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Case Name Kelly v. Corrections Corporation of America PC-ID-0007
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-00185-EJL ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
This case sprang from Riggs v. Rodriguez (docket #: 1:09-cv-00010-EJL), which Riggs filed pro se seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the Correction Corporation of America's alleged failure to prevent his assault and provide medical treatment. Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties ... read more >
This case sprang from Riggs v. Rodriguez (docket #: 1:09-cv-00010-EJL), which Riggs filed pro se seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the Correction Corporation of America's alleged failure to prevent his assault and provide medical treatment. Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to take his case and filed an amended complaint that added a class action lawsuit seeking only injunctive relief with several new plaintiffs as the named plaintiffs. At the end of a series of disputes about whether the class action and Riggs' case should proceed together, the plaintiffs in that case moved to sever the class action from the monetary claims. The Court (Judge Edward J. Lodge) granted the motion on April 27, 2011, and allowed Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint (filed the same day), which serves as the basis for this lawsuit.

Eight inmates at Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) brought the class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, on behalf of all those who were or would be imprisoned at ICC. Claiming their 8th and 14th Amendment rights to be protected against assault from other prisoners had been violated in pursuit of profit, Plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which creates a cause of action for state violations of Constitutional or federal statutory rights. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that Correction Corporation of America created substantial and unnecessary risk of assault and failed to protect inmates against assault because of the following practices: running the prison near or above full capacity, hiring inadequate numbers of staff to supervise and protect so many inmates, employing poor training, failing to investigate and provide a report for each incident, threatening to and intentionally placing inmates near particularly violent/predatory prisoners (often to force the inmate to be an informant), ignoring inmates' requests to be moved, failing to discipline or refer for prosecution prisoners who assault other inmates, failing to investigate and discipline staff whose actions cause or contribute to assaults, and concealing institutional problems with violence by issuing disciplinary citations to victims of assault and refusing to take x-rays or perform other medical tests that would reveal the extent of inmates' injuries.

The parties came to a settlement agreement on September 16, 2011. The agreement was filed with the court and entered on September 20, 2011, along with a voluntary dismissal of all claims with prejudice. The agreement provided for a variety of reporting, investigating, training, and staffing requirements. Several of the provisions required CCA to meet the terms of its contract and follow Idaho Department of Corrections Standard Operating Procedures, though some required CCA to exceed them. The terms also required CCA to make housing assignments based on all relevant safety considerations, to place inmates who claim to be at risk of assault into appropriate housing, and refer all cases that appear to be serious enough to qualify as aggravated battery to the county sheriff. Attorneys' fees and costs were confidential under the agreement, which was to last for 2 years. The court retained jurisdiction under the agreement as a last resort to resolve disputes under the agreement.

Between December 2012 and January 2013, CCA and IDOC received reports that staffing records at ICC had been falsified during the post-settlement period. IDOC initiated an audit of ICC’s staffing records, and CCA hired an investigator. On April 11, 2013, IDOC issued a press release, stating that CCA’s employees had falsified staffing records to represent that correctional officers were staffing mandatory security posts when, in fact, those posts had been vacant for a total of nearly 4,800 hours during a seven-month period in 2012. That same day, CCA issued its own press release stating there were “some inaccuracies” in its staffing records.

On February 21, 2013, the parties amended the stipulation; the court adopted the amendment on March 1, 2013. The amendment provided for the appointment of an independent investigator and shifted reviewing duties to the investigator. The amendment also required the investigator to reinvestigate at least 30% of the monthly reports and report on whether they were complete or deficient in some way.

In June 2013, Plaintiffs moved in the district court for an order to show cause whyCCA should not be held in contempt for violating the court’s dismissal order. The district court referred the motion to Judge David Carter, sitting by special designation in the District of Idaho. CCA opposed the motion, partly on the ground that the district court did not have jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement. The district court held it had jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement and issued the requested Order.

Then, on September 16, 2013, Judge Carter held the defendants in contempt for violating the settlement agreement and extended the settlement by two years. Defendants appealed.

On February 20, 2014, the Court approved the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees. The plaintiffs were awarded $349,018.52 in fees and costs. The defendants appealed this ruling, as well.

On May 23, 2016, the Court of Appeals affirmed both the contempt finding and the attorneys fees in a unanimous opinion by Judge William Fletcher (joined by Judges Fisher and Wilken) {More TK}

Kenneth Gray - 07/10/2013
Katherine Reineck - 02/14/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Hire
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Failure to discipline
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Protective custody
Record-keeping
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Corrections Corporation of America
Plaintiff Description Eight inmates who had at various times been assaulted by other inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center filing on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2011 - 2015
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)
1:11−cv−00185 (D. Idaho) 10/24/2016
PC-ID-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 02/21/2011
PC-ID-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order 04/27/2011 (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Dismissal (with Consent Decree) 09/20/2011
PC-ID-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Dismissal 09/20/2011 (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Decision and Order 07/12/2013 (979 F.Supp.2d 1237) (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 09/16/2013 (979 F.Supp.2d 1104) (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Attorney Fees 02/20/2014 (7 F.Supp.3d 1069) (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 05/23/2016 (822 F.3d 1085)
PC-ID-0007-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Carter, David O. (C.D. Cal.)
PC-ID-0007-0006 | PC-ID-0007-0007 | PC-ID-0007-0008 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-ID-0007-0009
Lodge, Edward J. (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0002 | PC-ID-0007-0004 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cooper, Lea C. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-0003 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Eppink, Richard Allen (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Huegli, James D (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-0003 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Pevar, Stephen L. (Connecticut)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-0003 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bojanowski, Timothy J (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Burger, Gary Harold (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Naylor, Kirtlan G. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Popolizio, Joseph John (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Stoll, James R. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Wahlin, Lisa S. (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Zoellner, Tara B. (Arizona)
PC-ID-0007-0001 | PC-ID-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Brown, Charles A. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Shulz, David A. (New York)
PC-ID-0007-9000
Zansberg, Steven David (Colorado)
PC-ID-0007-9000

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