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Case Name Thompson v. Overton PC-MI-0024
Docket / Court 2:03-cv-70234-LPZ ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On January 21, 2003, a group of Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) prisoners afflicted with Hepatitis-C, and relying on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against MDOC officials, as well as individuals and entities providing ... read more >
On January 21, 2003, a group of Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) prisoners afflicted with Hepatitis-C, and relying on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against MDOC officials, as well as individuals and entities providing contract medical services to MDOC prisoners. Represented by counsel from the ACLU Fund of Michigan and from the Wayne State University Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, together with class action status for the case, which alleged violations of federal and state constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment. Defendants' deliberate indifference to plaintiffs' medical condition and needs, by providing inadequate testing of and care for the plaintiff class, constituted the unconstitutional conduct, according to the plaintiffs. The contract medical service providers filed a motion to dismiss, saying that the plaintiffs had not exhausted their administrative remedies, as 42 U.S.C. § 1997c required, before filing their § 1983-based claim.

On July 1, 2003, District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff granted the defense motion. His unpublished opinion ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust the MDOC grievance procedure and that, as he and other courts have interpreted 42 U.S.C. § 1997c (a part of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act), the plaintiffs must do so even if the administrative process is such that there is reason to presume in advance that the grievance will be denied. Moreover, in applying § 1997c to this case, Judge Zatkoff followed the "total exhaustion" rule, which required that the entire complaint be dismissed without prejudice, until the plaintiffs have completely exhausted the available administrative process. An appeal of the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit resulted in an unpublished affirmation of the district court on November 4, 2005. Similarly, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to grant a writ of certiorari to review the case. Thompson v Overton, 576 U.S. 1185 (2006).

We have no further information on the status of the case.

Mike Fagan - 04/29/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Medical/Mental Health
Hepatitis
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Correctional Medical Systems, Incorporated
Michigan Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All persons currently imprisoned with MDOC who may be at risk for Hepatitis C Virus and who are not being appropriately tested or treated for Hepatitis C Virus.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2003
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:03-cv-70234-LPZ (E.D. Mich.) 07/01/2003
PC-MI-0024-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/21/2003
PC-MI-0024-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 07/01/2003 (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0024-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 07/01/2003 (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0024-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Zatkoff, Lawrence Paul (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0024-0001 | PC-MI-0024-0002 | PC-MI-0024-0003 | PC-MI-0024-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-0001 | PC-MI-0024-9000
Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-0001 | PC-MI-0024-9000
Santacroce, David A. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-0001 | PC-MI-0024-9000
Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-0001 | PC-MI-0024-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chapman, Ronald W. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-9000
Govorchin, A. Peter (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-9000
Olivieri, Linda M. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-9000
Richtarcik, Brian J. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0024-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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