University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Maynor v. Morgan County, Ala. JC-AL-0020
Docket / Court 5:01-CV-00851-UWC ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On April 5, 2001, attorneys with the Southern Center for Human Rights and private counsel filed this class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Morgan County Jail. The jail, which was alleged ... read more >
On April 5, 2001, attorneys with the Southern Center for Human Rights and private counsel filed this class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Morgan County Jail. The jail, which was alleged to have been old, antiquated, and structurally unfit for human habitation, housed both pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners. Plaintiffs alleged that the Jail was severely overcrowded and that inmates were subjected to uncivilized and hazardous conditions, which included inadequate medical care, poor sanitation and lack of fire safety. Plaintiffs alleged violations of the First, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification. Concurrent with the complaint, plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction.

After a hearing, on April 17, 2001, the District Court (Chief Judge U. W. Clemon) certified the case as a class action and entered a preliminary injunction. The Court noted the deplorable conditions at the Jail and found that the principle cause of the overcrowding was the State's failure to transfer "state [prison] ready'' inmates (convicted inmates that should have been serving sentences in State prisons). To rectify that failure, Judge Clemon ordered the State to present a plan to the Court for removal of all state ready inmates from the Jail. Maynor v. Morgan County, Ala. 147 F.Supp.2d 1185, 1186 (N.D. Ala. 2001).

On September 25, 2001, the District Court (Judge Clemon) made the injunction permanent and also approved a Consent Decree that was reached by the parties. The Decree provided for changes in housing and living conditions, health care and diet, security and fire safety and access to the courts. Defendants agreed to pay Plaintiffs' attorneys fees in the amount of $79,043.09 and also committed to pursue construction of a new jail facility.

The Court amended the Consent Decree on December 8, 2005, to require the development of a "Transition Plan," to address budget and staffing issues for the new Jail, which was under construction. In 2006, with the new Jail set to open, the Sheriff petitioned the Court to settle a dispute over the number of staff required for the new facility. By order dated, March 21, 2006, Judge Clemon interpreted the Consent Decree, as amended, to require a minimum staff of 88 officers.

On January 7, 2009, the Court entered a Civil Contempt Order based on evidence that the Sheriff had knowingly and willfully violated certain provisions of the Consent Decree. Violations included the consistent failure to provide nutritionally adequate meals to class members, and the failure to make available to class members legal materials specifically required by the Decree.

On January 27, 2009, the Court entered an order granting a motion to modify and clarify the Consent Decree. Paragraph 33 was amended to clarify which legal materials be made available to inmates and detainees. Paragraph 22 was also amended, further clarifying the nutritional guidelines to be used by Defendant in the feeding of inmates and detainees.

On December 7, 2009, the Sheriff sought review of the District Court's modification of the Consent Decree in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, arguing that the Decree as modified imposed upon him personal liability for feeding prisoners. The Court dismissed the appeal, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

There is no additional litigation in the docket, but the case is evidently ongoing, because in May 2015, plaintiffs' lawyer withdrew (because, she explained, she was switching jobs) and a new lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center filed an appearance.

Dan Dalton - 07/26/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Post-PLRA Population Cap
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Funding
Law library access
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Morgan County
State of Alabama
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now or will be in the future confined in Morgan County Jail, including both convicted persons and pretrial detainees.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2001 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
5:01-cv-00851-UWC (N.D. Ala.) 05/19/2015
JC-AL-0020-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint (Class Action) 04/05/2001
JC-AL-0020-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion - Preliminary Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 04/17/2001 (147 F.Supp.2d 1185) (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Consent Decree Applicable to the Plaintiff Class and the County Defendants 09/25/2001
JC-AL-0020-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Permanent Injunction 09/25/2001 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion on the Defendant Sheriff's Motion for Instructions 03/21/2006 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER REQUIRING PUBLICATION OF THE REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE 04/25/2006 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Status Report Regarding Activities of Task Force by Morgan County, AL, Larry Bennich, Jeff Clark, Don Stisher, Stacy George, Faye Sparkman (Including Supporting Affidavits) 05/23/2006
JC-AL-0020-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CIVIL CONTEMPT ORDER 01/07/2009 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR MODIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION OF CONSENT DECREE 01/27/2009 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama 12/07/2009
JC-AL-0020-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Eleventh Circuit)
JC-AL-0020-0008
Clemon, U. W. (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0020-0002 | JC-AL-0020-0003 | JC-AL-0020-0004 | JC-AL-0020-0005 | JC-AL-0020-0006 | JC-AL-0020-0007 | JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Dubina, Joel Fredrick (M.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit) [Magistrate]
JC-AL-0020-0008
Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (W.D. Ky., Sixth Circuit, E.D. Ky.)
JC-AL-0020-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-0001 | JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Kung, Lisa L. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-0001 | JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Redd, Crystal (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Russell, John A. III (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-0001 | JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Sealy, Brooke (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Serwer, Tamara H. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-0001 | JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Shipman, Robert (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-0009 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Velez, Melanie (Georgia)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Butler, Albert Sims (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Redd, Andrew Weldon (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Rhea, Donald R. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-9000
Royer, George W. Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-0010 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Shinn, William Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0020-0010 | JC-AL-0020-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -