging constitutional violations. The action was transferred to
federal court. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the estate appealed.
The appeals court affirmed. The court held that state prison officials did not shock the conscience or act with
deliberate indifference by housing two prisoners with violent criminal pasts, one with a history of multiple
escapes and one with a history of planning an escape, in a medium security environment, and giving them job
assignments which allowed the prisoners to move within the prison, and thus, the officials did not violate the
substantive due process rights of the prison guard who was murdered by prisoners during their attempted escape.
The court noted that the prisoners had no history of violence or threats while incarcerated before the murder, and
one prisoner had worked in the prison for many years without creating any known threat of harm to any guard.
(South Dakota State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION

Goguen v. Allen, 780 F.3d 437 (1st Cir. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against correctional
officers, claiming that the defendants inflicted punishment on him without due process of law and retaliated
against him for filing grievances, in violation of his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The district court denied summary judgment to the defendants on qualified immunity grounds. The defendants
appealed. The appeals court dismissed the appeal. The court held that the district court’s determination that
summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to the motivations of the corrections
officers in assigning a pretrial detainee to administrative segregation precluded granting the officers’ motion for
a sovereign immunity-based summary judgment was not subject to appellate review, where the officers on
appeal did not raise any purely legal issues that called into question the denial of their summary judgment
motion based on qualified immunity, but rather raised challenges to the plaintiff’s evidence and recitation of
facts. (Somerset County Jail, Maine)

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

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. District Court
CELL ASSIGNMENT
DOUBLE CELLING
MEDICAL CARE

Hendrick v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 141 F.Supp.3d 393 (D. Md. 2015). A state prisoner brought a § 1983
action against prison officials, medical staff, and the corporation that provided medical services to a prison,
alleging that his reassignment from a single cell to a double cell in contravention of his medical needs violated
his Eighth Amendment rights. The medical staff and corporation moved to dismiss or for summary judgment.
The district court granted the motion. The court held that the prisoner's allegations were insufficient to state a §
1983 claim against the private corporation that provided medical services to the prison, where the prisoner
alleged no specific conduct by the corporation and did not allege a custom or policy of the corporation that
resulted in a deprivation of his constitutional rights. The court found that medical providers did not act with
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of the prisoner, who suffered from papilledema and
pseudotumor cerebri, by returning him to a double cell instead of a single cell as he requested, and thus did not
violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights. The court noted that the medical director believed that having a
cellmate would make the prisoner safer given his history of blacking out, there was no indication that the
prisoner's prior placement in a single cell was an absolute medical necessity, there was no indication that the
prisoner's cellmates threatened him or caused him any harm, and the prisoner's subjective concerns for his safety

8.92

U.S. Appeals Court
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

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

U.S. Appeals Court
RELIGION
CELL ASSIGNMENT

Jehovah v. Clarke, 798 F.3d 169 (4th Cir. 2015). A Christian inmate brought a § 1983 action against the
Commonwealth of Virginia and various employees and contractors of the Virginia Department of Corrections
(VDOC), alleging that the defendants violated his free exercise rights under the First Amendment and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by prohibiting him from consuming wine
during communion, requiring him to work on Sabbath days, and assigning him non-Christian cellmates.
Following dismissal of some claims, the district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
The inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that summary judgment was
precluded by fact issues regarding the wine ban. The court also found that the inmate stated an RLUIPA claim
based on cell assignment, a First Amendment claim based on cell assignment, and an Eighth Amendment
deliberate indifference claim. The court noted that the inmate alleged that he was required to share a cell with a
particular inmate who subjected him to “anti-Christian” rhetoric, and that he was “burdened, mocked, and
harassed” on account of his religious views by being housed in a cell with that inmate. (Sussex I Prison,
Waverly, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT

Karsjens v. Jesson, 109 F.Supp.3d 1139 (D. Minn. 2015). Patients civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex
Offender Program (MSOP) brought an action against various officials and employees of the MSOP pursuant to §
1983, asserting Fourteenth Amendment due process clause challenges to the Minnesota statute governing civil
commitment and treatment of sex offenders. The district court granted the patients’ motion for class certification
and granted in part and denied in part the officials’ motion to dismiss. After a bench trial, the court held that: (1)
the patients had standing to bring a class action; (2) the statute was unconstitutional on its face; and (3) the
statute was unconstitutional as applied. According to the court, each patient was harmed by not knowing whether
he continued to meet the criteria for commitment through regular risk assessments, each patient was harmed by
the program’s structural problems that resulted in delays, patients were deprived of their right to liberty, and a
favorable decision would likely redress their injuries. The court noted that no patient had been released from
MSOP in over 20 years and MSOP failed to initiate the petitioning process when it was aware that individual
patients were likely to meet statutory discharge criteria. (Minnesota Sex Offender Program)

U.S. Appeals Court
CUSTODY LEVEL
TRANSFER

King v. Zamiara, 788 F.3d 207 (6th Cir. 2015). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials under §
1983, alleging First Amendment retaliation arising from his transfer to a higher security prison due to his
participation in a state-court class action against the prison officials. After a bench trial, the district court found
in favor of the prison officials. The appeals court reversed with respect to three officials. On remand, the district
court entered judgment in favor of the prisoner and ordered compensatory damages and attorney fees, but denied
the prisoner’s request for punitive damages and injunctive relief. Both parties appealed. The appeals court
vacated and remanded. The court held that: (1) the district court properly awarded prisoner compensatory
damages; (2) the district court’s award of compensatory damages to equal $5 a day for each day he was kept in a
higher security prison was not a reversible error; (3) the district court relied on an incorrect legal standard in
concluding that the prisoner was not entitled to punitive damages; (4) the prisoner was not entitled to injunctive
relief requiring the department of corrections to remove certain documents from his file that allegedly violated
his due process rights; and (5) the district court abused its discretion in failing to charge up to 25% of the
attorney fees awarded to the prisoner against his compensatory damages award. (Conklin Unit at Brooks
Correctional Facility, Chippewa Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CRITERIA
DUE PROCESS
SEGREGATION

Linton v. O’Brien, 142 F.Supp.3d 215 (D. Mass. 2015). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against the
Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and prison officials, alleging that prison
personnel violated his due process, equal protection, and 8th Amendment rights by not providing rehabilitative
educational programs that awarded good time credits. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court
granted the motion, dismissing the complaint. The court held that prison officials' refusal to allow the inmate,
who was housed in a disciplinary unit, an opportunity to participate in educational and rehabilitative programs in
order to earn good time credits to reduce his sentence, did not violate the inmate's due process rights. According
to the court, the inmate did not demonstrate that the officials' exercise of discretion to not provide good time
credit opportunities to inmates in a disciplinary unit constituted an imposition of an atypical and significant
hardship not normally within range of confinement expected for an inmate serving an indeterminate term. The
court noted that the exercise of discretion by the Department of Corrections in imposing different classifications

8.93

upon inmates, with respect to restricting the ability of an inmate housed in a prison disciplinary unit to earn good
time credits to reduce his sentence, did not lack a rational basis, was not otherwise based on suspect
classification, and thus did not violate the inmate's equal protection rights. The court found that the DOC had a
legitimate public purpose in allocating limited resources available for earned good time credit programs to
inmates who were motivated to make best use of them by improving their chances for successful return to
society and as an inducement to control and reduce those inmates' tendencies towards violence. (MCI—Cedar
Junction, Massachusetts)
U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING/
BUNKING

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

U.S. District Court
MENTALLY ILL

Shorter v. Baca, 101 F.Supp.3d 876 (C.D. Cal. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought an action against a county,
sheriff, and deputies, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants denied her medical care, subjected her to
unsanitary living conditions, deprived her of food, clean clothes, and access to exercise, and conducted overly
invasive searches. The detainee had been classified as mentally ill and housed in a mental health unit at the
detention facility. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part
and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as
to what policies governed classification of pretrial detainees who were mentally ill. The court found that
summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether jail conditions imposed on
the detainee, including permitting the detainee, who was incarcerated for 32 days, to shower only three times,
only permitting the detainee outside of her cell for recreation on one occasion, failing to clean her cell, failing to
provide the detainee with clean clothing, and depriving the detainee of food, amounted to punishment. (Century
Regional Detention Facility, Los Angeles County, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CELL ASSIGNMENT
RELIGION

Walker v. Beard, 789 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2015). A state prisoner brought an action against prison officials
challenging their classification of him as eligible to occupy a prison cell with an individual of a different race,
alleging that such placement would interfere with his religious practice as an Aryan Christian Odinist, violating
his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the First Amendment.
The district court held that the prison officials’ actions did not violate the prisoner’s rights. The prisoner
appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that: (1) the Aryan Christian Odinist warding ritual was a
“religious exercise” under RLUIPA; (2) prison officials’ classification of the state prisoner under a housing
policy substantially burdened the prisoner’s ritual; (3) prison officials’ compliance with constitutional
restrictions on racial segregation in prisons was a compelling governmental interest under RLUIPA; (4) prison
officials’ refusal to exempt the prisoner from the housing policy’s classification scheme was the least restrictive
means of furthering a compelling interest, and thus the officials’ actions did not violate the prisoner’s rights
under RLUIPA; and (5) prison officials’ interest in complying with the Equal Protection Clause was reasonably
related to legitimate penological interests, and thus the officials’ refusal to exempt the state prisoner from the
housing policy’s classification scheme did not infringe on the prisoner’s rights under the Free Exercise Clause of
the First Amendment. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
2016

U.S. Appeals Court
MENTALLY ILL
CELL ASSIGNMENT
TRANFER

Saylor v. Nebraska, 812 F.3d 637 (8th Cir. 2016). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that prison
officials retaliated against him by transferring and reclassifying him, that the transfer and classification review
process violated his due process rights, and that officials were deliberately indifferent to his post–traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). The district court denied the officials’ motion for summary judgment, and they appealed. The
appeals court reversed. The court held that the prison’s medical officials were not deliberately indifferent to the
inmate’s post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in violation of Eighth Amendment, despite the inmate’s
contention that treatment that occurred after his treating psychiatrist left the prison rose to the level of cruel and
unusual punishment. The court noted that officials attempted to provide the inmate with another psychiatrist at
the facility, ultimately found him another psychiatrist at a different facility, continued medication as they saw fit
within their independent medical judgment, and gave him his requested private cell.
The court found that the officials’ decision to transfer the inmate to another facility and to place him in
administrative segregation was not in retaliation for his complaints about his medical care, in violation of the
First Amendment, where the reason for the transfer was to provide the inmate with necessary psychiatric care
after his treating psychiatrist’s contract with the state ended and the inmate refused to meet with the facility’s
other psychiatrist. The court noted that the inmate was placed in administrative segregation because he refused to
share a cell within any other prisoners, and there were no other private cells. (Nebraska Department of
Correctional Services, Nebraska State Penitentiary, Tecumseh State Correctional Institution)

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
LENGTH OF SEGREGATION

Szubielski v. Pierce, 152 F.Supp.3d 227 (D. Del. 2016). A state prisoner, acting pro se and in forma pauperis
(IFP), brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, relating to his continuing classification for solitary
confinement. At the screening stage of the case, the district court held that the prisoner stated a First Amendment
retaliation claim against a prison warden and an Eighth Amendment claim regarding conditions of confinement.
The prisoner complained of 24-hour cell confinement, limited recreation, extreme social isolation, environmental

8.94

deprivation, limited telephone calls, and limited visits. The prisoner suffered from schizophrenia, severe manic
depression, and an anxiety disorder. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that the prison warden
retaliated against him after a civil rights advocacy organization filed a lawsuit challenging solitary confinement
of prisoners, by keeping the prisoner in solitary confinement despite a classification committee's reclassification
of the prisoner for medium-security housing, stated a First Amendment retaliation claim. According to the court,
the prisoner's allegations that his continued solitary confinement, which had already lasted nine years, involved
extreme social isolation, inadequate medical care, limited recreation, and environmental deprivation, stated a
claim the under the Eighth Amendment regarding conditions of confinement. (James T. Vaughn Correctional
Center, Delaware)

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appointments for hearing-impaired inmates as required by consent decree, the prison was
equipped with visual fire alarms that met the requirements of the decree, and diligent efforts
were being made to comply with the consent decree regarding access to text telephones. (Wende
Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
EXERCISE

Fogle v. Pierson, 435 F.3d 1252 (10th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action
against state prison officials. The district court dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the
district court abused its discretion when it found that the inmate’s three-year period of
administrative segregation, during which time the prisoner was confined to his cell for all but five
hours each week and denied access to any outdoor exercise, was not “atypical” in violation of the
prisoner’s due process rights. The inmate had escaped from a county jail when he was a pretrial
detainee by posing as a visitor and simply walking out of the facility. Although he was quickly
apprehended, the incident caused embarrassing media coverage for state prison officials. (Limon
Correctional Facility, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
FOOD

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. District Court
SMOKE

George v. Smith, 467 F.Supp.2d 906 (W.D.Wis. 2006). A state prisoner sued prison officials under

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING
FLOOR-SLEEPING
TOTALITY OF
CONDITIONS
ISOLATION

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

§ 1983, alleging deprivation of his free speech rights and deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. The officials moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the
motion in part and stayed in part. The court held that: (1) the officials’ ban on the prisoner’s
receipt of a newsletter on the ground that the newsletter solicited gifts did not violate the
prisoner’s free speech rights; (2) a prohibition against the prisoner possessing an atlas did not
violate his free speech rights; (3) the officials did not violate the prisoner’s speech rights in
concluding that a magazine advocated behavior consistent with a gang and thus was prohibited
by regulation; and (4) the prisoner was not exposed to unreasonably high levels of environmental
tobacco smoke. The court found that the prisoner was not exposed to unreasonable levels of
environmental tobacco smoke, where the only smoking allowed in the prison was outdoors, and he
was not required to stand or sit next to staff or inmates while they were smoking outdoors. The
court noted that medical records revealed that the prisoner was seen for complaints relating to
asthma only four times in three years, and that he did not claim second-hand smoke was a
potential cause of the first three flare-ups. (Oshkosh Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

prison officials, alleging that a behavioral modification program imposed on him violated his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding
that fact issues precluded summary judgment. According to the court, there were fact issues as to
whether the prisoner, who was subjected to a behavioral modification program, was denied the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and whether prison officials acted with disregard of
a substantial risk of serious harm to the prisoner. The appeals court opinion opened with the
following statement. “Stripped naked in a small prison cell with nothing except a toilet; forced to

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

facility, designed to house recalcitrant inmates. At the time at issue in this case, the facility used

XX

9.85

a five-level system of inmate classification, with Level One being the most restrictive. All inmates
were placed in Level One upon their arrival at the prison. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility at
Boscobel)
U.S. District Court
FLOOR-SLEEPING
CROWDING
MEDICAL CARE

Hubbard v. Taylor, 452 F.Supp.2d 533 (D.Del. 2006). Pretrial detainees filed suit under § 1983,
challenging conditions of their confinement on Fourteenth Amendment due process grounds, and
a prisoner imprisoned at the same facility asserted a claim under the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA). The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and
plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. On remand, the district court
granted summary judgment for the defendants. The court held that requiring the pretrial
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, because providing sleeping
accommodations on the floor was in response to overcrowding at the facility and was not intended
to punish. The court noted that even if the pretrial detainees' 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 officials to qualified immunity. (Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice Facility, Delaware)

U.S. District Court
SHOWERS
SANITATION
HYGIENE

J.P. v. Taft, 439 F.Supp.2d 793 (S.D.Ohio 2006). A former juvenile corrections facility inmate sued
the facility and individuals, claiming the lack of access to courts to pursue a claim of injury from
being assaulted by an officer, and claims of substandard accommodations. The district court
denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the inmate had
standing to bring a claim that the facility interfered with his access to courts by not making
adequate efforts to provide attorneys, and that the inmate stated a claim that the facility
interfered with his right of access to court, by not providing an attorney to pursue a legitimate
claim that officers unconstitutionally restricted his bathroom privileges.
According to the court, the inmate did not state a claim that conditions of confinement violated
his rights under the Eighth Amendment when he alleged that showers were cold, worms were
coming in through a drain, and his personal hygiene materials had been lost during a move from
one cell to another. The court found that these problems were insufficiently serious.
The court held that the inmate stated claim that conditions of confinement violated his rights
under Eighth Amendment, when he alleged that officers frequently denied inmates the
opportunity to use a rest room, as a disciplinary measure, forcing them to urinate into objects
including latex gloves. (Ohio Dept. of Youth Services, Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility)

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
CELL CAPACITY
ODORS
OVERCROWDING
SANITATION
SMOKE

Jones v. Goord, 435 F.Supp.2d 221 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). Inmates brought an action against New York
prison officials, challenging the double-celling policy at maximum-security prisons. Double-celling
is a practice in which two prisoners are housed in a cell originally designed for one person. The
complaint was filed in 1995, and was effectively stayed for some time pending litigation of a
companion case challenging the same practice in medium security prisons. After a full trial on the
merits, the district court in the medium security case denied the plaintiffs any relief.
The district court dismissed all of the inmates’ class claims, but reserved decisions on
individual plaintiffs' claims for damages under the Eighth Amendment and the First
Amendment. The court held that the practice of double-celling, and the undesirable conditions
allegedly created by double-celling of inmates, including facts that inmates were forced to sleep
near a toilet, were exposed to cellmates' odors, and kept excess personal property in their cells,
did not violate the Eighth Amendment.
The court found that Muslim inmates' claim that double-celling interfered with their First
Amendment right to free exercise of religion was not moot after they were no longer being doublecelled, where many of the inmates were double-celled on numerous occasions for short periods of
time, and the policy of double-celling inmates continued. The defendant's voluntary cessation of a
challenged practice does not deprive a federal court of its power to determine the legality of the
practice. According to the court, even assuming that the policy of double-celling some inmates in
New York's maximum-security prisons burdened religious practices of Muslim inmates by making
it difficult for them to pray in their cells. According to the court, the policy was rationally related
to the legitimate goal of finding sufficient bed space to house all maximum security inmates, and
thus did not violate the inmates' right to free exercise of religion. The court ruled that the
inmates were not entitled to amend their complaint to add a claim under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
The court noted that the Eighth Amendment does not guarantee prisoners freedom from any
and all sorts of unsavory environs, and that to the extent that conditions are restrictive and even
harsh, they are part of the penalty that criminal offenders pay for their offenses against society.
According to the court, the practice of double-celling inmates did not result in a substantial
risk of serious harm to inmates due to violence, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where
incident reports indicated that six years after the implementation of the double-celling policy,
inmates generally faced a lower risk of assault than they did before the policy was implemented,
and there was no evidence that any under-reporting of assaults affected the reporting of incidents
in double cells more than the reporting of incidents generally.
The court also found that injury and disease allegedly caused by double-celling did not create

XX

9.86

an unreasonable risk of serious damage to inmates' health, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment, noting that although nine inmates had been injured getting into or out of the top
bunk in their cells, and six inmates caught colds from their cellmates, there was no evidence that
the design or placement of the bunks was unsafe, or that any inmate actually contracted, or was
even exposed to, a serious disease from his cellmate in a double cell.
The court held that alleged mistakes made by New York prison officials in screening
dangerous inmates before placing them in double cells in maximum security prisons did not show
that New York's double-celling policy subjected inmates to a substantial risk of serious harm, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the rate of inmate assaults had declined in the six
years after the double-celling policy was implemented.
The court ruled that alleged exposure to excessive levels of secondhand smoke in double cells
did not create an unreasonable risk of serious damage to inmates' future health, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment, where the state had banned smoking in all its prison facilities, and there
was no evidence that inmates in double cells were exposed to unreasonably high levels of
secondhand smoke after that policy was adopted. (New York Dept. of Correctional Services)
U.S. District Court
SANITATION

Keel v. Dovey, 459 F.Supp.2d 946 (C.D.Cal. 2006). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging

U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
FOOD
RESTRAINTS

Lopez v. City of Chicago, 464 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2006). An arrestee brought an action against a
city and city police officers, alleging the duration and conditions of his detention violated his
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and asserting a claim for intentional infliction of
emotional distress. The district court entered judgment as matter of law in favor of the
defendants. The arrestee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court found
that the arrestee’s conditions of confinement civil rights claim for the five-day period between his
arrest and his preliminary probable cause hearing was required to be analyzed under the Fourth
Amendment, using the “objectively unreasonable” standard, rather than under the Eighth
Amendment's “deliberate indifference” standard. The court held that the question was for the
jury. The arrestee presented evidence that he was shackled to the wall of an interrogation room
for four days, that he was deprived of food, drink, and sleep, and that he was forced to yell for a
long period of time before being let out to use the bathroom, and that the defendant officers
denied such treatment. The arrestee had been arrested for a murder he did not commit. Following
his arrest, the defendants-- all police detectives-- kept him shackled to the wall of a windowless,
nine-by-seven-foot interrogation room for four days and nights while they investigated the case.
The arrestee had nowhere to sleep but a four-foot-by-ten-inch metal bench or the dirty brick floor.
The interrogation room had no toilet or sink; he had to “scream” for the detectives to let him out
to use a bathroom. He was given only one bologna sandwich and one serving of juice as food and
drink during the entire four days and nights that he was kept in the interrogation room. The
detectives questioned him from time to time and made him stand in two lineups. After two-and-ahalf days in these conditions, the arrestee started to become disoriented and began hearing voices
telling him to confess. He ultimately gave a statement containing a false confession that did not
match the details of the crime. On the fifth day of his detention, the arrestee was moved to a city
lockup, charged, and finally taken to court. The following day, the police investigation led
detectives to another individual who confessed to the murder. The arrestee was released the next
day. (Chicago Police Department's Area 5, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
MATTRESS
SEGREGATION

McGoldrick V. Farrington, 462 F.Supp.2d 112 (D.Me. 2006). An inmate brought a civil rights

XX

that prison officials violated her civil rights by placing her in administrative segregation pending
the investigation of a disciplinary charge against her, and by conducting a disciplinary hearing
that violated her procedural due process rights. Officials moved for summary judgment. The
district court granted the motion. The court held that: (1) the inmate did not have a due process
liberty interest in remaining free from administrative segregation prior to a disciplinary hearing;
(2) the use of confidential information in a disciplinary hearing did not violate the inmate’s right
to procedural due process; and (3) the inmate was not denied due process as the result of the
officials’ refusal to permit her to listen to and read intercepted inmate phone calls. The court
noted that the administrative segregation the inmate endured pending disciplinary investigation
was not an atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.
According to the court, even if her cell was unsanitary, birds and mice were present in inmate
cells, and she lost her prison job and her ability to participate in religious ceremonies, the inmate
did not suffer forfeiture of time credits, she had non-contact visits of one hour in length, and there
was no evidence regarding conditions of cells outside of administrative segregation. (California
Institution for Women, Chino)

action against state prison officials alleging cruel and unusual punishment and violation of due
process. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The court held that the prisoner failed to
allege any physical injury, and was not deprived of due process. According to the court, the
inmate’s loss of mattress privileges while housed in the Special Management Unit failed to allege
any physical injury that resulted from the removal of his mattress, as required to bring a civil
rights action for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody. (Maine State Prison)

9.87

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
SANITATION
VENTILATION

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 the inmate's alleged
weight loss while he was a pretrial detainee at the county jail did not satisfy the section of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requiring a showing of physical injury in addition to mental
or emotional injury in order to obtain compensatory damages. The court noted that the inmate’s
alleged weight loss was contrary to the uncontroverted facts, where the inmate did not allege that
he was not fed while at jail but that he was not allowed to exercise out of his cell, and it was not
clear how a lack of exercise would have caused weight loss.
The court found that the lack of outdoor exercise for the pretrial detainee at a small county jail
did not violate due process, where the cells were large, the detainee did a wide variety of inside
exercises during his stay at jail, and no physical deterioration occurred due to failure to obtain
outdoor exercise.
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
HANDICAPPED
INMATES
SHOWERS

Partelow v. Massachusetts, 442 F.Supp.2d 41 (D.Mass. 2006). A state prisoner whose leg had been
amputated brought an action against numerous defendants, including a county correctional
center and sheriff, alleging that failure to provide him with handicapped-accessible shower
facilities during the renovation of his housing unit violated his federal and state civil rights. The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the
officials provided alternative accessible facilities, precluding claims under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The court noted that officials provided the
prisoner with a chair for use in the standard shower, assigned him to a housing unit with
handicapped-accessible showers, promptly transferred him back to his original unit at his
request, and ultimately made arrangements for him to shower in the medical unit. The court held
that the prisoner could not establish an Eighth Amendment claim, where officials allowed the
prisoner to shower in medical unit and made other such accommodations imposing only minor
impediments and delays. (Hampden County Correctional Center, Massachusetts)

U.S. District Court
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING
FLOOR-SLEEPING
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE

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. The court found that officials were not deliberately
indifferent to the detainee’s serious medical needs, in violation of the Due Process Clause, even
though he was not hospitalized or sent to a plastic surgeon after he sustained a large cut over his
right eye. The court noted that the detainee’s treatment included sutures, bandaging of his
wound, and administration of medication, as well as a follow-up visit. The detainee was given
instructions to contact the medical department for any perceived problems with the wound, and
the detainee did not seek additional treatment. (Multi-Purpose Crim. Justice Facility, Delaware)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTING
NOISE
SEGREGATION

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

XX

9.88

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. District Court
CRIPA- Civil Rights of
Institutionalized
Persons Act
PRETRIAL
DETAINEES
FIRE SAFETY
CONDITIONS

