University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name West v. Howard JC-LA-0013
Docket / Court 80-0680 ( W.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
This is one of a collection of § 1983 inmate cases filed in Louisiana federal courts to challenge the operation and conditions of confinement in the Louisiana prison system and in parish and city jails through Louisiana. These cases have worked their way through the federal courts for three ... read more >
This is one of a collection of § 1983 inmate cases filed in Louisiana federal courts to challenge the operation and conditions of confinement in the Louisiana prison system and in parish and city jails through Louisiana. These cases have worked their way through the federal courts for three decades.

In this case, a civil rights class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement in the Vernon Parish Jail. The lawsuit came on the heels of a 1978 FBI investigation of the Vernon Parish Jail which uncovered a clear pattern and practice of cell assignment on the basis of race. We do not have a copy of the complaint, so the precise nature of the plaintiff's allegations are unknown.

The PACER Docket reflects that a Consent Decree was entered by the District Court (Judge Nauman S. Scott) on October 6, 1982. A Joint Stipulation and Judgment was filed on February 18, 1982, followed by the entry of an Amended Judgment on April 18, 1983.

Thereafter, the case was reopened and closed several times, but it does not appear that any substantive action took place. The last PACER docket entry notes that the case was closed on April 1, 1991.

Dan Dalton - 02/09/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Racial segregation
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Vernon Parish
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Vernon Parish Jail.
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 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 1991
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)
80-0680 (W.D. La.) 04/01/1991
JC-LA-0013-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum re: Proposed Litigation in Vernon Parish 03/03/1978
JC-LA-0013-0001 PDF | Detail
Correspondence re: Proposed Litigation in Vernon Parish 07/21/1978
JC-LA-0013-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Little, F. A. Jr. (W.D. La.)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arceneaux, M. Thomas (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0013-0002
Walker, Henry C. IV (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cabra, Edwin Louis (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Gold, Daryl (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Lestage, David R. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Montgomery, J. Marvin (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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