Part One: Complete case summaries in alphabetical order.

Position:Case overview
 
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  1. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION: Handicap, Placement in Segregation

  2. CIVIL RIGHTS: ADA--Americans with Disability Act, Segregation

  3. LIABILITY: Contempt, Injunctive Relief

    Armstrong v. Brown, 103 F.Supp.3d 1070 (N.D. Ca. 2015). Disabled state prisoners filed a motion for further enforcement of an injunction applicable to all California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, alleging that corrections officials were continuing to place class members in administrative segregation due to a lack of accessible housing, in violation of the district court's orders and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The district court granted the motion, holding that further enforcement would not be limited to the least compliant correctional institutions. The court noted that while the majority of the violations took place at one institution, the violations occurred at other institutions as well, and that transfers of disabled prisoners into non-complying institutions occurred with the involvement of CDCR officials. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

  4. PERSONNEL: FLSA--Fair Labor Standards Act, Benefits, Overtime

    Babcock v. Butler County, 806 F.3d 153 (3d Cir. 2015). A corrections officer brought a class action against a county, alleging that the county failed to properly compensate her and others similarly situated for overtime dining mealtimes in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court dismissed the action. The corrections officer appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officer received a predominant benefit of a 15 minute unpaid mealtime and was thus not entitled to receive compensation for it under the FLSA. The court noted that the predominant benefit test, which asks whether a law enforcement employee is primarily engaged in work-related duties during meal periods, is the appropriate standard for determining whether law enforcement employees' meal breaks are compensable time under FLSA. The court noted that during the 15 minute period, officers were not entitled to leave the prison without permission from the warden or deputy warden and were required to remain in uniform in close proximity to emergency response equipment, and were on call to respond to emergencies. The officers' collective bargaining agreement (CBA), though silent on the compensability of the 15 minute period, provided officers with the benefit of a partially-compensated mealtime and mandatory overtime pay if the mealtime was interrupted by work. (Butler County Prison, Pennsylvania)

  5. INTAKE AND ADMISSIONS: Medical Screening

  6. MEDICAL CARE: Emergency Care, Delay in Care

  7. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Medical Care

    Bailey v. Feltmann, 810 F.3d 589 (8th Cir. 2016). An arrestee brought a [section] 1983 action against a law enforcement officer, alleging that the officer's decision to transport him to the jail rather than a hospital denied him emergency medical care for lacerations to his hand. The district court entered summary judgment in the officer's favor and the arrestee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that: (1) the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable delay in medical care for an arrestee was not clearly established at the time of the incident; (2) it was clearly established, under the Due Process Clause, that pretrial detainees or arrestees had the right to be free from deliberately indifferent denial of emergency medical care; and (3) evidence did not support the finding that the arrestee had an objectively serious medical need for treatment. (Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, Missouri)

  8. FREE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, ASSOC.: Mail

  9. LIABILITY: Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief, Supervisory Liability

  10. MAIL: Refusal, Inspection of Mail, Security Practices

    Barrett v. Premo, 101 F.Supp.3d 980 (D. Or. 2015). An inmate brought a claim under [section] 1983 against several corrections officials for violation of his First Amendment rights arising out of rejection of a piece of mail he sent to another inmate because it had artwork on the front of the envelope. The district court ordered declaratory and injunctive relief. The court found that: (1) the Department of Corrections did not have a consistently enforced policy or practice prohibiting artwork on the front of incoming envelopes, and thus the rejection of the inmate's envelope violated his First Amendment rights; (2) monetary damages were inadequate to address the inmate's loss of First Amendment freedoms; (3) the constitutional hardship to prison inmates was far greater than the insignificant potential impact on the prison's time and resources from having to look more closely at envelopes to read a recipient's address if artwork was present; (4) a permanent injunction enjoining the Department from enforcing the policy would permit inmates and nonparty members of the public to more easily and effectively communicate, and thus the public interest weighed in favor of an injunction; (5) a permanent injunction did not extend any further than necessary to correct the First Amendment violations and was the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violations; and (6) supervisory prison officials were sufficiently involved in alleged violation of the inmate's First Amendment rights to be liable under [section] 1983. (Oregon State Penitentiary)

  11. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Wrongful Death

  12. PROGRAMS-PRISONER: Alcohol/Drugs, Release

    Benedict v. Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services, Inc., 98 F.Supp.3d 809 (W.D. Va. 2015). Parents of a participant in a county drug treatment program brought an action against county defendants alleging state law claims for negligence and wrongful death, and claims under [section] 1983 for violation of substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, and for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The participant had died from an overdose of heroin. Following removal to federal court, the defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion. The court held that: (1) the participant's intermittent custody did not trigger Eighth Amendment protections; (2) the parents failed to allege that program operators were aware of an excessive risk; (3) participation in the program did not create a special relationship that would impose a duty to protect; and (4) the parents failed to allege a state created danger. The court noted that the participant was only required to report to custody for three hours a day, he was able to live with his parents, and was able to engage in any lawful activity he chose while not attending the program. (Westmoreland County Adult Probation/Parole Office, Westmoreland County Jail, Pennsylvania)

  13. CLASSIFICATION & SEPARATION: Separation, Medical Care

  14. FOOD: Nutrition

  15. FREE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, ASSOC.: Newspapers

  16. MEDICAL CARE: Contagious Diseases

  17. STANDARDS: State Standards

    Brown v. Moore, 93 F.Supp.3d 1032 (W.D. Ark. 2015). An inmate, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brought a [section] 1983 action against a sheriff and jail officials, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of fact as to whether the inmate's being housed with a prisoner who had a staph infection constituted deliberate indifference.

    The court found that the inmate's assertion that his diet was not approved on a yearly basis by a dietician in compliance with Arkansas Jail Standards did not equate to a constitutional violation under the Eighth Amendment.

    The court held that the inmate, who alleged that a television, tuned to a cable news channel, "blared" from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., did not establish an Eighth Amendment excessive noise claim where the only harm he mentioned was that he found the news to be repetitive and depressing, and this harm was related to the content of the news and the length of time the television was tuned to the same channel, and it did not suggest that the noise level was so extreme that it adversely affected his health.

    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)

  18. CIVIL RIGHTS: Programs

  19. PROGRAMS-PRISONER: I.D.E.A.--Indiv. with Disabilities Education Act, Equal Protection

    Buckley v. State Correctional Institution-Pine Grove, 98 F.Supp.3d 704 (M.D. Pa. 2015). A state prisoner, a young adult offender, brought an action alleging that a prison had violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by failing to provide him with a free appropriate public education, and appealing a ruling to the contrary by an administrative hearing officer. The parties filed cross motions for judgment on the supplemented administrative record. The district court held that the prison violated IDEA, and the prison was required to provide compensatory education as a remedy. The court noted that the prison failed to make a particularized determination that the security interest specific to the prisoner could not otherwise be accommodated, by effectively nullifying the prisoner's individualized education program (IEP), and by not providing a free appropriate public education. After placing the prisoner in restrictive housing in response to the prisoner's assaultive behavior and rules violations, the prison did not modify the prisoner's IEP, but instead merely applied a blanket policy requiring all prisoners in restrictive housing to receive in-cell instruction only, using non-individualized "self-study" packets and with access to a teacher only once or twice a week through a locked solid metal door in a cacophonously loud...

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