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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Dockery v. Epps PC-MS-0007
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-00326 ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On May 30, 2013, prisoners in the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief medical ... read more >
On May 30, 2013, prisoners in the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief medical officer in their official capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the ACLU National Prison Project and the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as monetary relief, claiming that conditions in the EMCF violated the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the living conditions at EMCF, designed to house and treat Mississippi's most seriously mentally ill prisoners, were so inhumane as to cause harm to the inmates through known problems with healthcare, mental healthcare, isolation, excessive force, protection from harm, nutrition and food safety.

In September 2014, the plaintiffs moved for class certification. On September 29, 2015, the district court (Judge William H. Barbour) granted class certification. The defendants attempted to appeal this order, but the Fifth Circuit denied the defendants' motion to file an appeal on November 2, 2015.

As of February 26, 2016, the parties are continuing discovery.

Jessica Kincaid - 10/14/2013
Jessica Kincaid - 02/26/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Grievance Procedures
Sanitation / living conditions
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Vision care
Wound care
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Mississippi Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Mentally ill prisoners in Mississippi state prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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)
3:13-cv-00326-TSL-JMR (S.D. Miss.) 03/07/2016
PC-MS-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/30/2013
PC-MS-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/29/2015 (2015 WL 5737608) (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Barbour, William Henry Jr. (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-0002 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Gargiulo, John C. Court not on record [Magistrate]
PC-MS-0007-9000
Lee, Tom Stewart (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Roper, John M. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
PC-MS-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, Elizabeth R. (District of Columbia)
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Bardwell, William B. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Bonthuis, Mari Esq. (New York)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Eber, Gabriel B. (District of Columbia)
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Gimbel, Mark P. (New York)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Johnson, Elissa F (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Monju, Erin K. (New York)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Parets, Brendan (District of Columbia)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Salk, Benjamin R. (New York)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Winter, Margaret (District of Columbia)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Zhu, Xinping (New York)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bentley, Michael J. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Conner, Megan B. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Friedman, Gary E. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Harvey, William Brett (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Johnson, Walter T. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Morisani, Nicholas F. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Nobile, Krissy Casey (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Pedersen, Robert H. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Pizzetta, Harold Edward III (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Stephens, John Morgan IV (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Thaggard, Lee (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Walker, Molly Mitchell (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0007-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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