University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Snider v. Superintendent, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility PC-IN-0017
Docket / Court 11-cv-00731 ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On May 31, 2011, prisoners incarcerated in the Special Confinement Unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Indiana Department of Corrections ("DOC"). The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On May 31, 2011, prisoners incarcerated in the Special Confinement Unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Indiana Department of Corrections ("DOC"). The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Indiana, claimed that they were not being provided with the minimally adequate diet required by the Eighth Amendment. They asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief.

Plaintiffs complained that they were routinely served meals that failed to meet minimum caloric requirements. While the contract between the DOC and its food services provider stated that meals must be prepared according to menus approved by dietitians, food was frequently missing from the plaintiffs' meals. As a result, plaintiffs received insufficient amounts of food and calories and experienced significant weight loss and various other health problems.

On November 4, 2013, Magistrate Judge Mark Dinsmore issued an order approving the parties' private settlement agreement. The agreement specified certain monitoring measures requiring the DOC to ensure adequate diets, including the requirement that one or more correctional officers randomly check a number of the food trays before meal delivery. The agreement also mandated that prison officials correct and record any food deficiencies or shortages. The parties agreed that absent an order from the Court, the agreement would remain in effect for six months after its effective date, at which point the case would be automatically dismissed without prejudice.

Nate West - 10/05/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Indiana Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are prisoners incarcerated by the Indiana Department of Corrections who alleged that they were not being provided with the minimally adequate diet required by the Eighth Amendment.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing Yes
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 ]

Docket(s)
1:11−cv−00731 (S.D. Ind.) 01/04/2013
PC-IN-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/31/2011
PC-IN-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Parties to Enter into Private Settlement Agreement after Plaintiffs' Counsel Gives Notice to the Class and After Fairness Hearing/Motion to Approve Form and Manner of Notice 08/26/2013
PC-IN-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/04/2013 (S.D. Ind.)
PC-IN-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dinsmore, Mark. J. (S.D. Ind.) [Magistrate]
PC-IN-0017-0002
Lawrence, William T. (S.D. Ind.) [Magistrate]
PC-IN-0017-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)
PC-IN-0017-0001 | PC-IN-0017-0003 | PC-IN-0017-9000
Mensz, Jan P. (Indiana)
PC-IN-0017-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Arthur, David A. (Indiana)
PC-IN-0017-0003 | PC-IN-0017-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -