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Case Name Anderson v. State of Colorado PC-CO-0017
Docket / Court 10-cv-01005-RBJ-KMT ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
The plaintiff is a prisoner with mental illness incarcerated at a "super max" facility of the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. On May 3, 2010, he filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, against the Colorado Department of Corrections. He alleged ... read more >
The plaintiff is a prisoner with mental illness incarcerated at a "super max" facility of the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. On May 3, 2010, he filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, against the Colorado Department of Corrections. He alleged violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. The prisoner, filing pro se, alleged that defendants denied him numerous privileges afforded to other prisoners due his disability by placing him in segregation for over a decade and not allowing him to experience daylight, fresh air, or outdoor exercise. Further, the prisoner alleged that defendants denied him appropriate treatment for serious mental health issues. In the alternative, the prisoner alleged that defendants punished him for his actual or perceived disability-related behavior without reasonable accommodations. He alleged that the prison made him ineligible for early release credits due to an arbitrary demerit system that punishes his improperly treated mental illness without notice of what behaviors he was charged with, and without sufficient procedures for review.

On May 25, 2010, defendants moved to dismiss the case, and the district court (Daniel, J.) denied the motion. On March 26, 2012 Judge Brooke Jackson denied summary judgment on the merits, allowing the case to proceed to bench trial. The trial occurred between April 30 and May 8, 2012. On August 24, 2012, Judge Jackson released his final order and judgment. In this order, the judge wrote that "denial of any opportunity to be outdoors and to engage in some form of outdoor exercise for a period of 12 years is a serious deprivation of a human need" and is "a paradigm of inhumane treatment." Because the court found a violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, and ordered that the CDOC must develop and present a plan that ensures plaintiff has access for at least one hour, at least three times per week, to outdoor exercise. The court also ordered that defendants assign a CDOC psychiatrist to evaluate the plaintiff's mental health treatment needs, and wrote in his opinion that the formulary list not be a bar to the plaintiff's receiving whatever medication the psychiatrist deems appropriate. Because the disciplinary system had changed by trial, the court ruled in favor of the defendants to give the new policy a chance. However, the judge wrote in his opinion that if the new system proves to be "form over substance, [the plaintiff] knows where to find me." The court found that the plaintiff largely prevailed, and therefore awarded costs and attorney's fees to the plaintiff.

As of October 8, 2012, no notice of appeal appears in the docket sheet.

Emily Goldman - 10/12/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary segregation
Good time
Grievance Procedures
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Colorado Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Prisoner with mental disability who has been in segregation for many years without exercise.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 2012 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
1:10−cv−01005 (D. Colo.) 05/21/2013
PC-CO-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/03/2010
PC-CO-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/30/2011 (2011 WL 1195393) (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment 07/21/2011
PC-CO-0017-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/26/2012 (848 F.Supp.2d 1291) (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Trial Brief 04/23/2012
PC-CO-0017-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Order and Judgment 08/24/2012 (887 F.Supp.2d 1133) (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment 08/28/2012 (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Daniel, Wiley Young (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0003
Jackson, Richard Brooke (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0017-0001 | PC-CO-0017-0004 | PC-CO-0017-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-0006 | PC-CO-0017-0007 | PC-CO-0017-9000
Glidden, Brittany L. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-0002 | PC-CO-0017-0006 | PC-CO-0017-0007 | PC-CO-0017-9000
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-0002 | PC-CO-0017-0006 | PC-CO-0017-0007 | PC-CO-0017-9000
Rovner, Laura Lee (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-0002 | PC-CO-0017-0006 | PC-CO-0017-0007 | PC-CO-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alber, Christopher Wayne (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-9000
Fredericks, Jacquelynn Nicole Rich (Colorado)
PC-CO-0017-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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