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Case Name Nelson v. Correctional Medical Services PC-AR-0013
Docket / Court 1:04-cv-00037 ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 15, 2004, a female inmate at the Arkansas Department of Corrections, McPherson Unit, filed a Complaint against Correctional Medical Services ("CMS") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Batesville Division. On June 01, 2004, in her First ... read more >
On April 15, 2004, a female inmate at the Arkansas Department of Corrections, McPherson Unit, filed a Complaint against Correctional Medical Services ("CMS") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Batesville Division. On June 01, 2004, in her First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff added the director and officer of the Arkansas Department of Correction ("ADC") as Defendants.

Plaintiff was in the custody of ADC during her later stage of pregnancy. Plaintiff claimed to have suffered pains and injuries based on her treatment during the delivery of her child, which included having her leg shackled to the bed by an ADC officer during labor. Alleging that Defendants violated her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment, Plaintiff sought declaratory judgment, both compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs.

In November 2006, the director and officer of ADC, as Defendants, both filed motions for summary judgment, claiming qualified immunity and arguing no federal constitutional violation supports Plaintiff's § 1983 claim. The court (Judge James M. Moody) denied Defendants' motions. Defendants appealed to the Eighth Circuit. On July 18, 2008, the Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's decision. Plaintiff filed a Petition for Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc. The Court of Appeals granted Plaintiff's Petition. On October 02, 2009, in an en banc opinion, the Court of Appeals held that Plaintiff did not meet her burden to allege and show that the officer of ADC violated a clearly established constitutional right and so the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. The District Court's decision was reversed in all respects.

The case went to trial before a jury on July 14, 2010. On July 15, 2010, at the conclusion of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff on her Eighth Amendment claim and awarded nominal damages in the amount of $1.00. Plaintiff filed a motion asking the Court to award attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $ 144,510.70 as the prevailing party. The Court issued an Order on September 13, 2010, awarding only minimum costs to three of Plaintiff's attorneys.

Xin Chen - 04/25/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Correctional Medical Services (CMS), and Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC)
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff was pregnant while incarcerated at the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC). During labor, Plaintiff was shackled to the bed until she was moved to the delivery room. As a result, Plaintiff suffered pains and injuries.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
1:04−cv−00037 (E.D. Ark.) 09/13/2010
PC-AR-0013-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 06/01/2004
PC-AR-0013-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant CMS's Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment 11/21/2006
PC-AR-0013-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant ADC's Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment 11/22/2006
PC-AR-0013-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consolidated Brief in Support of Responses to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment 01/14/2007
PC-AR-0013-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 06/11/2007 (2007 WL 1703562) (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0013-0007 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 07/18/2008 (533 F.3d 958)
PC-AR-0013-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition of Appellee for Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc 07/31/2008
PC-AR-0013-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source:
Opinion 10/02/2009 (583 F.3d 522)
PC-AR-0013-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 05/05/2010
PC-AR-0013-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Application for Attorneys' Fees and Costs 08/13/2010
PC-AR-0013-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/13/2010 (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0013-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moody, James Maxwell (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0013-0007 | PC-AR-0013-0011 | PC-AR-0013-9000
Riley, William Jay (Eighth Circuit)
PC-AR-0013-0009
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Compton, Cathleen V. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-0004 | PC-AR-0013-0006 | PC-AR-0013-0008 | PC-AR-0013-9000
Harrison, Eileen Woods (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-0006 | PC-AR-0013-9000
James, Paul Joseph (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-0001 | PC-AR-0013-0010 | PC-AR-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boozer, Christine A. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-0003
Cryer, Christine A. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-9000
Humphries, Alan R. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-0002 | PC-AR-0013-9000
Ready, Chilesa Jones (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-9000
Richardson, Scott P. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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