U.S. v. Terrell County, Ga., 457 F.Supp.2d 1359 (M.D.Ga. 2006). The federal government brought a Civil Rights
of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) action against a county, county sheriff, and various other county officials,
seeking a determination that county jail conditions were grossly deficient in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The district court granted the government’s motion for summary judgment. The court held that the
sheriff and other officials were deliberately indifferent to the jail's gross deficiencies in the areas of medical and
mental health care for inmates, protection of inmates from harm, environmental health and safety of inmates, and
fire safety, in violation of the due process clause. The court noted that the lack of funds is not a defense to, nor
legal justification for, unconstitutional conditions of a jail, for the purpose of analyzing a deliberate indifference
claim under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Even if a defendant argues that it is planning or
working towards construction of a new jail to remedy the unconstitutional conditions at the current facility, the
failure to implement interim measures to alleviate those conditions demonstrates deliberate indifference, according
to the court. (Terrell County, Georgia)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
EQUAL PROTECTION

Walker v. Woodford, 454 F.Supp.2d 1007 (S.D.Cal. 2006). State inmates filed a § 1983 action alleging that prison
officials violated their Eighth Amendment rights by refusing to turn off lights in their cells. The inmates alleged
that the light prevented them from sleeping adequately, and
that this has caused a variety of sleep-related problems. The district court ruled that the state prison's policy
prohibiting inmates from covering lights in their cells did not violate the inmates' equal protection rights, even
though the policy did not apply in other facilities in the state, absent an allegation that prison officials implemented
the policy with the intent to discriminate against inmates, that other inmates at the facility were treated differently,
or that inmates at other facilities were similarly situated. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE

White v. Crow Ghost, 456 F.Supp.2d 1096 (D.N.D. 2006). An arrestee brought a Bivens action against personnel of
a jail operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), alleging failure to provide adequate medical care, unsanitary
conditions, and delayed or prevented bond hearings. The district court granted summary judgment for the
defendants. The court held that jail officials were not deliberately indifferent to the arrestee's medical needs, in
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, where officials provided the arrestee with medical care promptly after
learning of his suicide gestures or attempts, and again upon learning he might have an infection. The court noted
that when the arrestee's need for medication was established, officials ensured that the medications were
administered. The court found that the officials were not deliberately indifferent to any risk of harm to arrestee
from his placement in two different, allegedly cold and unsanitary jail cells for a total of four days, and thus such
placement did not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation. The court noted that the arrestee was placed
in those cells after his suicide gestures or attempts so that he could be monitored, his clothing and bedding was
removed for his protection after he tried to hang himself, and cleaning supplies were withheld to protect him.
(Standing Rock Agency, Fort Yates Detention Center, North Dakota)

U.S. District Court
SMOKE

Williams v. District of Columbia, 439 F.Supp.2d 34 (D.D.C. 2006). A former inmate filed a pro se § 1983 action
seeking damages for alleged exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke while he was confined in jail. The district
court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the former inmate's allegations
that while he was in jail he was subjected to an intolerable level of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), that such
exposure caused health problems at the time he was confined and posed a risk to his future health, and that the
individual defendants were deliberately indifferent to his condition, if true, were sufficient to establish an Eighth
Amendment violation. The court found that genuine issues of fact existed, precluding summary judgment. The
inmate alleged that inmates and staff in his housing unit smoked tobacco, the unit did not have adequate ventilation
or windows or doors that could be opened to remove the tobacco smoke, and his cellmate smoked five packs of
cigarettes a day and kept a homemade toilet paper wick burning at all times for the purpose of lighting cigarettes.
The inmate said that he experienced nausea and nosebleeds, and he filed a number of grievances. (District of
Columbia Department of Corrections, Central Detention Facility)
2007

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE

Banks v. York, 515 F.Supp.2d 89 (D.D.C. 2007). A detainee in a jail operated by the District of Columbia
Department of Corrections (DOC), and in a correctional treatment facility operated by the District's private
contractor, brought a § 1983 action against District employees and contractor's employees alleging negligent
supervision under District of Columbia law, over-detention, deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, harsh
living conditions in jail, and extradition to Virginia without a hearing. The district court granted the defendants’
motion to dismiss in part and denied in part. The court held that dismissal of the detainee’s § 1983 claims of cruel
and unusual punishment at the District of Columbia jail based on lack of reading material, lack of recreational
equipment, failure of the commissary to stock items such as lotions, skin oils, hair oils, and peanut butter, the
detainee's exposure to the stench created by regular sewage backups, as well as the jail's use of bunk beds without
ladders as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) because the detainee did not allege that he

9.89
XXII

suffered any physical injury. Instead, the detainee alleged mental and emotional injuries. According to the court,
the alleged conditions from overcrowding at a District of Columbia jail-- showers infested with bacteria, standing
water, various diseases and hundreds of unsanitary and defective mattresses, some of which contained roaches and
other insects, did not constitute the deprivation of basic human needs, as required for jail overcrowding to
constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court found that the detainee's allegations that due to lack of heating
and ventilation at the jail he suffered from temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees during the winter, that he
was not provided with sufficient blankets for cold jail cells, and that such actions were taken with deliberate
indifference to his needs and pursuant to policy of Department of Corrections (DOC) were sufficient to state a
claim under § 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
The court noted that warmth is a basic human need, the deprivation of which can amount to a violation of Eighth
Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. (Central Detention Facility. D.C. and Correctional
Treatment Facility operated by the Corrections Corporation of America)
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
CROWDING
FLOOR-SLEEPING
MATTRESS
SANITATION

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. District Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. Appeals Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT

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. District Court
DORMITORIES
DOUBLE CELLING

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

9.90
XXII

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
OUT OF CELL TIME

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

U.S. District Court
HYGIENE
RESTRAINTS
TOILETS

Murphy v. Franklin, 510 F.Supp.2d 558 (M.D.Ala. 2007). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
sheriff and jail administrator, alleging that he was subjected to punitive, degrading and inhumane treatment when,
without explanation, he was shackled hands-to-feet to the toilet in an isolation cell, and, on another occasion,
shackled to his cot. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in part and denied in part. The
court held that although the detainee's complaint against the sheriff and jail administrator did not allege that he was
subjected to mistreatment pursuant to any specific official policy, the detainee's allegations that the sheriff
promulgated all policies and procedures in the county jail, that the detainee was placed in an isolation cell and
shackled hands-to-feet to the toilet, which was nothing more than a hole in the ground covered by a grate, and that
the sheriff ordered the detainee removed from this cell for an interview and then reshackled to the toilet grate, were
sufficiently specific to state a § 1983 claim against the sheriff under the theory of supervisory liability. The
detainee alleged that without explanation, he was moved into a ‘lockdown’ cell for one day, in which his right
hand was cuffed to the frame of his cot and his right leg was shackled to the other end of the cot's frame. Again
without explanation, he was allegedly then moved to an isolation cell, where he was shackled hands-to-feet to the
toilet, which is actually nothing more than a hole in the ground. He alleged that he was held in this configuration
for almost 12 days and was not released to allow urination or defecation, which caused him to soil himself, and that
he was also not given any personal necessities such as clean, dry clothing, personal hygiene items, or bedding.
(Elmore County Jail, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
OVERCROWDING
STAFFING

Roberts v. County of Mahoning, Ohio, 495 F.Supp.2d 784 (N.D.Ohio 2007). Pretrial detainees and convicted
prisoners being held in the custody of an Ohio sheriff at two correctional facilities that were allegedly understaffed
and overcrowded brought a § 1983 class action against the county, sheriff, and county commissioners, alleging that
conditions of confinement at those facilities were unconstitutional. The district court appointed a special master for
the remedial phase of the litigation. A three-judge panel of the district court approved the proposed stipulated
order. The district court held that the appointment of a special master had accomplished the court's original
objective and the appointment would be terminated. The court noted that the special master's reports and other
actions had fulfilled the requirement that he “assist the parties, specifically the Defendants, in attempting to find a
solution to the problems which created the unconstitutional conditions in the Jail,” and his fourth report had
established a mechanism for the litigation's actual resolution. The first two reports addressed a narrowly avoided
crisis that would have resulted from massive layoffs of security staff as a result of a budget shortfall in the county.
The third report, filed after passage of a successful ballot issue increasing revenues available for the funding of the
MCJC, described the parties' continued cooperation in attempting to resolve the problems facing the jail, in
particular, the need for accelerated collection of the proceeds from the successful bond issue. The court concluded
“These reports, to which no party filed any objection, were instrumental in establishing an informational
foundation for discussions of possible remedies to the phenomenon of chronic and serious crowding in the jail.”
(Mahoning County Justice Center, Ohio)

U.S. District Court
OVERCROWDING
STAFFING

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

U.S. District Court
FLOOR-SLEEPING

Thomas v. Baca, 514 F.Supp.2d 1201 (C.D. California 2007). Pre-trial detainees and post-conviction prisoners
who alleged they were required to sleep on the floor of county jail facilities brought a civil rights class action suit
against a sheriff in his individual and official capacities. The prisoners moved for summary adjudication of certain
issues and the sheriff moved for summary judgment, or in the alternative, for summary adjudication. The district
court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that undisputed evidence established the
custom of forcing inmates to sleep on the floor and that this custom violated the Eighth Amendment, even if the
majority of inmates had bunks and floor-sleeping inmates were provided with mattresses. The plaintiffs had
presented undisputed evidence that over 24,000 instances of floor sleeping occurred in the jail system in a four
month period. The court found that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from liability for the jail's custom
of forcing some inmates to sleep on the floor, where it was not clearly established during the 2002 to 2005 period
covered by the suit, that providing inmate with a mattress would not avoid a violation or that floor sleeping

9.91
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violated the Eighth Amendment rights of convicted inmates as well as due process rights of pretrial detainees. (Los
Angeles Sheriff Department, California)
U.S. Appeals Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
EXERCISE
MEDICAL CARE
VENTILATION

U.S. v. Ramirez-Gutierrez, 503 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2007). A defendant pled guilty in the district court to reentering
the United States illegally after being deported. On appeal, the court held that the conditions of the defendant's
pretrial confinement were not so substandard or onerous as to warrant special consideration at sentencing, and the
sentencing judge considered the defendant's claim that he committed crimes because of substance abuse problem.
The defendant complained that he was unable to obtain care for his broken tooth, lived in poorly ventilated
quarters, and was given inadequate opportunity to exercise during his two and a half month detention. (Kankakee
County Detention Center, Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
SANITATION
FLOOR-SLEEPING
TOILET

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)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE
ISOLATION
SEGREGATION

Wilkerson v. Stalder, 639 F.Supp.2d 654 (M.D.La. 2007). Two state prisoners brought Eighth Amendment claims
for cruel and unusual punishment, and claims under state law, against state officials and prison officials, including
the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, a prison warden, and members of the
lockdown review board, relating to the prisoners' extended lockdown of approximately 28 to 35 years in the
prison's closed cell restriction (CCR) unit. The prisoners asserted deprivation of sleep, exercise, social contact, and
environmental stimulation. Both prisoners had been charged with and convicted of murdering a correctional officer
during a riot. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants in part and denied in part. The court
held that the Secretary of Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections was not liable, as a supervisory
official, to state prisoners under § 1983 for the alleged violation of the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel
and unusual punishment, absent evidence that the Secretary was aware that the prisoners' extended lockdown
allegedly was without a current legitimate penological justification.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
prisoners' extended lockdown, for from approximately 28 to 35 years, in prison's closed cell restriction (CCR) unit
deprived them of at least one of the basic human needs asserted by prisoners, i.e., sleep, exercise, social contact, or
environmental stimulation. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether there was lack of
legitimate penological justification for the extended lockdown of the prisoners, which was relevant to whether
prison officials were deliberately indifferent to state prisoners' basic human needs. According to the court, prison
officials had fair warning that continued confinement of the prisoners in extended lockdown for over 28 years
could be constitutionally infirm, and thus, they were not entitled to qualified immunity from the prisoners' § 1983
claims alleging cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. (Louisiana State Penitentiary at
Angola, Louisiana)
2008

U.S. District Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
DOUBLE CELLING

Alves v. Murphy, 530 F.Supp.2d 381 (D.Mass. 2008). A person who had been civilly committed as a sexually
dangerous person (SDP) brought a civil rights action alleging that treatment center officials placed him at a risk of
harm by not adhering to certain mandatory procedures prior to implementing a double-bunking policy. The
plaintiff also alleged that the officials violated equal protection principles by granting privileges to certain residents
at the center, but not to others. A magistrate judge dismissed the action. The judge held that failure of the state
treatment center to follow its own procedures regarding double-bunking, standing alone, was not a sufficient basis
for a § 1983 claim. The court noted that the First Circuit analyzes the constitutional claims of pretrial detainees,
who, like civil committees, may not be punished, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
But, according to the court, the court draws on Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and applies the “deliberate
indifference” standard when analyzing a pretrial detainee's failure-to-protect claims. (Mass. Treatment Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
SEPARATION

Cerniglia v. County of Sacramento, 566 F.Supp.2d 1034 (E.D.Cal. 2008). A detainee who was involuntarily
confined as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under California law brought a § 1983 action, alleging that his
conditions of confinement in a total separation unit in a county jail violated his constitutional rights. The district
court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed
and remanded. On remand, the district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the detainee on liability

9.92
XXII

issues. The detainee moved to bar presentation of evidence to the jury of his status as an SVP. The district court
granted the motion, finding that the detainee’s SVP status was not relevant to the issue of whether his conditions of
confinement were reasonably related to legitimate, non-punitive governmental interests, and that the probative
value of the detainee’s status as an SVP was outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. (Sacramento County
Jail, California)
U.S. District Court
PLUMBING
SAFETY
SANITATION
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
LIGHTING
RESTRAINTS

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 found that a 21-day 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. (Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
TEMPERATURE
TOILETS

Decker v. Dunbar, 633 F.Supp.2d 317 (E.D.Tex. 2008). Affirmed 358 Fed.Appx. 509. An inmate filed a pro se §
1983 action against prison officials, asserting Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, among other
constitutional claims. The officials moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The
court held that the officials' conduct in delaying the inmate's use of a restroom for 30 minutes did not amount to
deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. According to the court, the
delay in taking the inmate to a restroom was caused by the need to conduct a prisoner count, and the inmate failed
to demonstrate that he suffered any injury as a direct result of the delay.
The court found that placement of the inmate in a holding cell for 90 minutes on a day that the outside
temperature reached 95 degrees did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. The court noted that even assuming the holding cell was extremely hot, 90 minutes was not an
excessive period of time rising to the level of a constitutional violation.
The court held that the inmate failed to demonstrate that his alleged lack of access to the prison's law library
resulted in dismissal of his multiple previously filed criminal appeals and civil cases, and thus the inmate failed to
establish an actual injury, as required to prevail on the claim that he was denied access to court. (Texas Department
of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division)

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS

Estate of Trentadue v. U.S., 560 F.Supp.2d 1124 (W.D.Okla. 2008). In a suit arising from the death of a special
housing unit (SHU) inmate at a Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma, the district court ruled in favor of the
plaintiff’s family members on their claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (FTCA), and awarded a total amount of $1.1 million in damages to the individual family members. On
appeal, the court remanded for additional findings. On remand, the district court held that evidence supported a
$250,000 award to the inmate’s wife for the extreme and outrageous actions of the federal government in the
aftermath of the inmate's death and prior to her viewing the body, including the failure to inform her in advance of
the numerous extensive injuries on his body and the fact that an autopsy had been performed. The court found that
the siblings who were present when the numerous, extensive, and unexpected injuries to inmate's body were first
discovered were entitled to awards ranging from $150,000-$200,000, and brothers who never personally viewed
the injuries were entitled to between $50,000 and $100,000. The district court held that the plaintiffs'
understandable emotional reaction to the inmate’s death was needlessly and recklessly intensified by the United
States' failure to inform the family in advance as to the existence of the extensive injuries and that an autopsy had
been performed, and throughout the trial, the court heard no explanation for the defendant's silence in this regard.
The inmate had been returned to prison as a parole violator and was placed in a segregation single cell at his
request. The inmate was found hanging in his cell approximately 20 minutes after the previous routine cell check
by correctional officers. Other cuts and abrasions found on his body indicated persistent attempts to cause himself

9.93
XXII

serious injury or death. Permissible items found in the cell supported presumptions that cuts on the body were selfinflicted. (Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

Gibson v. Moskowitz, 523 F.3d 657 (6th Cir. 2008). The representative of the estate of a mentally disabled inmate
who died of dehydration in a state prison brought a § 1983 action against a prison psychiatrist and others, alleging
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, and asserting medical malpractice claims. The district court
denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and subsequently entered judgment, upon a jury verdict, in
favor of the representative. The court awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive
damages. The psychiatrist appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that
evidence was sufficient to support a determination that the inmate had an objectively serious medical condition and
that the psychiatrist subjectively ignored the inmate's serious medical needs. The court found that the
compensatory damages award was not excessive and that the representative was entitled to recover punitive
damages. The court found that the punitive damages award was not excessive. According to the court, the
psychiatrist was in charge of the inmate's treatment team, he admittedly was aware that the temperature in the
observation room where the inmate was held exceeded 90 degrees, and that the combination of the inmate's
medication and the room temperature was potentially deadly. A psychiatric expert testified that the inmate's
medication affected the part of the brain that regulated body temperature and dissipated heat, and another medical
expert testified that the inmate's dehydration occurred over a period of several days. Evidence was presented that
during that period, the inmate lost 42 pounds. (Riverside Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
HEATING

Hart v. Bertsch, 529 F.Supp.2d 1032 (D.N.D. 2008). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials for violations of his constitutional right to receive necessary medical care. The inmate alleged that the
officials failed to provide adequate medical care for his serious medical needs because he had been housed in a cell
that utilized “steam heat,” and that officials had not provided him with a medical alert button necessary due to his
sleep apnea. The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that
the officials did not act with deliberate indifference toward the inmate's central sleep apnea condition or alleged
sensitivity toward “steam heat,” as would have violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and
unusual punishment. The court noted that the inmate had been subjected to a multitude of physical examinations
and diagnostic tests in an effort to diagnose the cause of his breathing complaints, and that the treating physician
found no medical or factual basis to support another physician's recommendation that the inmate needed to avoid
steam heat. According to the court, the inmate failed to follow through with recommended treatments, and the
physician had never received a recommendation that the inmate be provided with a medical alert button, nor would
such a procedure have been consistent with the inmate's condition. (North Dakota State Penitentiary)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELL CAPACITY
FLOOR-SLEEPING
OVERCROWDING
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

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. District Court
BEDS
HYGIENE
MATTRESS
MEDICAL CARE
TEMPERATURE

Hubbs v. County of San Bernardino, CA, 538 F.Supp.2d 1254 (C.D.Cal. 2008). A civilly committed sexually
violent predator (SVP) brought a civil rights action against a sheriff and county claiming numerous violations of
his constitutional and statutory rights. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in part and
denied in part. The court held that the SVP stated a civil rights due process claim against the county and a civil
rights due process claim against the sheriff and county regarding conditions of his confinement at the jail. The SVP
alleged that policies regarding conditions of confinement and denial of medical care injured him, and that the
sheriff did not properly train his subordinate employees to prevent those injuries. The SVP alleged that the
defendants did not provide prescribed medications and that a holding cell was cold and did not have a mattress,
hygiene supplies, or bed roll. The court found that the SVP stated a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim
against the sheriff and county, on allegations that, pursuant to the sheriff's policies, he was neither provided with
prescribed medications in a manner directed by his treating physicians, nor allowed to have medications that were
sent with him, and those deprivations caused him severe pain and suffering, made him sick and listless, and caused
him to suffer from a migraine headache that lasted for four days. The SVP also alleged that he suffered from severe
urinary problems, which included great difficulty in emptying his bladder, as a result of the deprivation. (West
Valley Detention Center, San Bernardino County, California)

U.S. District Court
ALIENS

Jama v. Esmor Correctional Services Inc., 549 F.Supp.2d 602 (D.N.J. 2008). An alien brought an action alleging
that a government contractor that detained her pending asylum proceedings violated the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA) and state law. After a jury verdict in the alien's favor, the alien moved for attorney fees
and expenses. The district court granted the motion, finding that the alien was the “prevailing party, and that the

9.94
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alien's calculation of the percentage of attorney hours devoted to her RFRA claims was reasonable. The attorney
fees and expenses approved by the court totaled $642,399. The decision was vacated and the case was remanded
by an appeals court in 2009. The district court noted that “…the case arose out of the appalling conditions that
prevailed at the detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey”. The appeals court held that the district court could not
attribute a portion of the alien’s state law tort award to her RFRA claim but that the court may consider the results
on the tort claims. The appeals court affirmed the district court’s determination of market billing rates. (Esmor
Correctional Services, Inc., Elizabeth, New Jersey)
U.S. Appeals Court
HARASSMENT
SAFETY
THREATS

Irving v. Dormire, 519 F.3d 441 (8th Cir. 2008). An inmate in the Missouri penal system filed suit under § 1983
against several employees of a state correctional facility alleging multiple violations of his constitutional rights of
due process, access to the courts and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted the
defendants' motion for summary judgment on the due process and access to courts claims, but denied the
defendants' request for qualified immunity on the Eighth Amendment claim. The parties appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the corrections officers' alleged conduct
in opening cell doors so as to allow an inmate to attack the plaintiff inmate was sufficiently serious to support a
failure to protect claim. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that a corrections officer made several
threats to kill the inmate, have him killed or have him beaten were sufficiently serious to form the basis of an
injury, as required to support the inmate's Eighth Amendment claim. The court noted that the inmate's right to be
free from threats by corrections officers was clearly established at the time the corrections officer allegedly made
death threats against the inmate. According to the court, an officer's alleged conduct in threatening the inmate with
a can of pepper spray and another officer's conduct in stating that she wanted the inmate dead did not rise to the
level of being objectively credible. The court also held that an officer was on clear notice that his alleged conduct
in labeling the inmate a “snitch” or a “rat” unreasonably subjected the inmate to the threat of a substantial risk of
serious harm at the hands of his fellow inmates. The officer allegedly made three unsuccessful offers of payment to
other inmates to assault the inmate, labeled the inmate a snitch in an effort to induce inmates to attack him and
even armed another inmate with a razor blade for use in such an attempt. (Jefferson City Corr’l Center, Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
SMOKING
VENTILATION

Lee v. Young, 533 F.3d 505 (7th Cir. 2008). A former state prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging that the officials exhibited deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in connection
with the prisoner's exposure to secondhand smoke that allegedly triggered his asthma. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the officials, and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the
officials were not deliberately indifferent. According to the court, although the prisoner complained to medical
staff, the officials did not ignore the medical staff's advice, since no doctor ever recommended that the prisoner be
transferred to avoid exposure to the secondhand smoke. The court noted that medical professionals concluded that
the prisoner's asthma was controlled. When the prisoner requested a non-smoking cell he was given one, his
cellmate was issued a disciplinary ticket when he smoked in their non-smoking cell, and the ventilation system was
repaired when the prisoner complained. (Shawnee Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
NATURAL LIGHT

Lindell v. Schneiter, 531 F.Supp.2d 1005 (W..D.Wis. 2008). A prison inmate brought a § 1983 action against state
prison employees, claiming violations of his Eighth and First Amendment rights. The defendants moved for
summary judgment. The court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part. The court held that the
employees did not exhibit deliberate indifference to the medical condition of the inmate, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment, by limiting him to 2.5 hours of exposure to sunlight per week. The court found that the inmate failed
to show a health risk associated with his being forced to use unwashed outerwear when exercising. The court ruled
that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether a corrections officer directly told the inmate
that he was being denied access to a desired program because he filed complaints, whether another officer failed to
intervene when the inmate was told he was being retaliated against, and as to the existence of direct evidence of
retaliation. The court noted that there was evidence that two prison security officers directly stated that the inmate
was being placed in restricted housing and denied participation in a desired program because he brought
administrative complaints. (Wisconsin Secure Program Facility)

U.S. District Court
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
FOOD
MEDICAL CARE
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
MATTRESS
OUT OF CELL TIME

Pierce v. County of Orange, 519 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 2008). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities brought a §
1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff seeking relief for violations of their constitutional and
statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the district court rejected
the detainees' claims and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.
The court held that the injunctive orders relating to the jail's reading materials, mattresses and beds, law books,
population caps, sleep, blankets, dayroom access (not less than two hours each day), telephone access and
communication with jailhouse lawyers were not necessary to correct current ongoing violations of the pretrial

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detainees' constitutional rights. Inmates had alleged that they were denied the opportunity for eight hours of
uninterrupted sleep on the night before and the night after each court appearance. According to the court, providing
pretrial detainees housed in administrative segregation only ninety minutes of exercise per week, less than thirteen
minutes per day, constituted punishment in violation of due process standards. The court also found that the
county failed to reasonably accommodate mobility-impaired and dexterity-impaired pretrial detainees in violation
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The court affirmed termination of 12 of the injunctive orders, but
found that the district court erred in its finding that two orders were unnecessary. (Orange County, California)
U.S. Appeals Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
EXERCISE
OUT OF CELL TIME
SEGREGATION

Pierce v. County of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2008). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities brought a §
1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff, seeking relief for violations of their constitutional and
statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the district court rejected
the detainees' claims, and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded. The court held that injunctive orders relating to the county jail’s reading materials, mattresses and beds,
law books, population caps, sleep, blankets, telephone access, and communication with jailhouse lawyers were not
necessary to current the current and ongoing violations of pretrial detainees' constitutional rights. The court found
that an injunction relating to restrictions of detainees' religious rights based on security concerns was narrowly
drawn and extended no further than necessary to correct the violation of the federal right of pretrial detainees in
administrative segregation. The injunctive order, with its provision for the curtailment or elimination of pretrial
detainees' religious rights based on security concerns, provided for no more than a minimum level of ongoing
participation in religious activities.
The court held that providing pretrial detainees housed in administrative segregation only 90 minutes of
exercise per week, less than 13 minutes per day, constituted punishment in violation of due process standards. The
court found that an order requiring that inmates in administrative segregation be permitted exercise at least twice
each week for a total of not less than 2 hours per week was necessary to correct the current and ongoing violation.
The court found that the county failed to reasonably accommodate mobility-impaired and dexterity-impaired
pretrial detainees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The county did not offer any
legitimate rationale for maintaining inaccessible bathrooms, sinks, showers, and other fixtures in the housing areas
and common spaces assigned to mobility and dexterity impaired detainees, and the county offered no explanation
or justification for the significant differences between the vocational and recreational activities available to nondisabled and disabled detainees.
Termination of injunctive orders requiring that inmates be provided with seating while detained in holding cells,
or elsewhere, awaiting transport to or from court and requiring that inmates be given at least fifteen minutes within
which to complete each meal did not constitute an abuse of discretion since the treatment of detainees in the
county's holding cells and the time allowed for meals did not violate the detainees' constitutional rights.
The court held that restrictions placed on use of the day room, limiting administrative segregation detainees' use
of the room to one or two inmates at a time, were reasonably related to institutional security concerns. (Orange
County Jail System, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
ALIENS

Rasul v. Myers, 512 F.3d 644 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Former detainees at a military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
sued the Secretary of Defense and commanding officers alleging they were tortured. The detainees asserted claims
under the Alien Torture Statute, under the Geneva Conventions, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
(RFRA) and also asserted Fifth and Eighth Amendment claims on a Bivens cause of action. The defendants moved
to dismiss and the district court granted the motion in part and denied the motion as to the RFRA claim. Both sides
appealed. The district court affirmed in part and reversed as to the RFRA claim. The court held that the acts of
torture allegedly committed against aliens detained at the military base in Cuba were “within the scope of
employment” of the military personnel who were allegedly committing such acts, for the purpose of deciding
whether the United states should be substituted as defendant. The court found that the aliens were without property
or presence in the United States and lacked any constitutional rights and could not assert a Bivens claim against
military personnel for alleged due process violations and cruel and unusual punishment inflicted upon them. The
court held that the term “persons” as used in the RFRA to generally prohibit the government from substantially
burdening a “person's exercise of religion” did not extend to non-resident aliens. (United States Naval Base at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION
VENTILATION
TEMPERATURE
ODORS

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

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

Shaw v. TDCJ-CID, 540 F.Supp.2d 834 (S.D.Tex. 2008). A legally blind state inmate brought an action alleging
that prison officials failed to remedy unsafe conditions in handicapped showers, in violation of his constitutional
rights, Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and the Texas Tort Claims
Act (TTCA). The inmate also alleged that prison medical officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs. The district court granted summary judgment for the officials. The court held that prison officials
did not discriminate against the legally blind inmate as the result of their alleged failure to remedy unsafe
conditions in the prison's handicapped showers, and thus the officials were not liable under Title II of Americans

9.96
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with Disabilities Act (ADA) for injuries the inmate sustained in a slip and fall accident. (Estelle Unit, Texas
Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division)
U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
FOOD
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE
SANITATION

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
TEMPERATURE

Stutes v. Tipto, 540 F.Supp.2d 516 (D.Vt. 2008). A Vermont inmate incarcerated in Oklahoma in a privatelyowned facility brought an action against Vermont prison officials and facility employees claiming cruel and
unusual punishment. The inmate alleged that his time spent outdoors in cold weather exposed him to “the potential
of hypothermia, frostbite, and cold-related infections such as influenza, ear infections, upper respiratory infections,
bronchitis and more.” Shortly after his exposure to the cold, he began suffering from flu-like symptoms. The
district court dismissed the action. The court held that a state corrections commissioner was not subject to liability
under § 1983 for alleged mistreatment of the inmate, even though the inmate sent a letter to the commissioner
asking for protection from retaliation, and submitted a formal grievance form to the commissioner after the alleged
mistreatment, where there was no indication that the commissioner was responsible for a policy or custom that led
to the wrongdoing, or that he failed to properly supervise employees who committed the allegedly wrongful acts.
(North Fork Correctional Facility, Oklahoma, Corrections Corporation of America)

U.S. Appeals Court
MATTRESS
SANITATION

Townsend v. Fuchs, 522 F.3d 765 (7th Cir. 2008). A state inmate filed a civil rights suit against a prison official
and a correctional officer alleging violation of his due process rights in placing him in administrative segregation
for 59 days, and violation of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment due to unsanitary
conditions in segregation. The district court granted the official's motion for partial summary judgment. The court
later denied the inmate's motion to amend to add a warden as a defendant and entered summary judgment for the
prison official and correctional officer. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part
and remanded. The court found that the inmate's sleeping on a moldy and wet mattress involved a sufficiently
serious prison condition to deny a civilized measure of life's necessities, as required for an Eighth Amendment
claim. The court held that summary judgment on the issue of deliberate indifference was precluded by a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether a correctional officer knew about the condition of the inmate's wet and moldy
mattress. (New Lisbon Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING

U.S. v. Reed, 522 F.3d 354 (D.C. Cir. 2008). A defendant was convicted in district court of armed bank robbery,
armed carjacking and destruction of property and he appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that
requiring the defendant to wear a jumpsuit without underwear did not rise to the level of a coercive police activity
that would render the defendant's confession not voluntary within the meaning of the due process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. (District of Columbia)

U.S. District Court
DEATH PENALTY

Walker v. Epps, 587 F.Supp.2d 763 (N.D.Miss. 2008). Death row inmates brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, challenging the constitutionality of a state's lethal injection protocol, and seeking a preliminary injunction
to prevent the state from executing them by lethal injection during the pendency of their action. The state moved
for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the three-year statute of
limitations on the inmates' § 1983 action accrued on the later date of when their individual cases became final on
direct review or on the effective date of the state' adoption of lethal injection as a means of execution, which was
the date when each inmate knew that, as a matter of right, any impediment to setting an execution date had been
removed. (Mississippi Department of Corrections)

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
BEDDING
MATTRESS
SANITATION
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

9.97
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door, the denial of his preferred cleaning materials when other suitable materials were made available to him, or a
single two-week period during which the plaintiff's cell was not cleaned. The court noted that the prisoner's
complaints related principally to his personal preferences as to the cleanliness of his cell. Prison officials did not
display deliberate indifference to the prisoner's complaints, but instead responded quickly and appropriately, in that
the prisoner received a new mattress within two days of his request, and he was moved to a new cell without a
plexiglass cover within five days of his complaint. (Southport Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
SMOKE

Williams v. District of Columbia, 530 F.Supp.2d 119 (D.D.C. 2008). A former inmate brought a § 1983 action
against District of Columbia and corrections officials seeking damages related to his alleged exposure to secondhand smoke while he was in jail. Defendants moved for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment
for the defendants. The court held that a potential future injury to the former inmate arising from his alleged
exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) while he was in jail was too remote and speculative to support
standing in the inmate's § 1983 action. The court noted that the expert report submitted by the inmate indicating a
increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer for the jail population exposed to ETS during the inmate's period of
incarceration did not indicate a probability of harm to the inmate. (District of Columbia Department of Corrections
Central Detention Facility)
2009

U.S. District Court
SMOKE

Abuhouran v. U.S., 595 F.Supp.2d 588 (E.D.Pa. 2009). A prisoner brought a negligence action against the United
States under the Federal Tort Claims Act alleging prison officials exposed him to excessive amounts of
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The defendants moved for summary judgment and the district court granted
the motion. The court held that the prisoner was precluded, under the discretionary function exception of the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), from challenging the warden's designation of smoking areas, as federal
regulations explicitly assigned the exercise of choice or judgment to the warden to designate areas subject to ETS.
The court noted that the stated policy considerations for implementing the “no smoking areas” in prisons was to
provide a clean air environment and to protect the health and safety of staff and inmates, suggesting the
designation of smoking areas was the kind of discretionary function the FTCA exception was meant to shield. The
court held that under Pennsylvania law, the prisoner failed to present any medical evidence or expert witnesses to
establish a causal connection between his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and his alleged injury,
as required to prevail on his negligence claim. The court also held that the prisoner failed to present any evidence
of an actual injury. (Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SMOKE

Adams v. Banks, 663 F.Supp.2d 485 (S.D.Miss. 2009). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a warden and
other prison officials for exposure to unreasonable levels of secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke
(ETS), and for denial of adequate medical care. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the inmate
moved for summary judgment on his claim against a prison nurse. The district court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the inmate was exposed to unreasonably high levels
of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) from cellmates who smoked in his cell and from other inmates in the area
outside his cell. The court also found fact issues as to whether the complaints made by the inmate were sufficient
for the warden and assistant supervisor to infer that ETS posed a substantial risk of serious harm to him, such that
they acted with deliberate indifference to the inmate's situation. The court found that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to the seriousness of the inmate's medical condition as a result of
exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in his cell, as well as to the nature of a prison nurse's responses to
the inmate's three sick call request forms complaining of coughing, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, difficulty
breathing and vomiting as a result of exposure to ETS. The court held that neither the warden nor the assistant
supervisor were involved in a decision to deny the inmate medical care as a result of exposure to secondhand
smoke, and thus they were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. (Wilkinson County Corr’l. Facility, Mississippi)

U.S. Supreme Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
OUT OF CELL TIME
ISOLATION

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. (2009). A Muslim Pakistani pretrial detainee brought an action against current and
former government officials, alleging that they took a series of unconstitutional actions against him in connection
with his confinement under harsh conditions after separation from the general prison population. The detainee had
been placed in a section of a federal detention facility known as the Administrative Maximum Special Housing
Unit, where detainees were kept in lockdown 23 hours a day, spending the remaining hour outside their cells in
handcuffs and leg irons accompanied by a four-officer escort. The district court denied in part the defendants'
motions to dismiss on the grounds of qualified immunity and the defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed
in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari. The Supreme Court
reversed and remanded. The court held that the appeals court had subject matter jurisdiction to affirm the district
court's order denying the officials' motion to dismiss on the grounds of qualified immunity, and the detainee's
complaint failed to plead sufficient facts to state a claim for purposeful and unlawful discrimination. The court
noted that the detainee challenged neither the constitutionality of his arrest nor his initial detention, but rather the
policy of holding post-September 11th detainees once they were categorized as of “high interest.” (Federal Bureau
of Prisons, Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, New York)

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Baker v. Wilkinson, 635 F.Supp.2d 514 (W.D.La. 2009). A Louisiana state prisoner brought a § 1983 action, in
forma pauperis, against a warden, assistant warden, prison operator, and two nurses, alleging that he was denied
adequate medical care related to hemorrhoids. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court
denied the motion. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to
whether the prisoner suffered an injury as a result of the delay in appropriate medical care, whether he was entitled
to damages for emotional distress, and whether he was entitled to nominal or punitive damages. (Winn
Correctional Center, Louisiana, Corrections Corporation of America)

9.98
XXII

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
MATTRESS
RESTRAINTS
SEGREGATION
TEMPERATURE

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
CROWDING
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
MEDICAL CARE

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

U.S. District Court
HYGIENE
SEGREGATION
USE OF FORCE

Cusamano v. Sobek, 604 F.Supp.2d 416 (N.D.N.Y. 2009). A former state prisoner brought a pro se action against
department of corrections employees, alleging violation of his First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights as
well as the New York Constitution. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants in part, and
denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact regarding
whether a corrections officer was present during, and participated in, the alleged assault of the prisoner. The court
noted that an officer's failure to intervene during another officer's use of excessive force can itself constitute
excessive force. The court also held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact
regarding whether excessive force was used against the prisoner. The court held that the denial of access to toilet
paper and soap during the prisoner's confinement in a special housing unit did not constitute an unconstitutional
condition of confinement, as required for the prisoner's inadequate prison conditions claim against corrections
officers under the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that the deprivation of toilet paper and soap was not
continuous, there was no evidence that the prisoner was deprived of any other toiletry items, and there was no
evidence that the prisoner requested toilet paper during medical visits. The court found that the actions of the
corrections officers toward the prisoner, including the utterance of profanities and the deprivation of amenities, did
not cause the prisoner physical injury or psychological injury that was more than de minimis, as required for the
prisoner's harassment claim against the corrections officers under the Eighth Amendment. The court found that a
corrections officer's failure to include the prisoner's legal documents in the prisoner's personal items when the
prisoner was transferred to a special housing unit was unintentional and did not cause the prisoner to be prejudiced
during legal proceedings, as required for the prisoner's First Amendment denial of access to courts claim against
the officer. (Gouverneur Correctional Facility, Clinton Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. District Court
ALIENS

Families for Freedom v. Napolitano, 628 F.Supp.2d 535 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Immigrant advocacy organizations and
former immigration detainees brought an action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) seeking an order to
compel the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to act on their petition seeking promulgation of regulations to
govern conditions in immigration detention facilities operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

9.99

DHS moved to dismiss. The district court denied the motion, finding that DHS's nearly two-and-one-half year
delay in deciding the petition was unreasonable as a matter of law. The court noted that the DHS Office of
Inspector General had issued a report detailing significant problems in ICE detention facilities, problems with
detainee medical care had been chronicled by the news media, and the petitioners alleged that detainees in DHS
custody were dying as result of substandard conditions. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
FOOD
RESTRAINTS
TEMPERATURE

Gay v. Chandra, 652 F.Supp.2d 959 (S.D.Ill. 2009). A state prisoner, who suffered from antisocial and narcissistic
personality disorders, brought a § 1983 action against a psychiatrist who treated him in prison, alleging that conditions of confinement to which the psychiatrist subjected him violated the Eighth Amendment. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the psychiatrist in part, and denied in part. The court held that summary
judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the cell where the prisoner was restrained
naked was excessively cold, and as to whether the psychiatrist knew that the prisoner would in fact be restrained
naked in excessively low temperatures. Similarly, the court found fact issues as to whether the psychiatrist's decision not to allow the prisoner to wear any clothing while he was restrained denied the prisoner a “civilized measure” of life's necessities, and as to whether the psychiatrist was deliberately indifferent to the fact that the prisoner
was restrained without clothes. According to the court, summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of
material fact as to whether the psychiatrist's denial of food to the prisoner while the prisoner was restrained for 32
hours constituted an Eighth Amendment violation. The court found that the decision of the psychiatrist to use therapeutic restraints on the prisoner did not, in and of itself, violate the Eighth Amendment; where the psychiatrist's
decision to restrain the prisoner was to protect the prisoner from harming himself. The court found that the psychiatrist was not entitled to qualified immunity in the prisoner's § 1983 action alleging Eighth Amendment violations
arising from his medical treatment; where a fact issue existed as to whether the psychiatrist violated the prisoner's
Eighth Amendment rights, and the prisoner's right to receive medical treatment for his serious medical needs, and
his right not to be punished through conditions of his confinement, was a clearly established right. (Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CAPACITY
CLOTHING
CONDITIONS
CROWDING
HYGIENE
NATURAL LIGHT
NOISE
RESTRAINTS
SAFETY
SANITATION
STAFFING
TEMPERATURE

Graves v. Arpaio, 633 F.Supp.2d 834 (D.Ariz. 2009). Pretrial detainees in a county jail system brought a class
action against a county sheriff and a county board of supervisors, alleging violation of the detainees' civil rights.
The parties entered into a consent decree which was superseded by an amended judgment entered by stipulation of
the parties. The defendants moved to terminate the amended judgment. The district court entered a second
amended judgment which ordered prospective relief for the pretrial detainees. The amended judgment provided
relief regarding the following: population/housing limitations, dayroom access, natural light and windows, artificial lighting, temperature, noise, access to reading materials, access to religious services, mail, telephone privileges, clothes and towels, sanitation, safety, hygiene, toilet facilities, access to law library, medical care, dental
care, psychiatric care, intake areas, mechanical restraints, segregation, outdoor recreation, inmate classification,
visitation, food, visual observation by detention officers, training and screening of staff members, facilities for the
handicapped, disciplinary policy and procedures, inmate grievance policy and procedures, reports and record
keeping, security override, and dispute resolution. The detainees moved for attorney's fees and nontaxable costs.
The district court held that: (1) the class of detainees was the prevailing party entitled to attorney's fees; (2) the
initial lodestar figure of $1,239,491.63 for attorney's fees was reasonable; (3) Kerr factors provided no basis for
downward adjustment of the initial lodestar; (4) the attorney's fees award would not be reduced for limited success;
(5) the amount requested as reimbursement for attorney's fees was fully compensable under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA); (6) PLRA did not require appointment of class counsel for the award of attorney's fees and
non-taxable costs; and (7) the class was entitled to interest on the award of attorney' fees from the date of the
court's order ruling in favor of the detainees on the motion to terminate. The court noted that defending and enforcing the judgment for more than five years and obtaining prospective relief required substantial time and labor,
the issues presented were not novel but many were difficult and complex, conducting discovery, marshaling evidence, and presenting that evidence during a 13-day evidentiary hearing required considerable skill, commitment
of attorneys' time and advancement of costs limited attorneys' ability to take on new cases, and the attorneys would
not receive any compensation for their work representing the detainees except as awarded by the court. (Maricopa
County Sheriff and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Arizona)

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
EXERCISE
ISOLATION
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. Appeals Court
BEDS
MEDICAL CARE

Griffin v. Arpaio, 557 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2009). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against a county sheriff
and others, alleging cruel and unusual punishment and unsafe living conditions based on their failure to assign him
a lower bunk for medical reasons. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The district court granted the motion and the inmate appealed.
The appeals court affirmed. Although the court found that a prison grievance need only alert the prison to the

9.100

nature of the wrong for which redress is sought and the inmate's failure to grieve deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs did not invalidate his exhaustion attempt, the inmate did not properly exhaust administrative
remedies under PLRA. The court held that the inmate's grievance regarding his need for a lower bunk assignment
did not provide sufficient notice of the staff's alleged disregard of his lower bunk assignments to allow officials to
take appropriate responsive measures, as required to properly exhaust administrative remedies under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) before he brought a § 1983 action. The officials responding to the inmate's
grievance reasonably concluded that a nurse's order for a lower bunk assignment solved the inmate's problem.
(Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona)
U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
MEDICAL CARE
STATE REQUIREMENTS

Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Com'n v. Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of Correction, 642 F.Supp.2d
872 (S.D.Ind. 2009). The Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission (IPAS) brought an action against
the Indiana Department of Correction, alleging violations of federal and state law in the conditions of custody of
mentally ill prisoners. The Department moved to dismiss for lack of standing. The district court denied them motion. The court held that IPAS had an associational standing under the Protection and Advocacy of Mentally Ill
Individuals Act (PAMII) to bring suit, and the action was not an intramural dispute between two state agencies that
could be resolved by the governor. The court noted that mentally ill prisoners would have standing to sue on their
own behalf for violations of federal and state law in the conditions of their custody, and the interests that IPAS
sought to protect were not merely germane to the IPAS's purpose, they were its reason for existence. According to
the court, IPAS was not a traditional state agency, was independent of the governor, was funded by the federal
government under the Protection and Advocacy of Mentally Ill Individuals Act (PAMII), received no state funding
and had authority independent of the state to pursue administrative, legal, and other appropriate remedies to ensure
the protection of individuals with mental illness who are receiving care or treatment. (Indiana Dept. of Correction)

U.S. District Court
ASBESTOS
SMOKE
WORK

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
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
MEDICAL CARE
SEGREGATION
SHOWERS

Malles v. Lehigh County, 639 F.Supp.2d 566 (E.D.Pa. 2009). A prisoner, who allegedly contracted Methicillin
Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) while incarcerated at a county prison, brought an action under § 1983
against the county prison and the prison medical provider, alleging that the defendants unconstitutionally failed to
provide him timely, adequate medical care and to protect him from getting infected, and that the provider was
negligent under state law. The district court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The court held
that neither prison nurses' perfunctory examinations of the prisoner nor their failure to recognize the prisoner's
MRSA for five days constituted deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs. The court found
that the failure of the county prison and/or the company which contracted with the county to provide medical services to inmates at the prison to fully execute their own plans to more aggressively prevent the spread of MRSA
did not provide the basis for the prisoner's Eighth Amendment failure-to-protect claim in his § 1983 action. The
court noted that the county and/or the company certainly could provide inmates with conditions that exceeded the
relatively low bar of the Eighth Amendment, but they were not required to do that simply because they made plans
to do so. The court held that the alleged failure of the county prison and the company which contracted with the
county to provide medical services to inmates at the prison to quarantine inmates infected with MRSA, to properly
clean and maintain shower facilities, to warn inmates about MRSA and educate them about prevention, and generally to take more precautions against the spread of MRSA did not deprive the prisoner who allegedly contracted
MRSA at the prison of life's necessities according to contemporary standard of decency, as would constitute cruel
and unusual punishment under Eighth Amendment. According to the court, the county prison and company which
contracted with the county to provide medical services to inmates were not deliberately indifferent to the risk that
the prisoner would contract MRSA in prison, as would violate the Eighth Amendment, where the prison and company engaged in some efforts to stop the spread of MRSA, even if they did not do everything they could or planned
to do. (Lehigh County, Penn., and PrimeCare Medical, Inc.)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE
SEGREGATION

Marion v. Columbia Correction Inst., 559 F.3d 693 (7th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against
prison officials alleging he was denied equal protection and due process at a disciplinary hearing which resulted in
240 days of disciplinary segregation. The district court dismissed the complaint and the prisoner appealed. The
appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the issue of whether 240 days in disciplinary segregation
was the type of atypical, significant hardship that would implicate a protected liberty interest could not be decided
at the pleading stage. (Columbia Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLOTHING
TEMPERATURE

Mays v. Springborn, 575 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2009). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials, asserting
claims based on strip searches at prisons and alleged retaliation for his complaints about the searches, denial of his
request for dietary supplements which he considered to be religious necessities, alleged inadequacy of his diet,
failure to issue certain winter clothing items, and censorship of pages in a magazine mailed to him. The district

9.101

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. According to the court, any
failure to issue winter clothing items, including winter underwear, boots, galoshes, sweater, gloves, scarves, or
wool socks, did not rise to the level of an objectively serious harm necessary to show an Eighth Amendment
violation, absent a showing that the prisoner was forced to be in the cold for long periods of time or that he
suffered anything more than the usual discomforts of winter. (Stateville Corr’l. Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
HANDICAPPED
INMATES
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
PROGRAMS
SHOWERS
TOILETS

Phipps v. Sheriff of Cook County, 681 F.Supp.2d 899 (N.D.Ill. 2009). Paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial
detainees currently and formerly housed at a county prison brought a class action against the county and county
sheriff, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The parties
cross-moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motions for summary judgment. The court held
that the sheriff waived the affirmative defense that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies, as
required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), where the sheriff raised that defense for the first time in his
motion for summary judgment. The court held that paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial detainees who were
formerly housed at the county prison were not “prisoners confined in jail” for the purposes of the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA), and thus their civil rights claims were not subject to, or barred by, PLRA. The court held that
the pretrial detainees adequately alleged discrimination based on the prison's failure to provide wheelchairaccessible bathroom facilities. According to the court, the detainees met the PLRA physical injury requirement. In
addition to alleging mental and emotional harm, the detainees complained of bed sores, infections, and injuries
resulting from falling to the ground from their wheelchairs and toilets, which were undeniably physical injuries.
According to the court, the county and county sheriff failed to establish that they were not recipients of federal
funds, as would render them beyond the reach of the Rehabilitation Act's requirements. The court held that county
prison facilities to which the paraplegic and partially-paralyzed pretrial detainees claimed to have been denied
access--showers, toilets, and sinks--were “services” and “programs” within the meaning of Title II of ADA, which
forbade discrimination against persons with disabilities in the area of public services, programs, and activities. The
court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the paraplegic
and partially-paralyzed pretrial detainees were intentionally discriminated against, and as to whether modifications
to county prison facilities requested by the detainees were reasonable. The court found no evidence that the
detainees were excluded from electronic monitoring or drug rehabilitation programs by the county department of
corrections, as would support their Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim. (Cook County Department of
Corrections, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
TRANSFERS

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-UnitRHU, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
FOOD
SAFETY
TOILETS
VISITATION

Shariff v. Coombe, 655 F.Supp.2d 274 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Disabled prisoners who depended on wheelchairs for
mobility filed an action against a state and its employees asserting claims pursuant to Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title V of Rehabilitation Act, New York State Correction Law, and First, Eighth, and
Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The court held that a state prisoner who depended on a wheelchair for mobility was not
required by the administrative remedy exhaustion requirement under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to
appeal a grievance regarding the height of a food service counter before bringing suit, where the grievance that he
filed conceivably was resolved in his favor. The court noted that although the height of a counter was not lowered
in response to the grievance, the prison had attempted to remedy the situation by changing the way in which hot
food was served from the counter. According to the court, the inability of disabled prisoners who depended on
wheelchairs for mobility to access restrooms throughout a state prison rose to the level of an objective violation of
the Eighth Amendment, where the prisoners soiled themselves up to several times per week. The court noted that
the sheer frequency with which those incidents occurred, not to mention the physical injuries that at least some
prisoners had suffered in attempting to use an inaccessible restroom, indicated that the prisoners had been denied a
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities or there was an unreasonable risk of serious damage to their future
health. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
prison and its employees were deliberately indifferent to the prisoners' restroom needs. The court found that the
height of a food service counter and the absence of accessible water fountains throughout the state prison were not
conditions that deprived disabled prisoners, who depended on wheelchairs for mobility, of minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities and they did not pose an unreasonable risk of serious damage to their future health, as
required for a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The court noted
that although one prisoner suffered a burn on his hand caused by hot food or liquid falling from a food service
counter, falling or spilled food did not create an unreasonable risk of serious damage to the prisoner's health. The
court held that the existence of potholes and broken concrete in state prison yards did not constitute a violation of
the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment as to disabled prisoners who depended on
wheelchairs for mobility, even if those prisoners had fallen and suffered injuries as a result. According to the court,
the inaccessibility of telephones throughout a state prison, inaccessibility of a family reunion site, inaccessibility of

