University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Vega v. Davis PC-CO-0020
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-01144-RPM ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Case Summary
On May 1, 2012, the family of a deceased prisoner formerly held at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado ("ADX") filed a Bivens action in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The ... read more >
On May 1, 2012, the family of a deceased prisoner formerly held at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado ("ADX") filed a Bivens action in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the defendants' failure to treat the prisoner's serious mental illness violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant "exhibited persistent and deliberate indifference" to the prisoner's mental illness, which lead to the death of the prisoner in an incident determined to be a suicide.

A related class action case was filed on June 18, 2012. See PC-CO-0019.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on August 31, 2012, adding a second cause of action for deprivation of the plaintiff's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant disregarded the family's right to the prompt return of the prisoner's body and his personal possessions following his death.

On April 23, 2013, the district court (Judge Richard P. Matsch) granted defendant's motion to dismiss on the First Amendment claim and denied the motion to dismiss on all other claims.

On June 21, 2012, the defendant filed an appeal of the district court's order denying the motion to dismiss. On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Circuit Court for the Tenth Circuit reversed the district court's decision, finding a lack of factual support for the allegation that the named defendant could be held personally liable for any shortcomings in the treatment of the prisoner. The court (Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe) remanded the case with direction to grant the defendant's motion to dismiss. On remand, the district court (Judge Matsch) entered an order dismissing the case on November 13, 2014.

Denise Heberle - 06/19/2012
Priyah Kaul - 11/18/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-area
Medical Exam / Inquiry
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Conditions of confinement
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Placement in mental health facilities
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Mental Disability
Autism
Depression
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Family of prisoner who committed suicide at supermax facility due to untreated mental illness.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-CO-0019 : Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (D. Colo.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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 ]

  Supermax: The Constitution and Mentally Ill Prisoners
Written: Jun. 20, 2012
By: Andrew Cohen (The Atlantic)
Citation: theAtlantic.com (June 20, 2012)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Supermax: The Faces of a Prison's Mentally Ill
Written: Jun. 19, 2012
By: Andrew Cohen (The Atlantic)
Citation: theAtlantic.com (June 19, 2012)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links An American Gulag: Descending into Madness at Supermax
theatlantic.com
Posted: Jun. 18, 2012
By: Andrew Cohen (The Atlantic)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:12−cv−01144 (D. Colo.) 11/13/2014
PC-CO-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Jury Demand 05/01/2012
PC-CO-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint and Jury Demand 08/31/2012
PC-CO-0020-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment 07/22/2014 (572 Fed.Appx. 611)
PC-CO-0020-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Briscoe, Mary Beck (Tenth Circuit)
PC-CO-0020-0003 | PC-CO-0020-9000
Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-CO-0020-0003
Matsch, Richard Paul (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0020-9000
Phillips, Gregory Alan (Tenth Circuit)
PC-CO-0020-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aro, Edwin P. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0020-0001 | PC-CO-0020-0002 | PC-CO-0020-9000
Leiter, Maurice A. (California)
PC-CO-0020-9000
Morrow, Christopher Scott (District of Columbia)
PC-CO-0020-9000
Taylor, Robert Paul (California)
PC-CO-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Padden, Amy L. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0020-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -