University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Handberry v. Thompson JC-NY-0050
Docket / Court 1:96-cv-06161 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On August 14, 1996, eleven inmates between the ages of 16 and 21 at Rikers Island filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 alleging that the New York City Department of Corrections, the New York City Board of Education, and the ... read more >
On August 14, 1996, eleven inmates between the ages of 16 and 21 at Rikers Island filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 alleging that the New York City Department of Corrections, the New York City Board of Education, and the New York State Department of Education had not provided them with educational services they were entitled to under federal and state law. Plaintiffs were represented by the Prisoners' Rights Project of Legal Aid Society. The district court (Judge Constance B. Motley) granted plaintiffs' motion for declaratory judgment, finding the city liable for failure to provide adequate general and special educational services to the class. Handberry v. Thompson, 92 F.Supp.2d 244 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).

In April of 2000, the city submitted to the court its "Education Plan" and the court approved the plan on June 29, 2000 and appointed a monitor to observe the plan for one year. The monitor submitted her plan in December of 2001 and the district court concluded that the city failed to meet its obligations under federal and state law. Specific problems included inadequate procedures for informing inmates of their right to receive educational services, scheduling conflicts between educational services and other services, such as health, religious, and exercise activities, and lack of a procedure to determine whether an inmate had already completed a GED. The court (Judge Constance B. Motley) issued an Order Amending the City Defendants' Education Plan, outlining specific steps to be taken by the city. Handberry v. Thompson, 219 F.Supp.2d 525 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). (Appendix)

Defendants moved for a stay pending their appeal of the court's injunction. On November 27, 2002, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an order vacating the injunction and remanding the case for the district court to determine whether the plaintiffs were required to exhaust administrative remedies prior to bringing the class action lawsuit. On January 28, 2003,

The city moved to stay certain provisions of the Order and the district court (Judge Constance B. Motley) denied the motion on April 4, 2004. Handberry v. Thompson, No. 96 Civ. 6161(CBM), 2003 WL 1797850 (S.D.N.Y.).

Angela Heverling - 01/30/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Education
Juveniles
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York City Board of Education
New York City Department of Correction
New York State Education Department
Plaintiff Description City prison inmates, between ages 16 and 21 and held in 16 DOC jails including 10 on Rikers Island, allege that the state of New York has failed to provide them adequate educational services while in prison.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2000 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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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)
1:96-cv-06161-GBD-JCF (S.D.N.Y.) 12/03/2012
JC-NY-0050-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion Granting Declaratory Judgment 03/13/2000 (92 F.Supp.2d 244) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion on the Party's Cross-Applications to Amend the Education Plan 08/28/2002 (219 F.Supp.2d 525) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 01/28/2003 (2003 WL 194205 / 2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1220) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Opinion & Order 04/04/2003 (2003 WL 1797850 / 2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 5508) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Appellate Opinion 01/17/2006 (436 F.3d 52)
JC-NY-0050-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Daniels, George B. (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-9000
Francis, James C. IV (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
JC-NY-0050-9000
Hall, Peter W. (Second Circuit)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Motley, Constance Baker (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0050-0002 | JC-NY-0050-0003 | JC-NY-0050-0004 | JC-NY-0050-0005
Newman, Jon Ormond (D. Conn., Second Circuit)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Sack, Robert David (Second Circuit)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Banks, Steven L. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Boston, John (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Finzi, Roberto (New York)
JC-NY-0050-9000
Lewis, Dori A. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001 | JC-NY-0050-0002 | JC-NY-0050-0003 | JC-NY-0050-0004 | JC-NY-0050-0005 | JC-NY-0050-9000
Werlwas, Mary Lynne (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001 | JC-NY-0050-0002 | JC-NY-0050-0003 | JC-NY-0050-0004 | JC-NY-0050-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Benjamin, Moshe (New York)
JC-NY-0050-9000
Birnbaum, Janice L. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001 | JC-NY-0050-0002 | JC-NY-0050-0003 | JC-NY-0050-0004 | JC-NY-0050-0005
Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Corner, Leonard (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Gordon, Jane L. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0001
Kramer, Judith T. (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0005 | JC-NY-0050-9000
Leonard, Christina (New York)
JC-NY-0050-0002
Pestana, Georgia (New York)
JC-NY-0050-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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