9.102

a law library, and malfunctioning of a school elevator, that did not cause any physical harm or pain to disabled
prisoners who depended on wheelchairs for mobility, were not the kind of deprivations that denied a basic human
need. (New York State Department of Correctional Services, Green Haven Correctional Facility)
U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE

Shepherd v. Dallas County, 591 F.3d 445 (5th Cir. 2009). A pretrial detainee sued a county under § 1983, alleging
that conditions of confinement, specifically the jail's failure to administer pills he needed to ameliorate chronic
hypertension, violated his due process right to medical care while in custody. The district court, entered judgment
on jury verdict for the detainee. The county appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the action was an
attack on conditions of confinement rather than on episodic acts or omissions of particular jail officials. The court
noted that the jail medical director testified that the jail's medical services were inadequate, and a clinical
pharmacist testified that the administration of medication at the jail was so inadequate that half or more of the
inmates did not receive their prescription medications. The court held that a Department of Justice (DOJ) report
concerning jail conditions was not excludable as being more prejudicial than probative, inasmuch as the report was
relevant in that it provided strong support for the claim that medical care at the jail was constitutionally inadequate,
and, although findings in the report were prejudicial to the county's cause, they were probative as well. (Dallas
County Jail, Texas)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
MATTRESS
RESTRAINTS
SHOWERS
USE OF FORCE

Zimmerman v. Schaeffer, 654 F.Supp.2d 226 (M.D.Pa. 2009). Current and former inmates at a county jail brought
a § 1983 action against the county, corrections officers, and prison officials, alleging that they were abused by
officials during their incarceration in violation of the Eighth 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: (1) whether corrections officers and prison officials knew or
should have known that an officer would apply excessive force to the inmate by shocking him when he was
restrained and whether they could have prevented the officer's excessive use of force; (2) whether the inmates
exhausted administrative remedies by filing grievances regarding use of a restraint chair, lack of mattresses,
inability to shower, cell conditions, and issues with mail; (3) whether the use of mechanical restraints against the
inmates constituted wanton infliction of pain in violation of the Eighth Amendment; (4) whether an inmate
complied with officials when extracted from a cell, rendering the use of oleoresin capsicum spray excessive and
unjustified; (5) whether cell conditions posed a substantial risk of harm to inmates and whether corrections officers
and prison officials were deliberately indifferent to that risk; and (6) whether the warden of the county jail was
aware of and condoned the use of excessive force against inmates at jail. (Mifflin County Correctional Facility,
Lewistown, Pennsylvania)
2010

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS OF
CONFINEMENT
TRANSFER

Advocacy Center for Elderly and Disabled v. Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals, 731 F.Supp.2d 603
(E.D.La. 2010). A disability advocacy organization brought an action challenging the Louisiana Department of
Health and Hospitals' practice of subjecting incompetent criminal defendants to extended delays in parish jails
before their transfer to a mental health facility. The organization moved for a preliminary injunction. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the organization demonstrated a substantial
likelihood of success on the merits of its due process claim, and demonstrated a substantial threat of irreparable
injury if the injunction did not issue. The court found that the organization demonstrated that the threatened injury
outweighed the damage the injunction might cause, and the organization demonstrated that the public interest
would not be disserved if an injunction was issued. The organization claimed that the Louisiana Department of
Health and Hospitals' practice of subjecting criminal defendants found to be incompetent to stand trial to extended
delays in parish jails before their transfer to a mental health facility was not rationally related to the restoration of
the defendants' competency, in violation of their due process rights, where incompetent defendants remained in
parish jails because mental health facility was full, not because remaining in jail might restore their competency.
The court noted that the organization presented evidence that continued incarceration in parish jails could
exacerbate the incompetent defendants' mental conditions. The court held that inadequate funding could not excuse
the Department's perpetuation of unconstitutional conditions of confinement. (Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals, Feliciana Forensic Facility)

U.S. District Court
HYGIENE
SANITATION
OUT OF CELL TIME

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 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
found that the prisoner's allegations were factually sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 claim for a violation of his
First Amendment right of access to courts, where the prisoner alleged that he was housed in segregation for several
years and was repeatedly denied materials such as books, paper, pens and envelopes, as well as assistance from a
law clerk. 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

9.103

the prisoner's allegations that he was subjected to a policy of a minimum of five hours of outside exercise per week
but that administrative regulations provided for a minimum of seven hours and controlling consent decrees
required eight hours, were sufficient to state a colorable § 1983 claim under the Eighth Amendment.
The court ruled that the prisoner’s allegations were sufficient to state a § 1983 claim for violations of the Eighth
Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment where the prisoner alleged that he was locked down
for 23 and 24 hours in a cell with a steel door, that prison officials disconnected the intake vent that pulled dust and
allergens from the cell, that the prison heating system was not on in the winter, and that as a result of these
conditions, he suffered cracked lips and nostrils which bled and refused to heal, as well as difficulty breathing and
sleeping. 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. Appeals Court
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
EQUAL PROTECTION
STATE REQUIREMENT

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

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION

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

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
RESTRAINTS
TEMPERATURE
USE OF FORCE

Caldwell v. Luzerne County Corrections Facility Management Employees, 732 F.Supp.2d 458 (M.D.Pa. 2010). A
county prison inmate brought civil rights claims against prison officials. The officials moved to dismiss. The
district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate stated claims of
excessive force against prison officials with respect to various incidents in which he was allegedly tased, causing
him to hit his forehead on a cell wall, forced to remain on a hard mattress at an uncomfortable angle, causing
severe neck pain, strip searched, placed in 5-point restraints, causing swollen and bleeding wrists, pulled forcefully
while handcuffed, causing his hands to swell and bleed, punched and slapped in the back while handcuffed, maced,
and slammed onto the floor, kicked and punched. The court held that the inmate’s allegations that in four incidents
occurring over a span of four months he was placed on a mattress at an awkward angle for over 12 hours and
subjected to severe pain, not permitted to use the bathroom, eat, drink, or shower while placed in 5-point restraints
for many hours, and was refused a blanket while restrained in a cell with broken windows and an air vent blowing
directly on him, were sufficient to state a conditions of confinement claim under the Eighth Amendment. The court
held that the inmate's allegations that he was subjected by prison officials to excessive force and unconstitutional

9.104

conditions of confinement, and that the officials' conduct reflected retaliation for his filing of lawsuits against
them, stated a claim for retaliation under § 1983. (Luzerne County Corrections Facility, Pennsylvania)
U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
JUVENILES

Clark v. Conahan, 737 F.Supp.2d 239 (M.D.Pa. 2010). A juvenile and his parents brought an action against
juvenile court judges, a private attorney, juvenile probation staff, the owner of construction company, property
owners, and others. They alleged that, in connection with a scheme to divert juvenile offenders to newly
constructed privately-owned juvenile detention facilities in return for kickbacks, the defendants violated the
juvenile's constitutional rights. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants engaged in a Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, and alleged false imprisonment and intentional infliction of
emotional distress (IIED). The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motions in part and
denied in part. The court held that the judge was not entitled to immunity for his alleged non-judicial conduct and
was not entitled to legislative immunity for budgetary actions he took in his role as president judge. The court held
that the juvenile lacked standing to assert a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) action
against the defendants because the juvenile asserted that he suffered great emotional distress and loss of earning
capacity based on the education that he missed while in custodial detention, which did not demonstrate any
concrete monetary loss. (Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
HARASSMENT
THREATS
USE OF FORCE

Cummings v. Harrison, 695 F.Supp.2d 1263 (N.D.Fla. 2010). A Black Muslim state prisoner brought a civil rights
action against a prison warden and correctional officers, alleging, among other things, that the defendants used
excessive force against him in violation of the Eighth Amendment and retaliated against him, in violation of First
Amendment, for submitting grievances. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court denied
the motion. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether
correctional officers' repeated verbal threats, including death threats, combined with physical assaults, against the
Black Muslim prisoner caused the prisoner extreme psychological harm, and as to whether the officers maliciously
and sadistically used force against the prisoner because he was black or because he practiced the Muslim faith. The
court also found that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the prison
warden had the ability to remove the Black Muslim prisoner from the supervision of the correctional officer who
was allegedly verbally and physically abusing him, but refused to do so, and denied the prisoner's request for
protective custody. (Taylor Correctional Institution, Florida)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
RESTRAINTS

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. Appeals Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Harriman v. Hancock County, 627 F.3d 22 (1st Cir. 2010). An arrestee brought an action against a county, sheriff,
and corrections officers alleging excessive force, false arrest, conspiracy, deprivation of due process, negligence,
and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary
judgment and the arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that in the detainee's excessive
force claim the detainee's assertion that officers' accounts of his fall in his jail cell were inconsistent and inherently
unbelievable was insufficient to defeat the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court noted that the
detainee conceded he had no recollection of an alleged beating, the officers were consistent in reporting that they
saw the detainee fall and heard sounds in his cell that resembled a fall, all officers reported that they did not the
strike the detainee and did not see anyone strike the detainee, and a neurologist did not opine on the cause of the
detainee's injuries. (Hancock County Jail, Maine)

U.S. Appeals Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
SEGREGATION
USE OF FORCE

Johnston v. Maha, 606 F.3d 39 (2nd Cir. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against employees of a county
jail, alleging violations of his constitutional rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in connection
with detention and medical care while in jail. The district court granted the defendants summary judgment. The
inmate petitioned for the appointment of counsel in his appeal. The appeals court granted the petition. The court
held that the appointment of counsel was appropriate in connection with the inmate's appeal from dismissal of his
claim that his placement in solitary confinement, and subsequent excessive force he suffered, violated his

9.105

constitutional rights, since there was likely merit in the inmate's claims. The court found that it appeared from the
inmate's complaint that he might have been a pretrial detainee at the time he was placed in solitary confinement,
and thus the claim that the inmate was subjected to excessive force as a detainee would arise under the Fifth, not
the Eighth Amendment, because as a detainee he could not be punished at all. The court noted that there was no
evidence that the inmate violated any rule or was provided with a pre-deprivation hearing. According to the court,
the legal issues were fairly complex, especially with respect to whether the inmate's pretrial detention was
substantial enough to give rise to a constitutional violation of a procedural due process right. (Genesee County Jail,
New York)
U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
PLUMBING
SANITATION
VENTILATION

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

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
TRANSFERS

Nelson v. Shuffman, 603 F.3d 439 (8th Cir. 2010). A pretrial detainee resident of the Missouri Sexual Offender
Treatment Center brought a § 1983 action against 13 treatment center officials, alleging violations of his
constitutional rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of six of the 13 defendants. The
remaining seven defendants appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as follows: (1) as to whether the officials recklessly disregarded
an objectively serious risk of harm to the pretrial detainee resident by placing him with a roommate who had a
history of sexually assaulting vulnerable young males; (2) as to whether the pretrial detainee had a serious medical
need and whether a treatment center official deliberately disregarded the need by failing to provide the
psychological treatment she prescribed; (3) as to whether officials retaliated against the detainee resident for filing
an abuse and neglect charge and several grievances complaining about treatment center officials' failure to provide
him necessary psychological treatment; and (4) as to whether officials' transfer of the detainee resident to an
unfinished ward that only housed one resident who was confined to shackles twenty-four hours a day was punitive
and violated due process by imposing a punishment that had no legitimate institutional objective. (Missouri Sexual
Offender Treatment Center)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
SEGREGATION

Orr v. Larkins, 610 F.3d 1032 (8th Cir. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 claim against prison officials alleging
his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Eighth Amendment were violated
when he was kept in administrative segregation for nine months. The district court dismissed the complaint as
frivolous and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the inmate's nine-month stay in
administrative segregation did not constitute an atypical and significant hardship when compared to the burdens of
ordinary prison life, as required to support the inmate's claim that his liberty interests under the Fourteenth
Amendment were violated. The court found that prison officials who provided the inmate with anti-depressants,
and later with anti-psychotic medication, during his nine-month stay in administrative segregation, were not
deliberately indifferent to the inmate's worsening mental illness, as required to support the inmate's Eighth
Amendment claim. (Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
FACILITIES
SAFETY
SHOWERS

Quarles v. Palakovich, 736 F.Supp.2d 941 (M.D.Pa. 2010). An inmate, whose head and back had allegedly been
injured when a portion of drywall ceiling in a prison shower collapsed onto him, filed a pro se § 1983 action
against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his safety, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. All
parties moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the defendants’ motion in part, and denied in part.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the prison's
unit manager or correctional officers had subjective knowledge of the dangerous condition of the ceiling in the
inmates' shower facilities. (State Correctional Institution at Smithfield, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
FOOD
PRETRIAL DETAINEE
SANITATION
TOILETS

Robinson v. Danberg, 729 F.Supp.2d 666 (D.Del. 2010). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against 47 defendants,
including various prison officials, alleging various claims arising from acts occurring while he was a pretrial
detainee and sentenced inmate. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and
denied in part. The court held that allegations that a sergeant and a corporal sergeant “set up” the pretrial detainee
in connection with a hearing on a razor incident, and that the detainee was told during a disciplinary hearing that
the sergeant and corporal sergeant were going to make the detainee's life miserable, were sufficient for the detainee
to state a due process claim. The court also held that a retaliation claim was stated by allegations that the state
prisoner received false charges, write-ups and accusations from prison officials, was placed in “the hole” or in
isolation on numerous occasions, received numerous threats, was denied food and had foreign objects placed in his
food. The inmate alleged that these actions were all in retaliation for exercising his right to file grievances, his

9.106

statements about suing people, and making those on the outside aware of the prison conditions. The court held that
these allegations, when construed liberally, set forth a chronology of events from which retaliation could be
inferred. According to the court, allegations that the pretrial detainee was denied dinner on several occasions, the
toilet in his cell flooded and he was left in his cell for over seven hours, all of the detainee's uneaten food was
shaken on the cell floor while prison staff was collecting food trays, the detainee was placed in a cell with blood
everywhere and nothing to be protected from exposure, he was intentionally awoken from sleep, was denied
recreation, and was not given supplies to clean urine thrown under his cell door, were sufficient for the detainee to
state a claim that his conditions of confinement were in violation of the due process clause of Fourteenth
Amendment. (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware)
U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
SEGREGATION
TRANSFER

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

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Tate v. Troutman, 683 F.Supp.2d 897 (E.D.Wis. 2010). A county jail inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that
officials failed to provide constitutionally sufficient medical care. The inmate moved for the entry of a default
judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that a county jail officer
and medical officials were not personally involved in the allegedly inadequate medical treatment provided to the
inmate after a fall in his cell, and thus were not liable under § 1983 for any compensatory or nominal damages for
an Eighth Amendment violation. The court noted that even though the inmate suffered pain after the fall and had
blood in his bowel movements, the inmate had a history of severe low back and bilateral neck pain, headaches, and
rectal bleeding before the fall. The court held that county jail officials failed to provide adequate medical care for
the inmate's dislocated shoulder, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and thus the inmate was entitled to an
award of compensatory damages for past pain and suffering. The court noted that the jail physician refused to see
the inmate or speak to him, jail officials rejected the inmate's grievances regarding his inadequate medical
treatment, and the inmate experienced physical pain and emotional distress for three or four weeks due to his lack
of adequate diagnosis and treatment of his shoulder injury by immobilization. The court concluded that an award
of $27,000 was the appropriate amount to compensate the inmate for his past pain and suffering, where the inmate
experienced pain and suffering for about one month. The court found that county jail officials showed callous
indifference towards the inmate's medical needs, and thus a punitive damages award of $9,000 was warranted to
deter or punish the Eighth Amendment violation. The court also found that the inmate was entitled to prejudgment
interest on the compensatory damage award at an average monthly prime rate compounded annually from the
period beginning on the date of his injury through the date of the entry of judgment. (Milwaukee Country Jail,
Wisconsin)

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. Appeals Court
LIGHTS

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

U.S. District Court
FOOD

Varricchio v. County of Nassau, 702 F.Supp.2d 40 (E.D.N.Y. 2010). A detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
county and officials, alleging civil rights violations. The defendants moved for dismissal. The district court granted
the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee adequately alleged that he was denied his

9.107

right to a speedy trial and that he was presumptively prejudiced by the delay, as required to state a § 1983 claim for
a Sixth Amendment violation. The detainee alleged he was held for two years in prison prior to receiving trial for
the charge of violating a protective order, and that he was subsequently found not guilty. The court held that the
detainee adequately alleged that his conditions of confinement constituted cruel and unusual punishment, as
required to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The detainee alleged that he received tainted food that contained
bodily waste, soap, metal pins, and staples, and that, when he went on a hunger strike to protest his legal situation,
deputy sheriffs were taking bets on when he would start eating again. (Nassau County Sheriff's Department, New
York)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
EQUAL PROTECTION
FOOD

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 Correctional
Institution, South Carolina)
2011

U.S. District Court
CELLS
CROWDING
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
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
PROGRAMS

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

U.S. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
CELL CAPACITY
CROWDING
MATTRESS
SAFETY

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

U.S. District Court
SMOKE

Davidson v. Desai, 817 F.Supp.2d 166 (W.D.N.Y. 2011). An inmate at a state prison filed a pro se § 1983 action
against prison officials and medical staff alleging that they had been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
needs, and had interfered with his attempts to file grievances regarding his medical care, in violation of the First,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The defendants moved alternatively for judgment on the pleadings and for

9.108

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 state inmate's shoulder surgery,
related to his degenerative disc disease, was delayed because of the inmate's refusal to submit to a pre-operative
chest x-ray, or whether it was delayed due to the prison's deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The
court also found that the inmate's breathing difficulties and possible asthma did not constitute “sufficiently serious
conditions” under the Eighth Amendment, and thus prison officials' failure to house the inmate in a prison
infirmary where levels of allergens were allegedly lower than levels in other parts of prison was not deliberate
indifference. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether
the inmate suffered serious health problems caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and
whether officials knew of, yet disregarded an excessive risk to the inmate's health. (Elmira Correctional Facility,
New York)
U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
HARASSMENT

Green v. Floyd County, Ky., 803 F.Supp.2d 652 (E.D.Ky. 2011). The guardian for an inmate, who was severely
beaten by fellow inmates during his incarceration, brought a § 1983 action against prison guards for injuries arising
from the beatings. The defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district court denied the motion. The
court held that the § 1983 one-year statute of limitations was tolled (postponed) by a Kentucky statute since the
inmate was “of unsound mind.” According to the court, allegations that prison guards stood by while prison
inmates led another inmate around by a leash and forced him to act like a dog were sufficient for the inmate's
guardian to state a claim of the tort of outrage, under Kentucky law, against the prison guards. The guardian
alleged that jail employees improperly classified the inmate, assigning him to a communal cell, and told his
cellmates that he had pled guilty to abusing a minor. The guardian alleged that for several days, three of the
defendant prison guards turned a blind eye as the cellmates brutally tortured the inmate. According to the guardian,
one guard saw the cellmates lead the inmate around by a leash and merely asked them to remove it, and later
"egged the prisoners on" by asking them “where's your dog tonight?” After prolonged beatings, the cellmates
finally alerted the guards when it appeared the inmate might be dying. The guardian alleged that the inmate
suffered a number of broken bones and was in a near-vegetative state, and that, as a result of his injuries, he was
incapable of making decisions for himself. (Floyd County, Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE
SANITATION

Hale v. Rao, 768 F.Supp.2d 367 (N.D.N.Y. 2011). An inmate brought an action against prison officials alleging
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and alleging that the conditions of his confinement violated
the Eighth Amendment. Prison officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in
part and denied in part. The court excused the state inmate's failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior to
bringing the claim in federal court because prison staff had thrown out a grievance filled out by another inmate on
the inmate's behalf, refused to provide the inmate with the materials needed to file another grievance, and
threatened to physically assault him if he attempted to utilize the grievance procedure. The court noted that the
inmate was illiterate and had a poor understanding of the grievance procedure. The court held that the inmate was
adequately treated following an alleged assault by a corrections officer, precluding the inmate's claim under the
Eighth Amendment alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The inmate received medical
treatment including at least ten stitches to close the open wounds on his left shin, and an x-ray of his leg to
determine if the bone was fractured. Medical staff later re-evaluated his leg injury, cleaned the wound, and
provided pain killers. The court found that allegations by the inmate that prison conditions were unsanitary due to
the presence of insects in an infirmary room, and that medical staff pulled a staple out of his abdomen by hand,
failed to establish the inmate's claim under the Eighth Amendment that his conditions of confinement constituted
cruel and unusual punishment, absent evidence that the conditions at the prison prevented the inmate from
receiving appropriate medical care. (Downstate Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
EXERCISE
LIGHTING
MEDICAL CARE
SANITATION
SEGREGATION

Holmes v. Fischer, 764 F.Supp.2d 523 (W.D.N.Y. 2011). A state inmate filed a § 1983 action alleging that prison
officials violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to non-random urinalysis drug testing, confining him
in a special housing unit (SHU), and denying medical care. The defendants moved for a more definite statement, to
strike the complaint, and to dismiss. The district court denied the motion. The inmate alleged that, while
incarcerated in a special housing unit (SHU): (1) he was routinely cuffed from behind, aggravating left shoulder
and leg conditions resulting from previous injuries, (2) he was subjected to continuous illumination in his cell,
rendering it impossible to sleep; (3) officials interfered with the inmate grievance he attempted to file regarding
constant SHU cell illumination; (4) he was denied dental floss; (5) he was denied, during winter months, proper
boots, gloves, hat, and thermos; (6) he was exposed to feces thrown by mentally-ill inmates confined to SHU; (7)
he was denied proper medical treatment and tests; and (8) he was subjected to urinalysis testing which so
traumatized him as to cause physical harm. The court held that these allegations were sufficient to state claims
under the Eighth Amendment for cruel and unusual punishment and deliberate indifference to necessary medical
care. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that he was subjected to urinalysis based on reports from
confidential informants whose credibility and reliability had not been confirmed, despite the complete absence of
any history of drug use, and that two random urinalysis tests to which he was subjected were done to retaliate
against him for filing inmate grievances regarding non-random urinalysis testing, were sufficient to state an
unreasonable search claim under the Fourth Amendment, The court found that the inmate’s allegation that, as a
result of repeated non-random urinalysis drug testing to which he was subjected, he suffered physical harm,
including insomnia, nausea, headaches, burning eyes, aggravation of an old gunshot wound, inability to exercise,
and appetite loss, was sufficient to state a cruel and unusual punishment claim under the Eighth Amendment.
(Elmira Correctional Facility, and Southport Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION

Murray v. Bledsoe, 650 F.3d 246 (3rd Cir. 2011). An inmate brought a pro se petition for judicial review of a
decision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rejecting his claim that he had a right to choose his cellmate. The
district court denied relief, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the
inmate had no Ninth Amendment right to choose his cellmate. (Special Management Unit, United States
Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania)

9.109

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED
INMATES
ADA-Americans with
Disabilities Act
FACILITIES
PROGRAMS
SHOWERS
TOILETS

Pierce v. County of Orange, 761 F.Supp.2d 915 (C.D.Cal. 2011). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities
brought a § 1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff, seeking relief for violations of their
constitutional and statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the
district court rejected the detainees' claims, and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed
in part, and remanded. On remand, the court held that: (1) a sub-class was properly defined as mobility-impaired
and dexterity-impaired pretrial detainees; (2) the detainees were subject to physical barriers to accessibility of jail
facilities, in violation of ADA; (3) certain categories of programs, services, and activities were not similarly
available to the detainees, in violation of ADA; (4) the county failed to establish that accommodations requested by
the detainees would require fundamental alteration or produce an undue burden, or that current conditions were
reasonably related to the facilities' legitimate interests; (5) the county's revised grievance procedure satisfied ADA;
and (6) the least intrusive means to compel the county to remedy physical barriers and disparate provision of
programs, services, and activities to detainees was to allow the county to draft a proposed plan. The court held that
the widespread injunctive relief ordered by the district court, which addressed the county's failure to accommodate
detainees with respect to toilets and showers, as well as programs, activities, and services, was narrowly drawn,
extended no further than necessary to correct violations of the detainees' federal rights, and was the least intrusive
means necessary to correct violation of those federal rights, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA). (Orange County Jail System, California, including the Central Jail Complex, the Intake Release Center,
the Men's Central Jail, the Women's Central Jail and the James A. Facility Musick and the Theo Lacy Facility)

U.S. District Court
ODOR
SANITATION

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

U.S. District Court
BEDDING
CLOTHING
ISOLATION
JUVENILES
LIGHTS
PROGRAMS
TEMPERATURE

Troy D. v. Mickens, 806 F.Supp.2d 758 (D.N.J. 2011). Two juvenile delinquents brought a § 1983 action against
mental health providers and the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), alleging that the actions of the
defendants while the delinquents were in custody violated the Fourteenth Amendment and New Jersey law. One of
the plaintiffs was 15 years old when he was adjudicated as delinquent and remained in custody for a total of 225
days. For approximately 178 of those days, the delinquent was held in isolation under a special observation status
requiring close or constant watch, purportedly for his own safety. Although the delinquents were placed in isolation for different reasons, the conditions they experienced were similar. Each was confined to a seven-foot-byseven-foot room and allowed out only for hygiene purposes. The rooms contained only a concrete bed slab, a toilet, a sink, and a mattress pad. One delinquent was allegedly held in extreme cold, and the other was allegedly
isolated for four days in extreme heat. Both were denied any educational materials or programming, and were prevented from interacting with their peers. One delinquent’s mattress pad was often removed, a light remained on for
24 hours a day, and he was often required to wear a bulky, sleeveless smock. Both delinquents were allegedly
denied mental health treatment during their periods in isolation.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court held that
there was no evidence that a juvenile delinquent housed in New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) facilities
was educated about filing a form with a social worker as the procedure for filing an administrative grievance, as
required for the procedure to be available to the delinquent to exhaust his § 1983 claims against JJC and mental
health providers. The court also found that there was no evidence the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
(JJC) provided written notice to the juvenile delinquent housed at JJC facilities of the opportunity to appeal their
disciplinary sanctions, which would have triggered the requirement that he appeal each sanction within 48 hours of
notice, as required to exhaust administrative remedies.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) whether the
New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and mental health providers were deliberately indifferent towards
conditions of confinement, in protecting and in providing medical care for the juvenile delinquent housed in JJC
facilities; (2) whether placing the juvenile delinquent housed in temporary close custody and special observation
status implicated a liberty interest; (3) whether a juvenile delinquent housed in New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) facilities had procedural due process protections available to him upon a change of status; (4)
whether the juvenile delinquent had a liberty interest implicated in his transfer to a more restrictive placement; (5)
whether the juvenile delinquent had sufficient procedural due process protections available to him upon transfer to
a more restrictive placement; and (6) whether the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and mental health
providers acted with malice or reckless indifference. (New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, Juvenile Medium
Security Facility, New Jersey Training School, Juvenile Reception and Assessment Center)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
MEDICAL CARE
SANITATION
USE OF FORCE

U.S. v. Cook County, Illinois, 761 F.Supp.2d 794 (N.D.Ill. 2011). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) brought
an action against a county, alleging conditions in a county jail violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment.
Following entry of a consent decree, the county moved for entry of a prisoner release order. The district court denied the motion. The court held that while overcrowding was a primary cause of the unconstitutional conditions at
the jail and a prisoner release order was the least intrusive form of relief for overcrowding in the jail, the proposed
prisoner release order was not narrowly drawn or sufficiently specific, and thus the grant of the order was not warranted. The court noted that conditions of overcrowding caused guards to resort to excessive force, incidents involving guards' use of excessive force were more frequent on days the jail was overcrowded, overcrowding caused

9.110

grossly unsanitary and unhealthy conditions, and chronic overcrowding of the jail's medical facilities resulted in
inadequate medical and mental-health care. According to the court, the proposed order did not explain or justify
the number of inmates who would be affected by the order or the number of inmates that would be released annually, did not specify which class or classes of prisoners would be eligible for release or what grounds were to be
used in deciding whether an inmate should be released on their own recognizance or released on electronic monitoring, or provide assurance that adequate funding would be available for electronic monitoring equipment or that
prisoners released to electronic monitoring would be effectively monitored. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)
2012
U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
STATE
REQUIREMENTS

Armstrong v. Brown, 857 F.Supp.2d 919 (N.D.Cal. 2012). Disabled state prisoners and parolees brought a class
action against state prison officials, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. Seventeen years later, plaintiffs moved for an order requiring officials to track and accommodate
the needs of class members housed in county jails and to provide a workable grievance procedure. Following remand to allow the development of additional evidence, the prisoners and parolees filed a renewed motion. The
district court granted the motion and entered an enforce order. The court held that: (1) officials' efforts to comply
with ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and prior orders were inadequate and ineffective on a system-wide level; (2)
system-wide injunctive relief was appropriate; (3) district court would not abstain from exercising its jurisdiction
over matters pertaining to county jails; (4) a stay of the prior order was not warranted; and (5) the district court
would exercise its retained jurisdiction to enforce the injunction. The court held that state officials were obliged to
ensure ADA-compliant conditions for prisoners and parolees that they housed under their own authority in county
jails. (California Youth and Adult Corrections Authority, Board of Prison Terms, Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SMOKE

Baker v. U.S., 670 F.3d 448 (3rd Cir. 2012). A prisoner, proceeding pro se, brought an action against the
government and others under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging personal injuries caused by his
exposure to second–hand smoke while incarcerated. The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss
and the government's motion to dismiss. The appeals court affirmed on other grounds. (McKean Federal
Correctional Institution, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
MATTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Bell v. Luna, 856 F.Supp.2d 388 (D.Conn. 2012). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison officials
and a prison doctor, alleging that the defendants subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement and
showed deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants
moved to dismiss for failure to state claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The
court held that the state prison doctor was not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's health in failing to take
sufficient measures to treat the inmate’s joint and back pain, or in failing to prescribe the inmate with an analgesic
cream, as would violate the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights. The court found that forcing the inmate to go
nearly seven months with a torn, partially unstuffed, unhygienic mattress was a condition of confinement
sufficiently serious to implicate the Eighth Amendment. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that a unit
manager “willfully, wantonly, and maliciously disregarded” the inmate's repeated requests for an adequate and
hygienic mattress stated a claim under § 1983 against the manager for cruel and unusual punishment in violation of
his Eighth Amendment rights. The court held that the unit manager was not entitled to qualified immunity from the
inmate's § 1983 claim where the law of the Second Circuit would have put the manager on notice at the time of the
alleged violation that failing to provide the inmate with an hygienic, working mattress for over half a year ran afoul
of the Eighth Amendment. (MacDougall–Walker Correctional Institution, Connecticut)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE
MEDICAL CARE
PROGRAMS
TRANSFER
WORK

Catanzaro v. Harry, 848 F.Supp.2d 780 (W.D.Mich. 2012). A state prisoner, proceeding pro se, brought a § 1983
action against a state department of corrections, department officials, a warden, parole board members, and
numerous prison and department employees, alleging violation of his due process rights, violation of the Fourth
Amendment, denial of adequate medical care, his right to free exercise of religion, equal protection, access to
courts, and retaliation. The district court held that: (1) the prisoner had no protected interest in early release on
parole; (2) the requirement that the prisoner complete a sex-offender treatment program as condition for parole did
not violate the Due Process Clause as the condition for parole did not exceed the sentence imposed on the prisoner;
(3) the prisoner's conditions at sex-offender treatment facility did not implicate the prisoner's right to procedural
due process, notwithstanding the fact that the prisoner did not have access to recreational facilities or a law library,
the prisoner could not work, the prisoner had to arrange for his own health care, and the prisoner did not have the
opportunity to attend religious services; (4) the transfer of the prisoner to facility for sex-offender treatment
program did not violate his right to substantive due process; and (5) the prisoner stated a claim for violation of Free
Exercise Clause. (Cooper Street Correctional Facility, Residential Sex Offender Program (RSOP) at the
Kalamazoo, and Probation Enhancement Program in Muskegon, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
FOOD
MEDICAL CARE
SHOWERS

Dilworth v. Goldberg, 914 F.Supp.2d 433 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). A released pretrial detainee and his wife brought an
action against a county, its health care corporation, and 47 related individuals, for federal and state claims arising
from his confinement at a county jail. The district court partially dismissed the claims and the plaintiffs moved to
amend. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court found that New York's three-year
limitations period began to run on the date in which the pretrial detainee was directed by an officer to sign
fraudulent papers indicating he caused his own injuries and that would waive his legal claims against the county
and jail officials. According to the court, it was appropriate for the now-released pretrial detainee to amend his
complaint to assert his section 1983 unconstitutional conditions of confinement claim, under the Eighth
Amendment, against the officer, since there were sufficient allegations in the proposed pleading to support the
claim. The court noted that loss of consortium claims are not cognizable under § 1983 because they do not involve
an injury based on a deprivation of the plaintiff's rights, privileges, and immunities. The detainee, an AfricanAmerican, was detained in the jail when he slipped and fell on wet wax that had been left on a corridor floor by a
trustee inmate. He “suffered severe injuries to his head, back, and right arm, and lost consciousness due to the

9.111

fall.”He was taken the jail infirmary and given a "cursory" examination, which allegedly resulted in the
understatement of his actual medical condition. Rather than allowing him to return to his cell to rest, he was
ordered to go to a visit and he was threatened with a charge of disobeying a direct order if he did not comply. He
suffered several subsequent health problems but was not taken to an outside source of medical care. He was given
a wheelchair and assigned to a dormitory with inmates who had medical problems. While confined in the dorm he
was allegedly denied meals on several occasions, was not able to take a shower, and was refused pain medication.
He alleged further complaints about his treatment and conditions. (Westchester County Department of Corrections,
New York Medical College, Westchester County Health Care Corporation, New York)
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 reingesting 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
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
EQUAL PROTECTION

Harris v. Hammon, 914 F.Supp.2d 1026 (D.Minn. 2012). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a county and
various officials with the state department of corrections (DOC), alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments, as well as state law claims for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED),
and negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED). The defendants moved for summary judgment and for judgment on the pleadings. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that there
was no evidence of a continuing, widespread pattern of misconduct on account of county employees in not releasing prisoners pursuant to court orders, as required for the prisoner's § 1983 failure-to-train claims against the
county for alleged violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The prisoner had been held for more than
five days after a judge ordered his release pending his appeal. According to the court, the former prisoner's allegations were sufficient to plead that department of corrections (DOC) employees were deliberately indifferent to the
prisoner's liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, as required to state a § 1983 claim for violations of his
due process rights based on his continued detention after a court ordered his release. The prisoner alleged that he
had a court order for his release but he was returned to prison, that a judge faxed and mailed the release order to the
prison after being contacted by the prisoner's attorney the next day, that the judge's clerk also telephoned employees to inform them that the prisoner was to be released, that one employee did not respond to calls from the prisoner's attorney, that another employee told the attorney he would have to hand deliver a certified copy of order by the
end of her shift in three minutes so that the prisoner could be released before the weekend, and that employees told
the attorney several days later that they might not be able to release the prisoner because the order could be invalid.
The court also held that the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to plead that his continued detention, after his
release was ordered by a judge, violated a clearly established right, as required to overcome qualified immunity for
department of corrections (DOC) employees. (Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, Ramsey County Jail, Minnesota)

U.S. Appeals Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
CONDITIONS
PROGRAMS

Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2012). 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 conditions of their confinement. The district court denied the defendants' motion to
dismiss, and the defendants filed an interlocutory appeal. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
Certiorari was granted. The United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded. On remand, the appeals court
held that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. According to the court, the civilly committed persons
failed to plead plausible claims against the state hospital's administrators and supervisory officials in their
individual capacities, and thus the administrators and officials were entitled to qualified immunity from liability for
money damages under § 1983, where there was no allegation of a specific policy or custom that caused
constitutional deprivations, and no specific allegations regarding each defendant's purported knowledge of
deprivations. (Atascadero State Hospital, California)

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

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

U.S. District Court
DISCIPLINE
ISOLATION
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Johnston v. Maha, 845 F.Supp.2d 535 (W.D.N.Y. 2012). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a
county sheriff, employees of a county jail, and others, alleging, among other things, violations of his Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due
process. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and the detainee appealed. The
appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, the district court

9.112

held that: (1) a fact issue as to whether a correctional officer assaulted the detainee precluded summary judgment
on the detainee's Eighth Amendment claim; (2) summary judgment was precluded by fact issue as to whether the
detainee was twice placed in isolation as a form of punishment without being given advance notice or opportunity
to be heard; and (3) summary judgment was precluded by a fact issue as to whether the detainee exhausted
administrative remedies as to the claim that a correctional officer placed him in an isolation cell without prior
notice. (Genesee County Jail, New York)
U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Jones v. Correctional Medical Services, Inc., 845 F.Supp.2d 824 (W.D.Mich. 2012). The personal representative
of the estate of an inmate, who died of viral meningoencephalitis while under the control of the Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC), brought an action against prison officials and personnel, as well as the
company which contracted to provide medical services to the inmate and the company's employees, alleging that
the defendants violated the inmate's Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care. The representative also
asserted state law claims for gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court held that
the company that provided medical services to inmates under a contract with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) could not be held liable under § 1983 on a supervisory liability theory in the action brought
by the personal representative, but the company was subject to suit under § 1983. The court found that the personal
representative failed to establish that policies or customs of the company which provided medical services to
inmates under contract with the MDOC were involved in the inmate's treatment, as required to sustain a § 1983
Eighth Amendment claim against the company based on the inmate's alleged inadequate medical treatment. The
court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the doctor
employed by company was aware of the serious medical needs of the inmate, as to whether the doctor's treatment
of the inmate displayed deliberate indifference, and as to whether the doctor's inaction or delay proximately caused
the inmate's death. (Ernest Brooks Facility, Michigan, and Correctional Medical Services)

U.S. Appeals Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
CONDITIONS

Lane v. Williams, 689 F.3d 879 (7th Cir. 2012). Convicted sex offenders who, after completing their sentences,
remained in state custody as civil detainees pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act,
brought a § 1983 action, alleging constitutional problems with the conditions of their confinement at a treatment
facility. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants and the detainees appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The appeals court held that security restrictions on face-to-face interactions between the civil
detainees held in different units within the state's treatment facility for sexually violent persons (SVP) did not
constitute treatment decisions which, as a matter of due process, had to be made by health professionals, merely
because the security restrictions affected treatment options. The court found that requiring the civil detainees to use
United States Mail, rather than the facility's internal mail system, to send letters to detainees in the facility's other
units did not violate the detainees' First Amendment associational rights, even if the facility's internal mail system
was a superior means of sending letters. The court noted that commitment under the Illinois Sexually Violent
Persons Commitment Act is civil and may be for purposes such as incapacitation and treatment, but not for
punishment. As a general matter, persons who have been involuntarily civilly committed are entitled to more
considerate treatment and conditions of confinement than criminals whose conditions of confinement are designed
to punish. (Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, Illinois)

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

Norfleet v. Walker, 684 F.3d 688 (7th Cir. 2012). An Illinois state prisoner, who was wheelchair-bound due to a
“nerve condition,” brought an action against several prison employees, alleging that refusing to allow him to
engage in physical outdoor recreational activity violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The prisoner
was housed in segregation, therefore confined to his one-person cell 23 hours a day. The district court dismissed
the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The appeals court found that an
alleged prison “quorum rule” that will not allow a disabled inmate to engage in outdoor recreation unless at least
nine other disabled inmates want to do so as well, seemed arbitrary. The court noted that recreation, including
aerobic exercises that cannot be performed in a cell, is particularly important to the health of a person confined to a
wheelchair. According to the court, whether seven weeks without such recreation can result in serious harm to
someone in the plaintiff's condition is a separate question not yet addressed in the litigation. (Pinckneyville
Correctional Center, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
ISOLATION
MEDICAL CARE

Parkell v. Danberg, 871 F.Supp.2d 341 (D.Del. 2012). A state inmate who developed a staphylococcus infection
brought an action against the corporation that contracted with the prison to provide medical services to inmates and
the corporation's employees, alleging under § 1983 that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs, in violation of Eighth Amendment. The inmate also alleged that the corporation violated his
substantive due process rights by refusing to treat him while he was housed in isolation. The defendants moved to
dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The district
court held that the inmate stated a § 1983 Eighth Amendment medical needs claim against the employee with his
allegations in his complaint that: (1) an employee of the corporation refused to examine the inmate; (2) the
employee ignored the inmate's complaints of an infected arm, and refused to administer a pain reliever; (3) over the
next few days his condition worsened and correctional officers notified the on-duty physician regarding the
inmate's condition; and (4) the physician performed a medical procedure on the inmate's elbow approximately one
week following his visit with the employee. The court found that the inmate stated a § 1983 Eighth Amendment
medical needs claim against the corporation with his allegations that the corporation had policies, customs, or
practices of refusing to treat the inmate, who developed a staphylococcus infection, particularly when he was
housed in isolation. According to the court, the inmate stated a § 1983 substantive due process claim against the
corporation with his allegations that he was subjected to conditions significantly worse than other inmates under
similar circumstances, and that because of his security classification, the corporation refused to treat him while
housed in isolation, and refused to enter his cell to provide treatment while he was housed in the infirmary.
(Howard R. Young Corr’l. Institution, Delaware)

9.113

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

Peoples v. Fischer, 898 F.Supp.2d 618 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). A state prisoner who was housed in segregation for over
two years brought an action against prison officials, alleging the defendants violated his right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment. After the district court dismissed the prisoner's complaint in part, the defendants moved
for reconsideration. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the prison
officials were arguably put on sufficient notice that a sentence of three years of special housing unit (SHU)
confinement for a non-violent infraction of prison rules could well be found to be grossly disproportionate and,
therefore, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, such that the conduct of the prison officials in sentencing the
prisoner to such a sentence could be found to have violated the prisoner's clearly established right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment. The court denied qualified immunity for the prison officials, noting that numerous
courts had found that long stretches of segregation could constitute cruel and unusual punishment, and courts had
repeatedly determined that the conditions of segregated confinement were unconstitutional if they did not meet
certain minimum standards. The court noted that the prisoner was housed in segregation for over two years even
though there was never any finding that he posed a threat to the safety of others or the security of the prison.
(Upstate Correctional Facility, Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
EXERCISE
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Pierce v. County of Orange, 905 F.Supp.2d 1017 (C.D.Cal. 2012). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities
brought a § 1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff, seeking relief for violations of their
constitutional and statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the
district court rejected the detainees' claims, and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed
in part, and remanded. On remand, following a bench trial, the district court entered a final judgment and a
permanent injunction, and the detainees renewed their motion for attorney fees. The district court granted the
motion. The court held that: (1) attorneys were entitled to compensation for time spent taking calls from inmates
and performing pre-trial preparation; (2) time spent unsuccessfully opposing a motion for sanctions was not
compensable as part of fee award; (3) a 50%/50% split between pre-appeal constitutional claims and Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims was appropriate; (4) reduction in the fee award in the amount of 30% was
warranted based on the detainees' limited success on their constitutional claims; and (5) application of a multiplier
to the lodestar calculations, under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) was not warranted.
The case began in 2001, a class of pre-trial detainees in the Orange County, California, jails, filed a lawsuit against
the County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their Fourteenth Amendment due process rights for the
County's operation of the County jails in an unconstitutional manner. Allegations included depriving detainees of
opportunities for exercise and restricting their ability to practice religion. (Orange County, California)

U.S. Appeals Court
CHANGE OF
CONDITIONS
SAFETY
SEGREGATION

Rezaq v. Nalley, 677 F.3d 1001 (10th Cir. 2012). Federal inmates, who were convicted of terrorism-related
offenses, brought an action against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and BOP officials, alleging that they had a
liberty interest in avoiding transfer without due process to the Administrative Maximum Prison (ADX). The
district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The inmates appealed. The appeals court held
that the action was not moot, even though the inmates were currently housed in less-restrictive facilities when
compared to ADX, where the inmates' transfers to less-restrictive facilities did not completely and irrevocably
eradicate the effects of the alleged violation because the inmates were never returned to their pre-ADX placements,
and some prospective relief remained available. The court found that the inmates did not have a liberty interest in
avoiding conditions of confinement at Administrative Maximum Prison (ADX), and thus the inmates were not
entitled to due process in the BOP's transfer determination. According to the court, the inmates' segregated
confinement related to and furthered by the BOP's legitimate penological interests in prison safety and national
security, conditions of confinement at ADX, although undeniably harsh, were not extreme, inmates' placements at
ADX did not increase the duration of their confinement, and the inmates' placements at ADX were not
indeterminate, as the inmates were given regular reevaluations of their placements in the form of twice-yearly
program reviews. (Administrative Maximum Prison, Florence, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SEPARATION

Rice ex rel. Rice v. Correctional Medical Services, 675 F.3d 650 (7th Cir. 2012). Following a pretrial detainee's
death while incarcerated, his parents, representing his estate filed suit pursuant to § 1983, alleging among other
things that jail officials and medical personnel had deprived the pretrial detainee of due process by exhibiting deliberate indifference to his declining mental and physical condition. The district court entered summary judgment
against the estate. The estate filed a second suit reasserting the state wrongful death claims that the judge in the
first suit had dismissed without prejudice after disposing of the federal claims. The district court dismissed that
case on the basis of collateral estoppel, and the estate appealed both judgments. The appeals court affirmed in part,
reversed in part, and remanded. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of
material fact as to whether jail officials were deliberately indifferent to the pretrial detainee's conditions of confinement, and whether his conditions of confinement were sufficiently serious to support his Fourteenth Amendment due process claim. The court noted that whether the detainee himself created the unsanitary conditions was a
fact relevant to the claim, but given detainee's mental condition, it did not foreclose the claim. The court found that
the estate failed to show that the detainee's assignment to an administrative segregation unit of the jail for approximately seven months violated the detainee's due process rights, where the estate failed to identify feasible
alternatives and to tender evidence supporting the contention that the detainee likely would have fared better in one
of those alternative placements. The court held that jail officials did not employ excessive force, in violation of due
process, to the pretrial detainee who had been fighting with his cellmate and failed to comply with a directive that
he step out of his cell which he refused to leave for 18 hours, by spraying his face with pepper foam, and placing
him in a restraint chair. The court held that jail officials did not have notice of a substantial risk that the mentally ill
pretrial detainee might be assaulted by other inmates, as required to support the pretrial detainee's claim of deliberate indifference in violation of due process. The court noted that while jail personnel were aware that the detainee
had a hygiene problem, they had no notice that he was at risk of assault because of that problem, particularly
within the more secure confines of the administrative segregation unit. The court found that neither jail guards or
supervisors were deliberately indifferent to the risk that the mentally ill pretrial detainee might engage in a behav-

9.114

ior such as compulsive water drinking that would cause him to die within a matter of hours and did not consciously
disregarded that risk, and therefore they were not liable for his death under § 1983. According to the court, while a
factfinder might conclude that the guards exhibited a generalized recklessness with respect to the safety of the
inmates housed in the administrative segregation unit by failing to conduct hourly checks of the unit, there was no
evidence that the guards or supervisors were subjectively aware of the possibility that the detainee might injure
himself to the point of death before anyone could intervene. (Elkhart County Jail, Indiana)
U.S. Appeals Court
FOOD

Taylor v. Dormire, 690 F.3d 898 (8th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison officials,
alleging that the officials refused to feed the prisoner for several days while he was restrained in connection with
his removal from his cell, based on his declaration of his cellmate as an enemy. The district court entered judgment
on the jury's verdict for the officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals
court held that the district court’s error was not harmless as to its failure to give the prisoner's requested instruction
on nominal damages. The court noted that the jury had been instructed that damages constituted a required element
of a verdict in favor of the prisoner and that if any element was not proven then the verdict had to be in favor of
prison officials. According to the court, the jury must have considered the damages issue, since it wrote a symbol
for “zero” in the space on the verdict form for damages. (Jefferson City Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
ALIENS
CLOTHING
EQUAL PROTECTION
FOOD
MEDICAL CARE
PROGRAMS
SANITATION

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

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
SEGREGATION

Vogelfang v. Capra, 889 F.Supp.2d 489 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). A female state inmate filed a pro se § 1983 action
against a prison's correction officers, officials, and medical staff, asserting 25 claims contesting the conditions of
her confinement and the conduct of the staff. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate’s complaint stated due process claims based on insufficient notice of a disciplinary hearing and on the inmate's allegedly improper removal from a disciplinary hearing.
According to the court, the pro se state inmate's allegations that she was denied access to a computer failed to state
a claim against prison officials for due process violations absent allegations that such denial constituted an atypical
and significant hardship to her. Although the inmate claimed that it was impossible for her to perform legal work
because courts no longer accepted hand-written documents, the court did not prohibit hand-written documents and
had accepted them on prior motions in the inmate's case. The court held that the inmate stated a First Amendment
retaliation claim under § 1983 against a male prison correction officer by alleging that the officer had written a
false inmate misbehavior report (IMR) against her three days after she had filed a grievance against him for performing a degrading sexual act in front of her, and that because of the false report she had been forced to spend
three months in the prison's special housing unit (SHU). (Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. Appeals Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
FOOD
SEGREGATION

Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2012). A state inmate brought a pro se § 1983 action against prison
officials, alleging violations of his federal constitutional rights and Nevada laws. The district court dismissed the
complaint with prejudice pursuant to the in forma pauperis (IFP) statute, and the inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded with instructions. The court held that the humiliation that the
state inmate suffered during an alleged incident did not rise to the level of severe psychological pain as required to
state an Eighth Amendment claim. The inmate alleged that a correctional officer entered the inmate's cell while the
inmate was on the toilet and, while the inmate was still on the toilet, rubbed his thigh against inmate's thigh and
smiled in sexual manner, then left the cell laughing, The court found that the inmate sufficiently alleged a First
Amendment retaliation claim against a correctional officer and an associate warden by alleging that he engaged in
protected conduct by filing grievances against the officer and alleging: (1) that the officer and the associate warden
took adverse actions against him, including filing of a false disciplinary charge against him, placing him in administrative segregation, and telling lies that resulted in denial of his parole, and (2) that such adverse actions were
taken shortly after, and in retaliation for, the filing of grievances, and that the adverse actions, which involved
more than minimal harms, had no legitimate penological reason. The court held that the inmate sufficiently alleged
a First Amendment retaliation claim against a correctional officer by asserting that he had filed grievances against
the officer, who allegedly refused to give him his breakfast, that the officer mentioned grievances during same
interaction in which the officer refused to give the inmate his breakfast, that the officer's conduct was retaliatory,
and that the inmate also asked during the same interaction to file an additional grievance about the denial of breakfast. (Nevada State Prison)

