University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Andersen v. Becker County JC-MN-0005
Docket / Court 08-5687 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On October 15, 2008, inmates of the Becker County Jail, represented by private counsel, filed this civil rights class action against Becker County, Minnesota and several law enforcement officials in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota for interfering with their ... read more >
On October 15, 2008, inmates of the Becker County Jail, represented by private counsel, filed this civil rights class action against Becker County, Minnesota and several law enforcement officials in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota for interfering with their communications with their attorneys.

Plaintiffs claim that Becker County failed to train its jail perosnel, and did not inform the inmates that phone calls between inmates and their attorneys were supposed to be private. County employees monitored and recorded privileged telephone calls between detainees/inmates of the jail and their attorneys. The plaintiffs sought damages and injunctive relief.

Plaintiffs moved for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). On December 12, 2008, the Court (Judge Ann D. Montgomery) denied the motion, finding that the plaintiffs were unable to make a showing that the recording of their phone calls was so severe a constitutional violation to warrant a TRO.

On September 28, 2009, in cross-motions for Summary Judgment, the Court (Judge Montgomery) granted in part, the defendant's motion for summary judgment, and denied the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. Plaintiffs' First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims were dismissed, along with state law and federal common law claims. The plaintiffs claims of violations federal wiretapping statutes survived.

On January 11, 2010, the parties received a settlement. Defendants agreed to pay $104,000 in damages. The case was closed thereafter.

Blase Kearney - 04/08/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Failure to train
Phone
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Becker County
Plaintiff Description Two inmates at Becker County Jail and an attorney who had phone their attorney-client calls recorded, filing on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
08−cv−05687 (D. Minn.) 05/04/2010
JC-MN-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 10/15/2008
JC-MN-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Press Release 10/15/2008
JC-MN-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Amended Class Action Complaint 10/28/2008
JC-MN-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Answer to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint 12/11/2008
JC-MN-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/12/2008 (D. Minn.)
JC-MN-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants’ Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment 06/30/2009 (2009 WL 4563523)
JC-MN-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment 07/29/2009 (2009 WL 4563526)
JC-MN-0005-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion and Order 09/28/2009 (2009 WL 3164769) (D. Minn.)
JC-MN-0005-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Audio Disc Transcription of Settlement Agreement 01/11/2010
JC-MN-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Erickson, Raymond L. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
JC-MN-0005-0008 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Montgomery, Ann D. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
JC-MN-0005-0005 | JC-MN-0005-0009 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abrahamson, Jeffery A. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0001 | JC-MN-0005-0002 | JC-MN-0005-0003 | JC-MN-0005-0007 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Bryden, Daniel C (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0007 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Miller, Bryce M. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0008 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Sprenger, Steve M (District of Columbia)
JC-MN-0005-9000
Thompson, Mara R (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0003 | JC-MN-0005-0007 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Iverson, Jon K (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0006 | JC-MN-0005-0008 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Tindal, Susan M. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-0004 | JC-MN-0005-0006 | JC-MN-0005-0008 | JC-MN-0005-9000
Wing, Andrea B (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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