University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Breaux & U.S. v. Phelps JC-LA-0002
Docket / Court 77-0121 ( W.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On February 3, 1977, inmates at the Acadia Parish Prison filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to challenge their conditions of confinement. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to redress the ... read more >
On February 3, 1977, inmates at the Acadia Parish Prison filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to challenge their conditions of confinement. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to redress the alleged deprivation of their civil rights.

Shortly after the filing of the complaint, the District Court (Judge W. Eugene Davis) entered an order directing the defendants to allow the inmates free access to their attorney. Following a status conference, the District Court ordered that a detailed inspection of the jail be conducted and directed the defendants to furnish a copy of inspection report to the Court. Similar orders followed, directing the defendants to conduct studies regarding various conditions of confinement. Rulings on substantive motions filed by the parties were deferred by the Court.

During the course of the litigation, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in the action as a party plaintiff.

Following settlement negotiations, the parties agreed to a Consent Decree to resolve the disputed issues. The Decree was approved and entered by the District Court on August 21, 1980. It called for changes and improvements to the Acadia Parish Prison in the following areas: physical facilities, inmate classification, health care, sanitation, mail, food service, access to the courts, exercise, visitation, overcrowding, discipline, security, work release and racial discrimination. The District Court retained jurisdiction to monitor the implementation of the Consent Decree provisions.

The last docket entry is for December 1, 1981, reflecting that the defendant filed a supplemental status report with the Court. We have no further information.

Dan Dalton - 02/09/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Mail
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Acadia Parish Prison
Plaintiff Description Inmates confined in the Acadia Parish Prison, Lafayette, LA.
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1980 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1981
Case Ongoing No
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)
77-0121 (W.D. La.) 12/01/1981
JC-LA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Consent Decree 08/21/1980 (W.D. La.)
JC-LA-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Judgment 02/23/1981 (W.D. La.)
JC-LA-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Stipulation 02/23/1981
JC-LA-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Defendant Acadia Parish Sheriff's Dept. Supplemental Report 12/01/1981
JC-LA-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges Davis, W. Eugene (Fifth Circuit, W.D. La.)
JC-LA-0002-0001 | JC-LA-0002-0003 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Frances O. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0001
Dinerstein, Robert D. (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0002-0001 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Jacobs, Alice M. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0001 | JC-LA-0002-0004 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Keene, J. Ransdell (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0001
Shaheen, Edward L. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-9000
Whinston, Stephen A. (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0002-0001 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cook, David (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-9000
Foreman, Glenn B. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0004 | JC-LA-0002-0005 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Gianfala, L. Paul (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0001
Montgomery, J. Marvin (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0002-0001 | JC-LA-0002-0004 | JC-LA-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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