9.115

U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
BEDS
FACILITIES
SHOWERS
TOILETS

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

U.S. District Court
HANDICAPPED
INMATES
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY

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 Department,
Oneida County Correctional Facility, New York)
2013

U.S. District Court
BEDS
SAFETY

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

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
SANITATION
VENTILATION

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

9.116

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
SEGREGATION

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. District Court
HEARING IMPAIRED

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

U.S. Appeals Court
CIVIL COMMITMENT
TOILETS

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 singleperson 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. District Court
TEMPERATURE
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
MEDICAL CARE

Ball v. LeBlanc, 988 F.Supp.2d 639 (M.D.La. 2013). State death row inmates brought a § 1983 action against a
state department of corrections and state officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on allegations of
violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act. The
district court granted declaratory and injunctive relief in part and denied in part. The court held that the
temperature and humidity of cells presented a substantial risk of harm to death row inmates, as required for their
claims against the prison and officials, alleging the conditions of confinement violated the Eighth Amendment. The
court noted that: (1) the inmates were regularly subjected to temperatures above 90.5 degrees and heat indices
above 100 degrees; (2) the heat index inside death row tiers was often higher than that outside the facility; (3)
inmates were subjected to consecutive days with heat indices above 100 degrees; (4) inmates were at risk of heatrelated illnesses including heat stroke and worsening of their underlying conditions, which included diabetes,
hypertension, and uncontrolled blood pressure; and (5) two inmates were over age 55, increasing the risk for them.
The court found that prison officials had knowledge that the heat and humidity in death row tiers placed inmates at
a substantial risk of harm, as required to find the officials were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs
for the purpose of the inmates' Eighth Amendment claims. The inmates had submitted multiple administrative
complaints regarding the heat, and officials responded that they knew it was “extremely hot.” According to the
court, prison officials disregarded the substantial risk of serious harm to death row inmates regarding heat and
humidity in cells, as required to find that the officials were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs for
the purpose of the inmates' Eighth Amendment claims, where the officials did not take any actions to reduce the
heat conditions despite knowledge of the conditions.
The court found that there was no evidence that death row inmates were limited in any major life activities due
to their medical conditions, including hypertension, obesity, and depression, as required for their claims against the
prison and officials, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act.
(Louisiana State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE
TRANSFERS

Benton v. Rousseau, 940 F.Supp.2d 1370 (M.D.Fla. 2013). A pretrial detainee, who alleged that he was beaten by
drivers while being transported to prison, brought a § 1983 action against drivers of a private company which was
in the business of transporting prisoners throughout the State of Florida. The district court held that the inmate
established a § 1983 First Amendment retaliation claim and a § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment excessive force
claim. According to the court: (1) the prisoner engaged in constitutionally protected speech because he complained
about conditions of his confinement in the transport vehicle; (2) the driver of transport vehicle engaged in adverse
or retaliatory conduct by pulling the inmate out of the van and onto the ground and beating and kicking the inmate;

9.117

and (3) there was a causal connection between the driver's retaliatory action and inmate's protected speech, in that
the incident would not have occurred but for the inmate's complaints regarding conditions of his confinement. The
court noted that the inmate's injuries included headaches and facial scars, and his injuries, although perhaps not
serious, amounted to more than de minimis injuries. The court ruled that the inmate was entitled to $45,012 in
compensatory damages because the inmate had scarring on his face and suffered from headaches and numbness in
his side, he suffered the loss of a $12 shirt, and he suffered mental and emotional anguish as a result of actions of
drivers of transport van, who kicked and beat him. The court held that the inmate was entitled to punitive damages
in the amount of $15,000 based on the violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by the drivers. The
court noted that although the drivers were no longer employed by their private employer, the employer did not
investigate after the incident nor did it punish the drivers for their actions, and imposition of punitive damages
would deter the drivers from taking similar actions in the future. (United States Prisoner Transport, Hernando
County Jail, Florida)
U.S. Appeals Court
BEDS
CROWDING
EXERCISE
FLOOR-SLEEPING
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SHOWERS
TOILETS
WINDOWS

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

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Canales v. Gatzunis, 979 F.Supp.2d 164 (D.Mass. 2013). A former county jail inmate brought an action in state
court against a county sheriff's department, the sheriff, the jail superintendent, a state public safety commissioner,
and others, alleging the defendants subjected him to reckless, negligent, and cruel medical treatment. Some
defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in
part. The court found that because the county sheriff's department and other county defendants voluntary removed
to inmate's action to federal court, the defendants did not enjoy Eleventh Amendment immunity against any
Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA) claims they would be subject to in state court as a result of waiver.
The court held that the former jail inmate's allegations that the county defendants had a “disorganized medical
program” at the jail and failed to maintain a “quality assurance program,” and that the jail failed “to maintain
adequate and accurate medical records,” insufficiently pled that the jail superintendent was personally involved in
misinforming the inmate that he had HIV and mistakenly administering another prisoner's HIV medication to the
inmate, as would subject the superintendent to supervisory liability for his subordinates' alleged Eighth
Amendment violations under § 1983. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that the “defendants” told the
inmate that he had HIV and administered HIV medication to him, even though he did not have HIV, did not
sufficiently state that the county jail superintendent was personally involved with the inmate's medical treatment or
otherwise took any action with respect to the inmate, as would support the inmate's intentional infliction of
emotional distress claim against the superintendent, in his individual capacity, under Massachusetts law. (Suffolk
County House of Correction, Massachusetts)

U.S. Appeals Court
BEDDING
LIGHTING
RESTRAINTS
TEMPERATURE

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 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
CROWDING
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
MEDICAL CARE

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

9.118

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
CAPACITY
CROWDING
MEDICAL CARE

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

U.S. District Court
ALIENS
FOOD
MEDICAL CARE

Dhiab v. Obama, 952 F.Supp.2d 154 (D.D.C. 2013). An alien who was engaged in a voluntary hunger strike while
detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, moved for a preliminary injunction against forcefeeding him and the administration of medications related to the force-feeding without his consent. The district
court denied the motion, finding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion. (U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba)

U.S. District Court
BEDS
FOOD
HYGIENE
OVERCROWDING
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SAFETY
SANITATION

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

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
JUVENILES

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 did not amount to deliberate indifference to their safety in

9.119

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 Operated by Away From Home, Inc., Texas)
U.S. Appeals Court
BEDDING
CLOTHING
FOOD
DINING
MEDICAL CARE
ISOLATION
SEGREGATION

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
FACILITIES
HYGIENE
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
CIVIL COMMITMENT
HOT WATER

Grohs v. Yatauro, 984 F.Supp.2d 273 (D.N.J. 2013). A civilly-committed resident at a special treatment unit (STU)
operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) brought action an against NJDOC officials,
alleging violations of his substantive due process rights under § 1983. The district court held that the resident's
claims against the officials in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity. The court held that the
resident's allegations adequately pled the officials’ personal involvement in his complaint that: (1) there were
visibly leaking steam pipes in a special treatment unit (STU) for which trash cans were used to collect water; (2)
NJDOC officials personally toured STU; (3) STU received numerous written complaints from residents about
inadequate hot water; and (4) an STU assistant administrator told the resident that defective piping valves were too
expensive to repair. The court found that the officials were subject to liability under § 1983 in their individual
capacities. The court held that NJDOC officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from the civilly committed
resident's § 1983 conditions of civil commitment claim under the Due Process Clause, arising from inadequate hot
water at a special treatment unit (STU) in which he was housed. (Special Treatment Unit, Avenel, Middlesex
County, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court
FACILITIES
SAFETY

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
DISCIPLINE
SEGREGATION
CELLS
EXERCISE
SHOWERS

Hardaway v. Meyerhoff, 734 F.3d 740 (7th Cir. 2013). A state prisoner who had spent six months in segregation as
punishment for a disciplinary misconduct charge which was later expunged, filed a § 1983 action, alleging that the
segregation violated his due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the
defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner's placement in
disciplinary segregation in a cell with a solid metal door and a confrontational cell mate for 182 days, with only
weekly access to the shower and the recreation yard, did not amount to atypical and significant hardships, as
required to establish a deprivation of the prisoner's due process liberty interests, where the prisoner was not
deprived of all human contact or sensory stimuli. The court found that the state prison officials were entitled to

9.120

qualified immunity for their conduct in placing the prisoner in disciplinary segregation, as the disciplinary
segregation did not violate any clearly established right. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

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 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
CLOTHING
FOOD

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
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SANITATION
SEGREGATION
SHOWERS
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)

9.121

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

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

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

Potts v. Moreci, 12 F.Supp.3d 1065 (N.D.Ill. 2013). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county,
employees of the county jail in their individual capacities, and a sheriff, in his individual and official capacities,
alleging retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights, deprivation of his procedural due process and equal
protection rights, denial of access to the courts, municipal liability, and statutory indemnification. The sheriff
moved to dismiss the claims asserted against him. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part.
The court found that the detainee who allegedly was placed in a segregation unit at the county jail without
adequate grounds and without an opportunity to contest such placement stated a claim for a procedural due process
violation against the sheriff, in his individual capacity, under § 1983. The court noted that the sheriff's personal
responsibility for the detainee's placement in segregation could be assumed in determining whether the detainee
adequately pleaded the claim, and the detainee also sufficiently alleged the sheriff's knowledge of the detainee's
allegedly unconstitutional confinement in segregation by asserting that the sheriff attended periodic meetings at
which the detainee's confinement was discussed, which permitted the inference that sheriff knew about the
challenged conduct and facilitated, approved, condoned, or turned a blind eye to it. The court held that the detainee
sufficiently pleaded the sheriff's personal involvement in the alleged misconduct of jail employees in singling out
the detainee for arbitrary treatment during his confinement in a segregation unit, subjecting him to living
conditions that were inconsistent even with conditions of other detainees in a segregation unit, and thus stated a §
1983 claim for class-of-one equal protection violation against the sheriff. (Cook County Jail, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
ASBESTOS
FACILITIES
MEDICAL CARE

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

9.122

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
EQUAL PROTECTION
RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
SAFETY
THREATS
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 less-restrictive location.
(Green Haven Correctional Facility, Protective Custody Unit, New York State Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
MEDICAL CARE
ADA- Americans with
Disabilities Act

Randolph v. Wetzel, 987 F.Supp.2d 605 (E.D.Pa. 2013). A state inmate brought an action against public officials
employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and prison medical providers, alleging, among other things, that
the defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provided inadequate medical treatment.
The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the inmate cross-moved for partial summary judgment. The
district court granted the defendants’ motions in part and denied in part, and denied the inmate’s motion. The
district court held that state prison officials were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's allegedly serious
medical condition, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, in requiring the inmate to use a wheelchair to access
outdoors for “yard time” or to see visitors, rather than transporting the inmate on a gurney. The court noted that the
officials relied on the medical providers' judgment that the inmate was able to sit up and get into a wheelchair. The
court found that the allegedly excessive bright lighting at prison facilities which was left on for 24 hours-a-day,
was related to a legitimate penological concern of providing security for staff and inmates, and thus the lighting did
not violate the Eighth Amendment. (SCI Graterford, SCI Greene, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
FLOOR-SLEEPING
MEDICAL CARE
USE OF FORCE

Robinson v. Phelps, 946 F.Supp.2d 354 (D.Del. 2013). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials alleging excessive force and failure to protect. The district court held that the prisoner stated cognizable
and non-frivolous claims for excessive force, failure to protect, and denial of medical care. The prisoner alleged
that on one occasion a sergeant assaulted him and that a lieutenant arrived during the assault and that he sustained
injuries but was denied medical care by these officers and other prison personnel, that another sergeant shoved and
pushed him when he was taken to a medical grievance hearing, making his injuries worse, that this sergeant shoved
him to the ground while escorting him to the shower, and then dragged him when he could not get up, requiring
that he be taken away by stretcher, and that other officers later choked him until he lost consciousness.
The court found that the prisoner also stated cognizable and non-frivolous Eighth Amendment claims against a
prison physician for denial or delay of medical treatment; the prisoner alleged that after he was assaulted by a
corrections officer, he was seen by the physician, who would not prescribe pain medication and advised the
prisoner that he would be x-rayed within seven to ten days, but the x-rays were not taken for a month and a half,
and he alleged that some months later he was taken to an outside facility for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
of the neck and back. According to the court, the prisoner's allegations were sufficient to state an Eighth
Amendment claim that the physicians denied his requests for medically necessary accommodations. The prisoner
alleged that medical officials did not authorize his housing on a lower bunk and, as a result, he slept on the floor,
that an officer later moved him to an upstairs cell even though he knew that the prisoner required lower housing
due to his neck and back injuries, and that the prisoner showed the officer a memo from a superior officer
indicating the prisoner needed the housing, (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Delaware)

U.S. Appeals Court
CLASSIFICATION
SAFETY

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

9.123

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. District Court
FLOOR-SLEEPING
MEDICAL CARE

Staples v. U.S., 948 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C.2013). A federal prisoner brought a pro se action against the United States
and several employees of the Bureau of Prisons, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment. The district court
held that the inmate stated Eighth Amendment violations with his allegations that: (1) two corrections officers at
the federal prison ignored the his medical restriction, which required him to sleep on a lower bunk bed; (2) the
officers told the prisoner t osleep on a top bed or to sleep on the floor; (3) he was forced to sleep on the floor and
suffered unnecessary physical pain in his back and left hip; and (4) his condition was ignored. The prisoner alleged
that the conditions continued for over two weeks in spite of his complaints. (Federal Correctional Institution
Schuylkill, Minersville, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
EQUAL PROTECTION
SEGREGATION
TOTALITY OF
CONDITIONS

Turkmen v. Ashcroft, 915 F.Supp.2d 314 (E.D.N.Y. 2013). Arab and Muslim alien detainees who were held on
immigration violations in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks brought a putative class action against the government
and various government officials, alleging that they were physically and verbally abused, subjected to arbitrary
strip searches, and subjected to prolonged detention. The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state claim.
The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that: (1) Department of Justice
(DOJ) officials were not liable for the alleged substantive due process violations; (2) the detainees stated a
substantive due process claim against federal detention center officials; (3) detention center officials were not
entitled to qualified immunity from the substantive due process claim; (4) the detainees failed to state an equal
protection claim against the DOJ officials; (5) the detainees stated an equal protection claim against detention
center officials; (6) as an issue of first impression, the officials were entitled to qualified immunity from claims
arising from a communications blackout; and (7) as an issue of first impression, a damages remedy under Bivens
would be implied to remedy the alleged deprivation of detainees' free exercise rights.
According to the court, the DOJ officials' failure to make explicit the expectation that its harsh confinement
policy, which was a directive to hold Arab and Muslim pretrial detainees in restrictive conditions under which they
would feel maximum pressure to cooperate with the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, should be carried out
lawfully, did not suggest punitive intent, as would subject the officials to liability under Bivens, where they were
entitled to expect that their subordinates would implement their directions lawfully.
The detainees alleged that the warden ordered the creation of an administrative maximum special housing unit
(ADMAX SHU) and ordered two of his subordinates to design extremely restrictive conditions of confinement for
those assigned to it, that the warden was made aware of the abuse that occurred through inmate complaints, staff
complaints, hunger strikes, and suicide attempts, and that other officials made rounds in ADMAX SHU and were
aware of the abusive conditions there. The court found that these allegations stated substantive due process claims
against the detention facility officials in a Bivens action. The court found that the detention facility officials were
not entitled to qualified immunity from the Bivens substantive due process claims. (Metropolitan Detention Center,
New York, and Passaic County Jail, New Jersey)

U.S. Appeals Court
CELLS
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
EXERCISE
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE
OVERCROWDING

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)

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U.S. Appeals Court
BEDDING
CELL CAPACITY
HEATING
NOISE
MATTRESS
SAFETY
SANITATION
VENTILATION

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

U.S. District Court
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE

Williams v. Erickson, 962 F.Supp.2d 1038 (N.D.Ill. 2013). A state inmate brought an action alleging that a prison
nurse's refusal to open the seal on a new colostomy bag so that he could change the bag violated the Eighth
Amendment and Illinois law. The defendants moved to dismiss, and the district court denied the motion in part.
The court held that the inmate’s allegations were sufficient to: (1) state a claim for deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs; (2) state a claim for deliberate indifference to conditions of confinement; and (3) state a
claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) under Illinois law. The court noted that the inmate was
required to sit in fecal waste for four hours while medical personnel who had the means of remedying the problem
deliberately ignored him. (Stateville Correctional Center, Illinois Department of Corrections)
2014

U.S. Appeals Court
ISOLATION
PRIVILEGES

Brown v. Oregon Dept. of Corrections, 751 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2014). A state prison inmate brought a pro se §
1983 action against the Oregon Department of Corrections alleging that prison officials violated his due process
rights by housing him in an intensive management unit without periodic, meaningful review of his status. The
defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The inmate appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The court held that the inmate's 27-month confinement in an intensive management unit deprived
him of a due-process protected liberty interest, but the inmate's due-process protected liberty interest in periodic,
meaningful review of his status was not clearly established, and thus prison officials were entitled to qualified
immunity. The court noted that the inmate experienced an atypical and significant hardship in that he was subjected to solitary confinement for over 23 hours each day, with almost no interpersonal contact, and he was denied
most privileges afforded to inmates in the general population. (Snake River Correctional Institution, Oregon)

U.S. District Court
CROWDING
TEMPERATURE
SANITATION
FOOD
TOILETS

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 24hour 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. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
OUT OF CELL TIME
SEARCHES
RESTRAINTS
EXERCISE
ISOLATION

Ford v. Bender, 768 F.3d 15 (1st Cir. 2014). A pretrial detainee commenced an action alleging that prison officials
violated his due process rights by holding him in disciplinary segregated confinement throughout the period of
pretrial detention and into the subsequent criminal sentence as punishment for conduct that had occurred while he
was imprisoned during a prior criminal sentence. The district court held that the detainee's punitive disciplinary
confinement violated due process, and largely denied the officials' claims of qualified immunity. The court
awarded the detainee partial money damages and equitable relief after a three-day bench trial, and awarded attorneys' fees and costs on the detainee's motion. The officials appealed. The appeals court reversed in part, vacated in
part, and remanded. The court held that: (1) reasonable prison officials would not have known that the pretrial
detainee's substantive due process rights and procedural due process rights would have been violated by holding
him in disciplinary segregated confinement throughout the period of pretrial detention as punishment for conduct
that had occurred while he was imprisoned during a prior criminal sentence; (2) the detainee's two prior convictions were not sufficient to establish reasonable expectation after he had been released from custody that he would
re-offend; (3) the detainee was not the “prevailing party” for the purpose of attorneys' fees and costs with regard to
a declaratory judgment entered on his behalf as it related to his rights as a detainee; (4) the detainee was the
“prevailing party” for the purpose of attorneys' fees and costs with regard to an injunction to ensure his access to
traditional programs that were available to the general population; and (5) the detainee was not the “prevailing
party” for the purpose of attorneys' fees and costs with regard to an injunction to deem his administrative sanction
satisfied. The court noted that conditions in the disciplinary unit are considerably more onerous than conditions of
confinement for the general population--an inmate is kept for twenty-three hours a day in a cell measuring seven
by twelve feet, each cell has a solid steel door with a small inset window, a narrow window to the outdoors, a cement bed, desk, and stool, and a toilet visible through the inset window. An inmate typically leaves his cell for only
one hour a day to exercise (five days a week) and to shower (three days a week). He is subject to strip searches
whenever he enters or leaves his cell. When an inmate is out of his cell for any reason, he is manacled and placed
in leg chains. Inmates are socially isolated. Each inmate receives his meals through a slot in the steel door and is

9.125

given only twenty minutes to eat. The prison library is off-limits, although an inmate may receive law books from
a “book cart,” which requires a formal request and typically results in a wait of eight days. Communication with
other inmates, guards, and the outside world is severely restricted. (Mass. Corr’l. Institution at Cedar Junction)
U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTING

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

U.S. District Court
STAFFING
OVERCROWDING

Hernandez v. County of Monterey, 70 F.Supp.3d 963 (N.D.Cal. 2014). Current and recently released inmates from
a county jail brought an action against the county, the sheriff’s office, and the private company that administered
all jail health care facilities and services, alleging, on behalf of a class of inmates, that substandard conditions at
the jail violated the federal and state constitutions, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation
Act, and a California statute prohibiting discrimination in state-funded programs. The inmates sought declaratory
and injunctive relief. The defendants filed motions to dismiss. The district court denied the motions. The court held
that both current and recently released inmates had standing to pursue their claims against the county and others for
allegedly substandard conditions at the jail, even though the recently released inmates were no longer subject to the
conditions they challenged. The court noted that the short average length of stay of inmates in the proposed class,
which was largely made up of pretrial detainees, was approximately 34 days, and that short period, coupled with
the plodding speed of legal action and the fact that other persons similarly situated would continue to be subject to
the challenged conduct, qualified the plaintiffs for the “inherently transitory” exception to the mootness doctrine.
The court found that the inmates sufficiently alleged that the private company that administered all jail health
care facilities and services operated a place of public accommodation, as required to state a claim for violation of
ADA Title III. The court noted that: “The complaint alleges a litany of substandard conditions at the jail, including:
violence due to understaffing, overcrowding, inadequate training, policies, procedures, facilities, and prisoner
classification; inadequate medical and mental health care screening, attention, distribution, and resources; and lack
of policies and practices for identifying, tracking, responding, communicating, and providing accessibility for
accommodations for prisoners with disabilities.” (Monterey County Jail, California)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE

Hinojosa v. Livingston, 994 F.Supp.2d 840 (S.D.Tex. 2014). The mother of a former inmate who died of
hyperthermia while incarcerated brought an action against the prison's health care provider, asserting claims under
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, alleging the provider's failure to make
accommodations for the inmate's disabilities resulted in the inmate's death. The provider moved to dismiss. The
district court denied the motion. The court held that the mother alleged sufficient facts to state that the inmate was
discriminated against by the prison's health care provider, in support of her claims under the ADA and the
Rehabilitation Act, by alleging that the provider knew of the risks and dangers associated with certain medical
conditions and medications, that the provider knew the inmate suffered from those conditions and used those
medications, and that despite that knowledge, the provider failed to make reasonable accommodations, resulting in
the inmate suffering more pain and punishment than non-disabled prisoners, namely, his death. The court noted
that the mother alleged that the provider knew both that the inmate suffered from hypertension, diabetes,
schizophrenia, and/or depression, and was prescribed medications to treat his disabilities, and that extreme
temperatures could be deadly, but still failed to protect the inmate from the extreme temperatures that ultimately
resulted in the inmate's death. The court found that the mother alleged sufficient facts concerning the
accommodations that should have been provided by the prison's health care provider without a request, but were
denied or refused, as well as which facilities, programs, or services should have been modified by the provider, to
state claims under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. The mother complained that the provider's intake process
was flawed in that it could take up to 10 days for prisoners to receive an intake physical, and that the delay created
a loophole that left inmates with heat sensitive conditions and disabilities especially vulnerable to death because
they did not receive accommodations for their heat sensitive disabilities, and that the provider's failure to employ
24–hour medical staff at the prison resulted in a fatal delay and denial of vital medical care to the inmate.
(University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Garza West Unit)

U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
MATTRESS
MEDICAL CARE
SHOWERS
FOOD

Houston v. Cotter, 7 F.Supp.3d 283 (E.D.N.Y. 2014). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against corrections
officers and a county, alleging a due process violation in connection with his placement on a suicide watch while
incarcerated at a county correctional facility. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district
court denied the motions, finding that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether a protected
liberty interest was implicated. The inmate alleged that the county had a policy or custom permitting classification
officers to keep an inmate on suicide watch as a form of punishment, after mental health personnel had deemed a

9.126

continued suicide watch unnecessary. The inmate remained on suicide watch for eight days after a psychiatrist and
a social worker recommended his removal from the suicide watch. The court also found a genuine dispute of
material fact as to whether the inmate's conditions of confinement while he was placed on suicide watch imposed
an atypical and significant hardship on him in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life, such that it
implicated a protected liberty interest. While on suicide watch, officials took away the inmate’s clothing and
required him to wear a suicide-safe garment-- a sleeveless smock made of a coarse, tear-resistant material and
Velcro. He was not allowed to wear underwear, socks, or any other undergarment with the smock. He was housed
in a stripped cell in the Behavioral Modification Housing Unit. The cell contained a bare mattress and a blanket
made out of the same coarse material as the smock. Corrections officers situated immediately in front of the
Plexiglass cell window constantly supervised the inmate. According to the county, suicide watch inmates have
access to the yard, a plastic spoon, a rubberized pen, the law library, showers, razors, and medical and mental
health services, but the inmate claimed that he had no showers, telephone calls, prescription medications, food, or
access to the law library while in the BMHU. (Suffolk County Correctional Facility, New York)
U.S. District Court
TOILET
SHOWER
WATER

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 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
SANITATION
PLUMBING
TOILETS
LAUNDRY
FOOD
EXERCISE

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
SHOWERS
PLUMBING
HOT WATER

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

U.S. Appeals Court
ISOLATION
MEDICAL CARE

Parsons v. Ryan, 754 F.3d 657 (9th Cir. 2014). State prisoners, and the state's authorized protection and advocacy
agency, filed a class action for declaratory and injunctive relief against senior officials from the Arizona
Department of Corrections (ADC), asserting Eighth Amendment claims, based on allegedly serious systemic
deficiencies in conditions of confinement in isolation cells, and in the provision of privatized medical, dental, and
mental health care services. The district court granted class certification and prison officials appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The court found that the prisoners were not merely aggregating many claims of individual
mistreatment, and instead were alleging that ADC policies and practices of statewide and systemic application
exposed all inmates in ADC custody to substantial risk of serious harm, to which the senior officials allegedly were
deliberately indifferent, even if the risk might ultimately result in different future harm for different inmates.
(Arizona Department of Corrections)

U.S. Appeals Court
SAFETY

Pyles v. Fahim, 771 F.3d 403 (7th Cir. 2014). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a warden, medical
contractor, and the contractor's physicians, alleging deliberate indifference to the risk of injury and to his medical
needs. After dismissing the warden at the screening of the complaint, the district court granted the remaining
defendants summary judgment. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that a wet
stairway, on which the prisoner allegedly slipped, was not a hazardous condition of confinement, in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. The court found that the physician's failure to refer the prisoner to a specialist after the
prisoner complained of back pain following a fall in a wet stairway was not deliberate indifference to the prisoner's
serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, where the prisoner had a common ailment, the
physician prescribed medications, and, after those medications did not appear to help, the physician tried new
medications or dosages. (Menard Correctional Center, Illinois)

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U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
MEDICAL CARE
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
SANITATION

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.
The prisoner alleged that the prison had a policy or custom of segregating blacks and non-blacks, and that
prison officials refused to place him in a non-black cell to get away from pests in his cell. The court held that the
administrators allowed ants to infest his cell for weeks and that as a result, he received ant bites that caused him to
scratch until his skin was broken due to severe itching, in violation of his conditions of confinement rights under §
1983 and the Eighth Amendment. (Little Sandy Correctional Complex, Green River Correctional Complex,
Kentucky)

U.S. District Court
CLASSIFICATION
CLOTHING
EMOTIONAL
DISTRESS
SEPARATION

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. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
FOOD
CLOTHING
HYGIENE
MEDICAL CARE

Townsend v. Cooper, 759 F.3d 678 (7th Cir. 2014). An inmate suffering from a significant mental illness brought a
§ 1983 action against prison officials, claiming that imposition of a behavior action plan in response to the inmate's
disruptive behavior and threats of suicide violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, deprived him of
the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and exhibited an indifference to his serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment for the prison officials and the
inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that the
behavior action plan resulted in an atypical and significant hardship compared to ordinary prison life, and thus, the
inmate had a liberty interest in not being placed on the plan sufficient to support his Fourteenth Amendment due
process challenge against the prison officials, where the plan involved removal of the inmate's personal property
from his cell, provision of a bag lunch, provision of a paper gown, and limited access to toiletries. The court found
that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether prison officials acted in
disregard of a substantial risk of serious harm to the inmate, and a fact issue as to whether the behavior action plan
was imposed for safety reasons or as a disciplinary measure. The court found that prison psychologists were not
deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of the inmate when they placed the inmate on the behavior
action plan, where the psychologists repeatedly visited the inmate, regularly adjusted the inmate's access to
property that he could use to harm himself, and repeatedly placed the inmate on observation status to ensure his
safety when he was suicidal. (Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT

Walls v. Tadman, 762 F.3d 778 (8th Cir. 2014). A prisoner sued prison officials, claiming that they violated his
Eighth Amendment right against infliction of cruel and unusual punishment when they failed to protect him from
attacks by other prisoners. Following a bench trial, the district court entered judgment for the officials. The
prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the officials did not respond unreasonably to any
substantial risk of harm to the prisoner. According to the court, assuming that the prisoner faced a substantial risk
of harm from being labeled a “snitch” and that prison officials were aware of that risk, the officials offered the
prisoner protective custody after the first alleged attack. He declined the offer, he asked to be returned to the
general population when prison officials placed him in protective custody anyway, he declined to report an enemy
situation with the alleged attacker, both the prisoner and the alleged attacker told officials that they expected no
further problems, and at no point did the prisoner ask for protection. (Iowa State Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
SLEEP
NOISE

Williams v. Klien, 20 F.Supp.3d 1171 (D.Colo .2014). A federal inmate brought a Bivens action against various
prison officials, alleging a due process violation and First Amendment retaliation, as related to his complaints
about sleep deprivation and penalties that followed his complaints. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district
court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate stated a Bivens claim against a
prison official, alleging First Amendment retaliation and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, and the prison
official was not entitled to qualified immunity on the inmate's First Amendment retaliation claim seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief. The inmate alleged that the prison official expressed his disdain for the inmate
and his various grievances, and then arranged for continued adverse actions to be taken against the inmate, as
required for the inmate to state a Bivens claim for declaratory or injunctive relief. The inmate alleged that during a
one year period, he was awakened each night while he was sleeping, as officers were conducting count they would
beat on his cell door, and that these actions were taken to deprive him of adequate sleep. According to the court,
the inmate's allegations indicated that he sought to exercise his First Amendment rights by filing grievances, that
the official was aware of the inmate's attempt to file grievances, that, based on that awareness, the official took

9.128

action to impose adverse consequence on the inmate, and that the consequence would deter a person of ordinary
firmness from engaging in a constitutionally-protected activity. (Fed.Correctional Institution, Florence, Colorado)
U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
MEDICAL CARE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES

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

U.S. District Court
VENTILATION
SANITATION
LIGHTING

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

U.S. Appeals Court
MATTRESS
MEDICAL CARE

Burton v. Downey, 805 F.3d 776 (7th Cir. 2015). A pretrial detainee brought a § 1983 action against a county,
county jail, county sheriff, non-medical correctional officials, physician’s assistants, and nurses, asserting due
process violations based on deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, relating to hip and elbow pain, a
rash, and rectal bleeding. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on
qualified immunity and the defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that an
alleged two-day delay in providing non-narcotic pain medication to the detainee was not deliberate indifference,
failure to honor the detainee’s preference for narcotic pain medication was not deliberate indifference, the detainee
did not offer objective evidence of a serious medical need for narcotic pain medication, and failure to provide
outside physical therapy was not deliberate indifference. The court noted that an orthopedic surgeon who had
treated the detainee before his detention recommended to staff that the detainee receive in-cell therapy using a
towel. The court held that failure of county jail staff to provide the detainee, who suffered from hip pain, with a
second mattress, did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment with respect to conditions of confinement, in the
absence of evidence that a second mattress was essential medical care. (Jerome Combs Detention Center,
Kankakee County, Illinois)

U.S. District Court
BEDDING
FLOOR-SLEEPING
CROWDING
SANITATION
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. Appeals Court
EXERCISE
CLOTHING
TEMPERATURE

Diaz v. Davidson, 799 F.3d 722 (7th Cir. 2015). A former state inmate filed an action alleging that prison officials’
denial of adequate exercise violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The district court entered judgment in the officials’ favor and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The
court held that the officials’ failure to provide the inmate with a hat and gloves to wear when he exercised in his
outdoor cell did not violate the Eighth Amendment. The court held that state prison officials’ failure to provide the
inmate a with hat and gloves to wear when he exercised in his outdoor cell in a prison yard in very cold winter

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weather did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, even though the
inmate was unable to do the chin-ups he needed to prevent the muscles in his back from atrophying because of
arthritis, and the indoor cell was not large enough. The court noted that guards gave him what they were required
to give him according to the prison’s policy without realizing, or being irresponsible in failing to realize, that he
needed gloves and a hat to do specific exercises. According to the court, the warden received only one pertinent
grievance, which complained that on one occasion the inmate had been left outdoors without a hat and gloves for
two hours. (Pontiac State Prison, Illinois)
U.S. District Court
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
SANITATION
HYGIENE
FLOOR-SLEEPING
CLOTHING
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 stated a pattern and practice of Due Process violations; (4) allegations of
conditions of confinement were sufficient to state a plausible claim for Due Process violations; and (5) the
residents could not state an Equal Protection claim for being treated differently, with respect to fines, than civil
judgment debtors. The court noted that the residents alleged they were not afforded counsel at initial hearings on
traffic and other offenses, nor were they afforded counsel prior to their incarceration for failing to pay courtordered fines for those offenses. (City of Ferguson, Missouri)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING

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

U.S. Appeals Court
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CLASSIFICATION

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 racebased Equal Protection claim. (California State Prison–Corcoran)

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE
VENTILATION
MEDICAL CARE

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

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U.S. District Court
CELLS
DORMITORIES
PROGRAMS
ISOLATION

Hughes v. Judd, 108 F.Supp.3d 1167 (M.D. Fla. 2015). Several juveniles, as representatives of other juveniles
similarly situated, brought a § 1983 action asserting that the sheriff of a Florida county and the health care provider
retained by the sheriff violated the juveniles’ rights under the Fourteenth Amendment during the juveniles’
detention at the county jail. The district court held that the plaintiffs failed to prove that either the sheriff or the
health care provider was deliberately indifferent to any substantial risk of serious harm during the juveniles’
detention, or that their policies or customs effected any other constitutional violation. According to the court, at
most, the juveniles showed only that two persons, each of whom was qualified to testify as an expert, disfavored
some of the sheriff’s past or present managerial policies and practices and advocated the adoption of others they
felt were superior for one reason or another.
The court found that the juvenile detainees’ challenges to particular conditions of confinement at the jail were
mooted by changes, which included elimination of a “holding cage,” elimination of the holding area for even
temporary suicide watches, installation of cameras in each sleeping cell with monitors posted above each dorm,
updating of the physical facility, relocation of the classrooms, a 48-hour review for juveniles in isolation, and
installation of a radio frequency identification (RFID) system.
The court found that the use of pepper spray against the juvenile detainees at the county jail did not violate the
Eighth Amendment, where pepper spray was effective for quickly stopping a fight without inflicting injury, nearly
every use of pepper spray at that jail was to stop a fight, and there was no evidence that the pepper spray had
lasting, negative effect. (Polk County Central Jail, Florida, and Corizon Health, Inc.)

U.S. Appeals Court
SEGREGATION
OUT OF CELL TIME
CELLS
IDLENESS

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

U.S. Appeals Court
CELLS
EXERCISE
DEATH PENALTY
VISITATION

Prieto v. Clarke, 780 F.3d 245 (4th Cir. 2015). A state prisoner convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death
brought a pro se § 1983 action, alleging that his confinement on death row, pursuant to a state policy which
required him to be in a single cell with minimal visitation and recreation opportunities, violated his procedural due
process and Eighth Amendment rights. The district court dismissed the Eighth Amendment claim, and
subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of the prisoner on the due process claim. Prison officials
appealed. The appeals court reversed, finding that the prisoner had no due process liberty interest in avoiding
confinement on death row. (Sussex I State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. District Court
OUT OF CELL TIME
MEDICAL CARE
FOOD
HYGIENE
PRETRIAL DETAINEES
USE OF FORCE

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

U.S. Appeals Court
SANITATION
MEDICAL CARE

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 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

9.131

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. District Court
JUVENILES
CELLS
ISOLATION
OUT OF CELL TIME

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

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE

Whatley v. Warden, Ware State Prison, 802 F.3d 1205 (11th Cir. 2015). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action,
alleging that he had been beaten by prison staff and denied medical care after the beating. The district court
dismissed the action based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court
reversed. The court held that the district court failed to accept as true the prisoner’s view of the facts regarding
exhaustion of administrative remedies and failed to make specific findings to resolve disputed issue of fact
regarding the exhaustion of administrative remedies. (Telfair State Prison, Ware State Prison, Georgia Diagnostic
and Classification Prison, Georgia)

U.S. Appeals Court
ODORS
CELLS
SANITATION
FOOD

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. The court held that the prisoner adequately pleaded an Eighth Amendment claim against prison officials
by alleging that his restricted diet was unusually unhealthy, where his diet consisted of bread that was usually stale
and cabbage that usually was rotten. According to the court, whether state prisoner’s psychological pain and
resulting suicide attempt constituted an “appreciable injury” that made the various forms of harassment he
allegedly suffered actionable, on remand of the prisoner’s Eighth Amendment claim of harassment and abuse
without physical injury. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
TEMPERATURE
MEDICAL CARE

Woodson v. City of Richmond, Virginia, 88 F.Supp.3d 551 (E.D.Va. 2015). A city jail inmate brought an action
against city, sheriff, and deputies, alleging deliberate indifference to the inmate’s medical needs during a severe
heat wave. The sheriff moved for summary judgment. The district court held that summary judgment was
precluded by genuine issues of material fact as: (1) whether the sheriff instituted a policy of confining inmates with
medical issues to their cells during mealtime, denying the inmates access to air conditioning in the dining hall; (2)
whether the sheriff’s decisions to keep inmates confined would qualify as a policy; (3) whether the sheriff was
subjectively aware that conditions at the jail posed a substantial risk of harm to inmates; (4) whether the sheriff
was subjectively aware that his response to the risks posed to inmates by excessive heat was inadequate; (5)
whether the sheriff’s policy caused the inmate’s injuries; (6) whether the sheriff’s alleged failure to investigate two
instances of heat-related deaths at the jail, was not persistent and widespread; and (7) whether the sheriff had at
least a constructive knowledge of his deputies’ alleged failure to perform required 30-minute security checks at a
flagrant and widespread level. (Richmond City Jail, Virginia)
2016

U.S. District Court
ISOLATION
MEDICAL CARE
EXERCISE

Szubielski v. Pierce, 152 F.Supp.3d 227 (D. Del. 2016). A state prisoner, acting pro se and in forma pauperis (IFP),
brought a § 1983 action against prison officials, relating to his continuing classification for solitary confinement.
At the screening stage of the case, the district court held that the prisoner stated a First Amendment retaliation
claim against a prison warden and an Eighth Amendment claim regarding conditions of confinement. The prisoner
complained of 24-hour cell confinement, limited recreation, extreme social isolation, environmental deprivation,
limited telephone calls, and limited visits. The prisoner suffered from schizophrenia, severe manic depression, and
an anxiety disorder. The court found that the prisoner's allegations that the prison warden retaliated against him
after a civil rights advocacy organization filed a lawsuit challenging solitary confinement of prisoners, by keeping
the prisoner in solitary confinement despite a classification committee's reclassification of the prisoner for
medium-security housing, stated a First Amendment retaliation claim. According to the court, the prisoner's
allegations that his continued solitary confinement, which had already lasted nine years, involved extreme social
isolation, inadequate medical care, limited recreation, and environmental deprivation, stated a claim the under the
Eighth Amendment regarding conditions of confinement. (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Delaware)

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and the officer failed to use any lesser degree of force before firing his launcher. However, the
court found that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity for his alleged conduct because it
would not be clear to a reasonable officer that the alleged conduct was unlawful, as a reasonable
officer could conclude that the fight posed a risk of serious bodily injury, the officer aimed at the
prisoner's leg, virtually eliminating the risk that the prisoner would suffer a life-threatening
injury, the fight occurred in a heightened security setting with numerous other inmates present
in the yard, and the prisoner and other inmate refused orders to desist. (Centinela State Prison,
California)
U.S. District Court
SMOKE-FREE
ENVIRONMENT

Bacon v. Taylor, 414 F.Supp.2d 475 (D.Del. 2006). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Evans v. Saar, 412 F.Supp.2d 519 (D.Md 2006). A prison inmate sued a state under § 1983
seeking a temporary restraining order barring his execution by lethal injection, pending review of
his claim that a three-drug protocol constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. The district court denied the motion. The court found that intravenous
sodium pentothal, administered in a massive dose, would ensure profound unconsciousness before
the lethal drugs pancuronium bromide (Pavulon) and potassium chloride were administered. The
court noted that while there were problems with the inmate's veins caused by years of drug
abuse, medical experts confirmed they were adequate, and placement of medically-trained
observers in the room next to the execution chamber was an acceptable compromise between the
need to have them available and the need for them to remain anonymous. (Maryland Department
of Public Safety and Correctional Services)

U.S. Appeals Court
OUTDOOR EXERCISE
SEGREGRATION

Fogle v. Pierson, 435 F.3d 1252 (10th Cir. 2006). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action
against state prison officials. The district court dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed.
The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the
district court abused its discretion when it found that the inmate’s three-year period of
administrative segregation, during which time the prisoner was confined to his cell for all but five
hours each week and denied access to any outdoor exercise, was not “atypical” in violation of the
prisoner’s due process rights. (Limon Correctional Facility, Colorado)

U.S. Appeals Court
FOOD

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 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, and on a number of occasions over a two-and-a-half-year period he refused to put on
pants or gym shorts. 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
ISOLATION
FOOD
CLOTHING
BEDDING

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

XX

against three correctional officers, alleging denial of his First Amendment right of access to
courts, retaliation for exercising his First Amendment free speech rights, and cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment
for the defendants in part, and denied it in part. The court held that the prisoner's allegations
that a correctional officer, on one occasion, smoked a cigarette on the tier by another inmate's cell
and blew smoke into that inmate's cell, and that on several occasions the correctional officer
smoked in the isolated control pod, did not sufficiently allege that the prisoner was exposed to
unreasonably high levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) to the degree necessary to state
claim a under § 1983 for violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Howard R. Young Correctional
Institution, Delaware)

prison officials, alleging that a behavioral modification program imposed on him violated his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded, finding
that fact issues precluded summary judgment. According to the court, there were fact issues as to
whether the prisoner, who was subjected to a behavioral modification program, was denied the

10.61

minimal civilized measure of life's necessities and whether prison officials acted with disregard of
a substantial risk of serious harm to the prisoner. The appeals court opinion opened with the
following statement. “Stripped naked in a small prison cell with nothing except a toilet; forced to

sleep on a concrete floor or slab; denied any human contact; fed nothing but ‘nutri-loaf’; and given
just a modicum of toilet paper-four squares-only a few times. Although this might sound like a
stay at a Soviet gulag in the 1930s, it is, according to the claims in this case, Wisconsin in 2002.
Whether these conditions are, as a matter of law, only “uncomfortable, but not unconstitutional”
as the State contends, is the issue we consider in this case.” The facility is an all-segregation
facility, designed to house recalcitrant inmates. At the time of this case, the facility used a fivelevel system of inmate classification, with Level One being the most restrictive. All inmates were
placed in Level One upon their arrival at the prison. (Wisconsin Secure Prog. Facil., Boscobel)

U.S. District Court
EXERCISE

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. District Court
DOUBLE CELLING
SANITATION
SMOKE

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

XX

10.62

U.S. District Court
SEGREGATION

McGoldrick V. Farrington, 462 F.Supp.2d 112 (D.Me. 2006). An inmate brought a civil rights

U.S. Appeals Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Morales v. Hickman, 438 F.3d 926 (9th Cir. 2006). A death row inmate brought a § 1983 action
against a warden, seeking to enjoin a state from executing him by lethal injection, and alleging
that, due to a combination of circumstances, execution by lethal injection pursuant to a prison's
protocol would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The inmate petitioned for a stay of
execution. The district court entered an order permitting the execution and the inmate appealed.
The court of appeals held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in modifying the
lethal injection protocol so as to give the state the option of having an anesthesiologist present to
insure that the inmate was unconscious during the lethal injection procedure. The district court
found substantial questions as to whether the protocol would constitute cruel and unusual
punishment by creating undue risk that the inmate would suffer excessive pain, and as to
whether a person rendered unconscious by sodium thiopental might regain consciousness. The
court-modified protocol did not render the anesthesiologist powerless, but clearly contemplated
that he or she would have the authority to take steps to immediately place or return the inmate
into an unconscious state or to alleviate pain if necessary. The inmate had alleged that a
combination of circumstances, including the specific drugs chosen, the procedure by which the
drugs are administered, and the absence of medically trained personnel overseeing the execution,
created a foreseeable and undue risk that he would experience unnecessary and wanton pain
constituting cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
(California State Prison at San Quentin)

U.S. District Court
COMMISSARY
CONDITIONS

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. 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. The court found that
the inmate had no constitutionally protected right to purchase food or other items as cheaply as
possible through the prison commissary, and therefore prison officials did not violate the inmate’s
Eighth Amendment rights by allegedly overcharging for commissary products. (Delaware
Correctional Center)

U.S. District Court
TORTURE

Rasul v. Rumsfeld, 414 F.Supp.2d 26 (D.D.C. 2006). Former detainees at a military facility in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sued the Secretary of Defense and commanding officers, alleging they
were tortured. The defendants moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motion in part,
and deferred in part. The court held that military personnel supervising the interrogation of
detainees at the facility had qualified immunity from a claim that they promoted or condoned
torture in violation of Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights of detainees, because the question as
to whether the detainees had rights under the constitution had not been resolved by high courts
and therefore personnel could not have known that their conduct was wrongful. The court noted
that District of Columbia law applied to the question of whether military personnel at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were acting within the scope of their employment when they allegedly
tortured detainees. The prisoners alleged various forms of torture, including hooding, forced
nakedness, housing in cages, deprivation of food, forced body cavity searches, subjection to
extremes of heat and cold, harassment in the practice of their religion, forced shaving of religious
beards, placing the Koran in the toilet, placement in stress positions, beatings with rifle butts,
and the use of unmuzzled dogs for intimidation. The court found “most disturbing” their claim
that executive members of the United States government were directly responsible for the
“depraved conduct the plaintiffs suffered over the course of their detention.” (U.S. Naval Station,
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

U.S. Appeals Court
LIGHTING
NOISE
SEGREGATION

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

XX

action against state prison officials alleging cruel and unusual punishment and violation of due
process. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The court held that the prisoner failed to
allege any physical injury, and was not deprived of due process. According to the court, the
inmate’s loss of mattress privileges while housed in the Special Management Unit failed to allege
any physical injury that resulted from the removal of his mattress, as required to bring a civil
rights action for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody. (Maine State Prison)

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

10.63

disturbs psychotics. The prisoner alleged that the low level of noise, without audiotapes, a radio,
or any source of sound, prevented him from stilling the voices in his head. (Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility)
U.S. Appeals Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Smith v. Johnson, 440 F.3d 262 (5th Cir. 2006). A death row inmate sought injunctive relief

U.S. District Court
SMOKING

Thiel v. Nelson, 422 F.Supp.2d 1024 (W.D.Wis. 2006). Patients who were involuntarily committed
to a mental health facility pursuant to a state's sexually violent persons statute filed state court
actions challenging a smoking ban enacted at the facility. After removal to federal court, the
patients moved to remand, and the officials moved to dismiss the complaint. The district court
dismissed the complaint. The court held that the decision to completely ban smoking at the
facility was rationally related to legitimate state interests of improving patients' health and
safety, reducing fire hazards, maintaining clean and sanitary conditions, and reducing complaints
and the threat of litigation from patients who did not smoke. The court found that the smoking
ban did not violate the patients' equal protection rights, even if another state detention facility
continued to permit its patients to smoke. The court noted that, unlike criminally confined
offenders who may be subject to punishment as long as it is not cruel and unusual under the
Eighth Amendment, persons who are civilly confined may not be punished. According to the
court, involuntarily committed patients may be subjected to conditions that advance goals such as
preventing escape and assuring the safety of others. The court also found that the patients were
not deprived of their due process right to adequate treatment as result of state's decision to
completely ban smoking at facility. (Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING

Walker v. Woodford, 454 F.Supp.2d 1007 (S.D.Cal. 2006). State inmates filed a § 1983 action
alleging that prison officials violated their Eighth Amendment rights by refusing to turn off lights
in their cells. The inmates alleged that the light prevented them from sleeping adequately, and
that this has caused a variety of sleep-related problems. The district court ruled that the state
prison's policy prohibiting inmates from covering lights in their cells did not violate the inmates'
equal protection rights, even though the policy did not apply in other facilities in the state, absent
an allegation that prison officials implemented the policy with the intent to discriminate against
inmates, that other inmates at the facility were treated differently, or that inmates at other
facilities were similarly situated. (Calipatria State Prison, California)

U.S. District Court
SMOKE

Williams v. District of Columbia, 439 F.Supp.2d 34 (D.D.C. 2006). A former inmate filed a pro se §

pursuant to § 1983, alleging that the lethal injection method of execution used by Texas caused
excruciating pain in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the case
and the inmate appealed. The court of appeals held that the inmate's delay in bringing the
challenge was not excusable and that the inmate was not entitled to a stay of execution pending a
United States Supreme Court's decision in a case that also involved a challenge to this method of
execution. The court noted that the inmate’s direct appeal had been final for more than nine years
and that the lethal injection procedure had been used by Texas during his entire stay on death
row. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Huntsville Unit)

1983 action seeking damages for alleged exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke while he was
confined in jail. The district court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The
court held that the former inmate's allegations that while he was in jail he was subjected to an
intolerable level of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), that such exposure caused health
problems at the time he was confined and posed a risk to his future health, and that the
individual defendants were deliberately indifferent to his condition, if true, were sufficient to
establish an Eighth Amendment violation. The court found that genuine issues of fact existed,
precluding summary judgment. The inmate alleged that inmates and staff in his housing unit
smoked tobacco, the unit did not have adequate ventilation or windows or doors that could be
opened to remove the tobacco smoke, and his cellmate smoked five packs of cigarettes a day and
kept a homemade toilet paper wick burning at all times for the purpose of lighting cigarettes. The
inmate said that he experienced nausea and nosebleeds, and he filed a number of grievances.
(District of Columbia Department of Corrections, Central Detention Facility)
2007

U.S. Appeals Court
INJURY
WORK
SAFETY

XX

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.

10.64

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
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. (South Dakota Department of Corrections)
U.S. District Court
HARASSMENT

Greene v. Mazzuca, 485 F.Supp.2d 447 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). A prisoner brought a pro se § 1983 action against
prison officials, alleging harassment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the
case. The court held that the prison employees' alleged actions of yelling at the prisoner, spitting at him, and
threatening him with time in a security housing unit (SHU), if proven, did not rise to the level of cruel and
unusual punishment. (Fishkill Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Harbison v. Little, 511 F.Supp.2d 872 (M.D.Tenn. 2007). A state death row inmate brought a § 1983 action
alleging that his execution pursuant to Tennessee's lethal injection protocol would violate his Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. A bench trial was held. The court entered judgment for the
inmate and ordered injunctive relief. The court held that the three-drug protocol used by the state presented an
inherent and unnecessary risk of serious pain. The court found that the Commissioner of Corrections knowingly
disregarded such risk by rejecting a proposed one-drug protocol recommended by a protocol committee. The court
enjoined the state from executing the inmate under the current execution procedures for lethal injection.
(Tennessee Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Lee v. Frederick, 519 F.Supp.2d 320 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state prison inmate brought a § 1983 suit against
corrections staff, claiming deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The
court held that placing the inmate on “TB hold” status unless he consented to take TB medication did not
constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that the inmate's
TB test was negative and that he shared a cell with an inmate who was not on TB hold, but other test results
indicated that the inmate's immune system was not functioning properly, and conditions at the facility made it
impracticable to completely isolate the inmate from the rest of the population.
The court found that a delay of six or seven hours in obtaining treatment for the inmate's eye condition after he
reported the condition to a nurse did not constitute deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. According to the court, the
inmate received treatment at a hospital and made a full recovery, and even assuming that the inmate was in pain
during the delay, there was no indication that a nurse or a physician assistant who responded to the report
deliberately delayed taking action for the purpose of causing the inmate pain or to prolonging his suffering. (Five
Points Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
CONDITIONS
EXERCISE
ISOLATION
SEGREGATION

Maddox v. Berge, 473 F.Supp.2d 888 (W.D.Wis. 2007). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action under §
1983 against prison officials and employees, alleging that his administrative confinement for participating in
a riot violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court found that allegations that the
prisoner was confined to his cell 23 hours a day and that he was denied “outside recreation” while he was in
administrative confinement demonstrated injuries from an objectively serious deprivation, for the purposes
of his conditions or confinement claim. The court held that the allegation that the prisoner was subjected to
24-hour illumination stated a claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, although the prisoner did
not allege that he suffered any adverse effects as a result of the lighting. According to the court, the lack of
educational or rehabilitative programming while he was in administrative confinement did not deny the
prisoner a minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The court ruled that a prison requirement that the prisoner leave all of his outgoing nonlegal mail open to
be inspected by prison officials did not violate the prisoner’s First Amendment rights, where his outgoing
mail was not censored or delayed. The court allowed the prisoner to proceed in forma pauperis on his claim
that he was denied access to magazines and newspapers in violation of his First Amendment rights.
The district court held that placement of the prisoner in administrative confinement, which subjected him
to highly restricted non-face-to-face visits, lack of communication with other prisoners, nearly complete
idleness in a cell that was constantly illuminated, lack of recreation, extremely limited out of cell time, and
lack of access to any meaningful programming, was not clearly established as conduct that violated a

XXII

10.65

prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights, and therefore the warden and secretary of the corrections department
had qualified immunity from the prisoner’s damages suit under § 1983. (Green Bay Correctional Institution,
Wisconsin)
U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
THREATS

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 Inst., Florida)

U.S. District Court
SEARCHES

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. District Court
CONDITIONS
EXERCISE
ISOLATION
SEPARATION

Wilkerson v. Stalder, 639 F.Supp.2d 654 (M.D.La. 2007). Two state prisoners brought Eighth Amendment claims
for cruel and unusual punishment, and claims under state law, against state officials and prison officials, including
the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, a prison warden, and members of the
lockdown review board, relating to the prisoners' extended lockdown of approximately 28 to 35 years in the
prison's closed cell restriction (CCR) unit. The prisoners asserted deprivation of sleep, exercise, social contact,
and environmental stimulation. Both prisoners had been charged with and convicted of murdering a correctional
officer during a riot. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants in part and denied in part.
The court held that the Secretary of Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections was not liable, as a
supervisory official, to state prisoners under § 1983 for the alleged violation of the Eighth Amendment protection
against cruel and unusual punishment, absent evidence that the Secretary was aware that the prisoners' extended
lockdown allegedly was without a current legitimate penological justification.
The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
prisoners' extended lockdown, for from approximately 28 to 35 years, in prison's closed cell restriction (CCR) unit
deprived them of at least one of the basic human needs asserted by prisoners, i.e., sleep, exercise, social contact,
or environmental stimulation. The court also found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether there was lack of
legitimate penological justification for the extended lockdown of the prisoners, which was relevant to whether
prison officials were deliberately indifferent to state prisoners' basic human needs. According to the court, prison
officials had fair warning that continued confinement of the prisoners in extended lockdown for over 28 years
could be constitutionally infirm, and thus, they were not entitled to qualified immunity from the prisoners' § 1983
claims alleging cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. (Louisiana State Penitentiary at
Angola, Louisiana)
2008

U.S. District Court
SMOKE-FREE
ENVIRONMENT

Abdullah v. Washington, 530 F.Supp.2d 112 (D.D.C. 2008.) An inmate filed a § 1983 action seeking damages for
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights stemming from his alleged exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
while confined at a District of Columbia detention facility. The district court granted summary judgment in favor
of the defendants. The court held that the plaintiff’s expert's testimony failed to demonstrate a causal relationship
between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and the increased risk of harm to the inmate. The court noted that
the expert was a biophysicist, not a medical doctor, never went to the jail, and never examined the inmate or his
medical records. The court held that the officials were not deliberately indifferent to the health risks caused by
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), even if the officials inadequately enforced no-smoking rules, where a nonsmoking policy was in existence during the inmate's incarceration, and the jail was undergoing extensive
renovation to improve air quality, including the ventilation system. (District of Columbia Department of
Corrections, Central Detention Facility)

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Arthur v. Allen, 574 F.Supp.2d 1252 (S.D.Ala. 2008). A death-row inmate sought a temporary restraining order
(TRO) against a contemplated autopsy on his body following his lethal injection. The district court denied an
injunction and dismissed the case. The court held that the inmate was ineligible for the requested TRO because of
his inequitable conduct, and the inmate otherwise had no substantial likelihood of success on the merits of claim.
The court noted that the inmate conducted himself in a manner irreconcilable with the basic principles of due
diligence, good faith, and conscientious enforcement of his rights. According to the court, the inmate had been
aware of the state's intentions to perform an autopsy on his body for many years, the inmate was clearly apprised
of his daughter's attempt to block the autopsy via a § 1983 suit and yet elected to remain on the sidelines. When
the inmate suddenly invoked the equitable power of the court just two days before his scheduled execution, he
offered no explanation for why he could not have initiated the action earlier. (Alabama)

XXII

10.66

U.S. Appeals Court
TEMPERATURE

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

U.S. District Court
INJURY

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

U.S. District Court
CELLS
TEMPERATURE
TOILETS

Decker v. Dunbar, 633 F.Supp.2d 317 (E.D.Tex. 2008). Affirmed 358 Fed.Appx. 509. An inmate filed a pro se §
1983 action against prison officials, asserting Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, among other
constitutional claims. The officials moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The
court held that the officials' conduct in delaying the inmate's use of a restroom for 30 minutes did not amount to
deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. According to the court, the
delay in taking the inmate to a restroom was caused by the need to conduct a prisoner count, and the inmate failed
to demonstrate that he suffered any injury as a direct result of the delay. The court found that placement of the
inmate in a holding cell for 90 minutes on a day that the outside temperature reached 95 degrees did not amount to
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that even assuming the
holding cell was extremely hot, 90 minutes was not an excessive period of time rising to the level of a
constitutional violation. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division)

U.S. Appeals Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Emmett v. Johnson, 532 F.3d 291 (4th Cir. 2008). A condemned inmate brought a § 1983 action against state
correctional officials, seeking equitable and injunctive relief for alleged violations, threatened violations, or
anticipated violations of his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that
the state's lethal injection protocol did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court noted that the
injection procedures were supervised by state correctional officials, and executions were carried out by
experienced, well-trained personnel. (Greensville Correctional Center, Sussex I State Prison, Virginia)

U.S. Appeals Court
MEDICAL CARE
TEMPERATURE

Gibson v. Moskowitz, 523 F.3d 657 (6th Cir. 2008). The representative of the estate of a mentally disabled inmate
who died of dehydration in a state prison brought a § 1983 action against a prison psychiatrist and others, alleging
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, and asserting medical malpractice claims. The district court
denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and subsequently entered judgment, upon a jury verdict, in
favor of the representative. The court awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive
damages. The psychiatrist appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that
evidence was sufficient to support a determination that the inmate had an objectively serious medical condition
and that the psychiatrist subjectively ignored the inmate's serious medical needs. The court found that the
compensatory damages award was not excessive and that the representative was entitled to recover punitive
damages. The court found that the punitive damages award was not excessive. According to the court, the
psychiatrist was in charge of the inmate's treatment team, he admittedly was aware that the temperature in the
observation room where the inmate was held exceeded 90 degrees, and that the combination of the inmate's
medication and the room temperature was potentially deadly. A psychiatric expert testified that the inmate's
medication affected the part of the brain that regulated body temperature and dissipated heat, and another medical
expert testified that the inmate's dehydration occurred over a period of several days. Evidence was presented that
during that period, the inmate lost 42 pounds. The psychiatrist never asked for the inmate's temperature to be
monitored, even when he had learned from a nurse and other prison employees that the inmate had vomited. The
nurse had advised the psychiatrist that the inmate was suffering from dehydration and severe weight loss, and that
his condition was deteriorating. The psychiatrist did not examine the inmate, change his medication, or move the
inmate to a cooler room. (Riverside Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Hart v. Bertsch, 529 F.Supp.2d 1032 (D.N.D. 2008). A state inmate brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials for violations of his constitutional right to receive necessary medical care. The inmate alleged that the
officials failed to provide adequate medical care for his serious medical needs because he had been housed in a
cell that utilized “steam heat,” and that officials had not provided him with a medical alert button necessary due to
his sleep apnea. The officials moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held
that the officials did not act with deliberate indifference toward the inmate's central sleep apnea condition or
alleged sensitivity toward “steam heat,” as would have violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel
and unusual punishment. The court noted that the inmate had been subjected to a multitude of physical
examinations and diagnostic tests in an effort to diagnose the cause of his breathing complaints, and that the
treating physician found no medical or factual basis to support another physician's recommendation that the
inmate needed to avoid steam heat. According to the court, the inmate failed to follow through with recommended
treatments, and the physician had never received a recommendation that the inmate be provided with a medical
alert button, nor would such a procedure have been consistent with the inmate's condition. (North Dakota State
Penitentiary)

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U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROVIDE
CARE
MEDICAL CARE
SEGREGATION

Hernandez v. Velasquez, 522 F.3d 556 (5th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a § 1983 action alleging
violations of his Eighth Amendment and due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment to all
defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner failed to show
that he was placed at a substantial risk of serious harm when he was placed on lockdown status for 13 months, and
therefore he could not show deliberate indifference on the part of prison personnel to his health or safety, as
required for prison personnel to be liable under § 1983 for imposing conditions of confinement that constituted
cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that even if the prisoner suffered
from muscle atrophy, stiffness, loss of range of motion and depression, there was no indication that those
conditions posed a substantial risk of serious harm. The court held that the prisoner failed to show that prison
personnel failed reasonably to address his medical needs, as required for prison personnel to be liable under §
1983 for deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The
court noted that the sick call requests that the prisoner submitted while he was in lockdown, complaining of
muscle soreness, stiffness and loss of range of motion, bore notations from medical staff showing that they
responded to the prisoner in timely manner, treating his back pain with heat packs, conducting an x-ray, advising
him to take medication for soreness and recommending exercises for soreness and stiffness. The court held that
the prisoner failed to show that his confinement on lockdown status for 13 months posed an atypical or significant
hardship on him in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life, and he was therefore not deprived of a
cognizable due process liberty interest. According to the court, even if the prisoner was confined to a shared cell
with permission to leave only for showers, medical appointments and family visits, his assignment to lockdown
was well within the range of confinement to be normally expected for a prisoner serving a life sentence for capital
murder. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Polunsky Unit)

U.S. Appeals Court
FAILURE TO PROTECT
HARASSMENT
SAFETY
THREATS

Irving v. Dormire, 519 F.3d 441 (8th Cir. 2008). An inmate in the Missouri penal system filed suit under § 1983
against several employees of a state correctional facility, alleging multiple violations of his constitutional rights of
due process, access to the courts and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted the
defendants' motion for summary judgment on the due process and access to courts claims, but denied the
defendants' request for qualified immunity on the Eighth Amendment claim. The parties appealed. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the corrections officers' alleged conduct
in opening cell doors so as to allow an inmate to attack the plaintiff inmate was sufficiently serious to support a
failure to protect claim. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that a corrections officer made several
threats to kill the inmate, have him killed or have him beaten were sufficiently serious to form the basis of an
injury, as required to support the inmate's Eighth Amendment claim. The court noted that the inmate's right to be
free from threats by corrections officers was clearly established at the time the corrections officer allegedly made
death threats against the inmate. According to the court, an officer's alleged conduct in threatening the inmate with
a can of pepper spray and another officer's conduct in stating that she wanted the inmate dead did not rise to the
level of being objectively credible. The court also held that an officer was on clear notice that his alleged conduct
in labeling the inmate a “snitch” or a “rat” unreasonably subjected the inmate to the threat of a substantial risk of
serious harm at the hands of his fellow inmates. The officer allegedly made three unsuccessful offers of payment
to other inmates to assault the inmate, labeled the inmate a snitch in an effort to induce inmates to attack him and
even armed another inmate with a razor blade for use in such an attempt. (Jefferson City Correctional Center,
Missouri)

U.S. Appeals Court
LETHAL INJECTION

McNair v. Allen, 515 F.3d 1168 (11th Cir. 2008). A death row inmate moved for a stay of his execution, on the
theory that the method of execution to which he was subject, death by lethal injection, violated his right to be free
from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted the motion to allow the inmate to litigate his § 1983
claims and the defendants appealed. The appeals court vacated. The court held that the two-year statute of
limitations on the § 1983 claim brought by the inmate began to run when the inmate when the inmate became
subject to the new execution protocol, not at the time of the inmate's execution or on the date that a federal habeas
review was completed. (Holman Correctional Facility, Alabama)

U.S. District Court
CELLS
MEDICAL CARE
NOISE
TEMPERATURE

Osterback v. McDonough, 549 F.Supp.2d 1337 (M.D.Fla. 2008). Inmates sued corrections officials, alleging that
conditions of close management (CM) status amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Following the grant of
the inmates' motion to certify the class, and issuance of an order entering the officials' revised offer of judgment
(ROJ), the officials moved to terminate the ROJ pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The
district court granted the motion. The court held that corrections officers were deliberately indifferent in violation
of the 8th Amendment when inmates on close management (CM) status who truly were suicidal or otherwise
suffered from severe psychological distress declared psychological emergencies. According to the court, the
officers failed to summon mental health staff, and inmates thereafter attempted to commit suicide or otherwise
harmed themselves, or, in one case, actually committed suicide. But the court found no Eighth Amendment
violations with regard to mental health screening procedures, access to mental health care, the level of mental
health staff, and instances in which security staff interfered with the delivery of mental health services. The court
found that housing provided to inmates on close management (CM) status did not violate the Eighth Amendment,
even though the inmates' expert concluded that CM cells were not appropriate due to extreme heat in summer and
cold temperatures in winter, inasmuch as the inmates were not subjected to extreme deprivations. The court found
that restrictions on the ability of inmates on close management status to speak to each other, including a ban on
shouting, did not violate the Eighth Amendment, in that inmates had adequate opportunities to communicate with
each other, allowing inmates to speak loudly would jeopardize security, and there were no ready alternatives to
prohibiting yelling or other disruptive behavior. The court held that termination of the revised offer of judgment
(ROJ), which was previously adopted by the district court as a final order and judgment, was appropriate under
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) in that isolated instances of prison staff's failure to appropriately
respond to a bona fide psychological emergency of inmates in close management status did not create a current
and ongoing violation of the class members' Eighth Amendment rights. (Everglades Corr’l Institution, Florida)

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U.S. Appeals Court
TORTURE

Rasul v. Myers, 512 F.3d 644 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Former detainees at a military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
sued the Secretary of Defense and commanding officers alleging they were tortured. The detainees asserted claims
under the Alien Torture Statute, under the Geneva Conventions, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
(RFRA) and also asserted Fifth and Eighth Amendment claims on a Bivens cause of action. The defendants
moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motion in part and denied the motion as to the RFRA claim.
Both sides appealed. The district court affirmed in part and reversed as to the RFRA claim. The court held that the
acts of torture allegedly committed against aliens detained at the military base in Cuba were “within the scope of
employment” of military personnel who were allegedly committing such acts, for the purpose of deciding whether
the United States should be substituted as defendant. The court found that the aliens were without property or
presence in the United States and therefore lacked any constitutional rights and could not assert a Bivens claim
against military personnel for alleged due process violations and cruel and unusual punishment inflicted upon
them. The court held that the term “persons” as used in the RFRA to generally prohibit the government from
substantially burdening a “person's exercise of religion” did not extend to non-resident aliens. (United States
Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

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. Appeals Court
CONDITIONS
SANITATION

Townsend v. Fuchs, 522 F.3d 765 (7th Cir. 2008). A state inmate filed a civil rights suit against a prison official
and a correctional officer alleging violation of his due process rights in placing him in administrative segregation
for 59 days, and violation of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment due to unsanitary
conditions in segregation. The district court granted the official's motion for partial summary judgment. The court
later denied the inmate's motion to amend to add a warden as a defendant and entered summary judgment for the
prison official and correctional officer. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part
and remanded. The court held that the discretionary placement of the inmate in non-punitive administrative
segregation for 59 days while officials investigated his possible role in a prison riot did not give rise to a liberty
interest entitled to protection under procedural due process. The court noted that the federal Constitution does not
create a liberty interest in avoiding transfer within a correctional facility. However, the court found that the
inmate's sleeping on a moldy and wet mattress involved a sufficiently serious prison condition to deny a civilized
measure of life's necessities, as required for an Eighth Amendment claim. The court held that summary judgment
on the issue of deliberate indifference was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a
correctional officer knew about the condition of the inmate's wet and moldy mattress. (New Lisbon
Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. Appeals Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Walker v. Epps, 550 F.3d 407 (5th Cir. 2008). Death row inmates brought a § 1983 action challenging the
constitutionality of a state's lethal injection protocol, and seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the state
from executing them during the pendency of their action. The inmates' motion for a stay pending appeal was
denied. The district court entered summary judgment in the state's favor, and the inmates appealed. The appeals
court affirmed. The court held that the action was subject to the statute of limitations for general personal injury
actions and the cause of action accrued on the date the inmates' convictions and sentences became final on direct
review, or on the date on which the challenged protocol was adopted. The court found that the state did not
fraudulently conceal its lethal injection protocol. (Mississippi Department of Corrections and Mississippi State
Penitentiary)

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Walker v. Epps, 587 F.Supp.2d 763 (N.D.Miss. 2008). Death row inmates brought a § 1983 action against prison
officials, challenging the constitutionality of a state's lethal injection protocol, and seeking a preliminary
injunction to prevent the state from executing them by lethal injection during the pendency of their action. The
state moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the three-year
statute of limitations on the inmates' § 1983 action accrued on the later date of when their individual cases became
final on direct review or on the effective date of the state' adoption of lethal injection as a means of execution,
which was the date when each inmate knew that, as a matter of right, any impediment to setting an execution date
had been removed. (Mississippi Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
LIGHTING
MEDICAL CARE
SECURITY

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

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2009
U.S. District Court
THREATS

Abney v. Jopp, 655 F.Supp.2d 231 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). A federal prisoner brought a § 1983 action against three
corrections officers, alleging a verbal confrontation with one officer and impeding the progress of an investigation
into the incident by the other officers. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
The court held that even if a correctional officer referred to the prisoner as a “snitch” in front of other inmates, the
officer did not, absent some other action, violate the prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights, where the prisoner was
never physically attacked, injured or threatened as a result of the officer's alleged actions. The court found that an
alleged verbal altercation between the federal prisoner and one correctional officer, in which the officer called the
prisoner a “pussy” and accused him of being afraid of “little women” did not give rise to an Eighth Amendment
claim against the officer. The court noted that without more, allegations of verbal threats or abusive language
were insufficient to form the basis of a § 1983 claim. (Batavia Federal Detention Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court
SMOKE-FREE
ENVIRONMENT

Abuhouran v. U.S., 595 F.Supp.2d 588 (E.D.Pa. 2009). A prisoner brought a negligence action against the United
States under the Federal Tort Claims Act alleging prison officials exposed him to excessive amounts of
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The defendants moved for summary judgment and the district court granted
the motion. The court held that the prisoner was precluded, under the discretionary function exception of the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), from challenging the warden's designation of smoking areas, as federal
regulations explicitly assigned the exercise of choice or judgment to the warden to designate areas subject to ETS.
The court noted that the stated policy considerations for implementing the “no smoking areas” in prisons was to
provide a clean air environment and to protect the health and safety of staff and inmates, suggesting the
designation of smoking areas was the kind of discretionary function the FTCA exception was meant to shield. The
court held that under Pennsylvania law, the prisoner failed to present any medical evidence or expert witnesses to
establish a causal connection between his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and his alleged injury,
as required to prevail on his negligence claim. The court also held that the prisoner failed to present any evidence
of an actual injury. (Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

U.S. District Court
SMOKE-FREE
ENVIRONMENT

Adams v. Banks, 663 F.Supp.2d 485 (S.D.Miss. 2009). An inmate brought a § 1983 action against a warden and
other prison officials for exposure to unreasonable levels of secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke
(ETS), and for denial of adequate medical care. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the inmate
moved for summary judgment on his claim against a prison nurse. The district court held that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the inmate was exposed to unreasonably high
levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) from cellmates who smoked in his cell and from other inmates in
the area outside his cell. The court also found fact issues as to whether the complaints made by the inmate were
sufficient for the warden and assistant supervisor to infer that ETS posed a substantial risk of serious harm to him,
such that they acted with deliberate indifference to the inmate's situation. The court found that summary judgment
was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to the seriousness of the inmate's medical condition as a result
of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in his cell, as well as to the nature of a prison nurse's
responses to the inmate's three sick call request forms complaining of coughing, chest pains, nausea, dizziness,
difficulty breathing and vomiting as a result of exposure to ETS. The court held that neither the warden nor the
assistant supervisor were involved in a decision to deny the inmate medical care as a result of exposure to
secondhand smoke, and thus they were not deliberately indifferent to the inmate's serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Wilkinson County Corr’l. Facility, Mississippi)

U.S. District Court
LETHAL INJECTION

Chester v. Beard, 657 F.Supp.2d 534 (M.D.Pa. 2009). Pennsylvania death-row inmates brought a class action
under § 1983 against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officials, seeking a permanent injunctive relief
against alleged violations of their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and their right to due
process, arising from Pennsylvania's use of lethal injection as an execution method. The district court denied the
defendants’ motion to dismiss. The court held that the inmates had Article III standing to bring a § 1983 challenge
to the state's use of lethal injection as an execution method, seeking permanent injunctive relief, even if the
inmates were not under active death warrants. The court noted that the fact that the inmates were subject to the
death sentence conferred a sufficient personal stake in the action to satisfy the standing requirements. The court
held that the death-row inmates stated a § 1983 claim against the DOC by alleging that the state's use of lethal
injection as an execution method, in the absence of adequate training for those conducting the executions, exposed
the inmates to the risk of extreme pain and suffering. (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections)

U.S. District Court
MEDICAL CARE

Conseillant v. Alves, 599 F.Supp.2d 367 (W.D.N.Y. 2009). A prisoner brought a § 1983 action against a physician
employed by the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) alleging improper or inadequate
treatment, in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment in
favor of the physician. The court held that the prisoner's allegations that a nurse practitioner misdiagnosed him as
suffering from hepatitis, and that the defendant physician knew of this misdiagnosis but allowed the prisoner to
think he had a deadly disease, were insufficient to demonstrate deliberate indifference. The court noted that the
prisoner’s medical treatment was not so inadequate as to amount to “cruel or unusual punishment” prohibited by
the Eighth Amendment. According to the court, the prisoner did not establish that he had a “serious medical
need,” or that the physician ignored any serious medical need. The court noted that the physician was not
personally involved in any misdiagnosis, as the evidence only showed that the physician ordered follow-up
testing, not that he told the prisoner that he had an active hepatitis infection. (New York State Department of
Correctional Services)

U.S. Appeals Court
DISCIPLINE
FOOD

Foster v. Runnels, 554 F.3d 807 (9th Cir. 2009). A female inmate brought a civil rights action against a prison
official, alleging the official deprived her of 16 meals over a 23-day period in violation of the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The district court entered summary judgment for
the official, and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the official's

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conduct in allegedly depriving the inmate of 16 meals over a 23-day period for the inmate’s failure to remove a
paper from the rear window of her cell was a sufficiently serious deprivation of a life necessity, as required to
establish violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The court noted
that the official's argument-- that the alleged deprivation was due to the inmate's personal choice not to comply
with a prison policy-- failed to demonstrate how the inmate's failure to remove a paper from a window
jeopardized her safety or security during in-cell feeding. The court found that the official was not entitled to
qualified immunity because the inmate's right to adequate meals was clearly established, and the case law alerting
prison officials to their obligations to provide inmates with adequate meals should have put the official on notice
of her Eighth Amendment rights. (High Desert State Prison, California)
U.S. District Court
CLOTHING
FOOD
MEDICAL CARE
RESTRAINTS
TEMPERATURE

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