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Case Name Edge v. DeKalb County JC-AL-0006
Docket / Court 91-AR-0308 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On February 8, 1991, inmates in the DeKalb County Jail in Alabama filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against the county and corrections officials alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The defendants ... read more >
On February 8, 1991, inmates in the DeKalb County Jail in Alabama filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against the county and corrections officials alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The defendants filed a third-party complaint against the Alabama Department of Corrections alleging that they were responsible for the alleged unconstitutional conditions because the jail's inmates were mostly state prisoners. On June 14, 1991, the court (Judge William Acker Jr.) certified the class. On June 30, 1992, the court (Judge Acker) entered a consent decree, agreed to by the inmates and the county defendants -- but not the Alabama Department of Corrections, limiting the jail's population to 38 inmates, and requiring the jail to enhance security and the physical building. The court chose deliberately not to rule upon the third-party claims.

On February 3, 1993, the inmates filed a notice of noncompliance with the consent decree. On June 16, 1993, the court (Judge Acker) approved a settlement for the noncompliance matters.

On July 2, 1997, the Alabama Department of Corrections filed a motion to terminate the consent decree and perspective relief pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). On October 7, 1997, the court (Judge Acker) granted the motion to terminate because no findings had been made that the relief was narrowly drawn or that it was the least intrusive means to correct the violations and the plaintiffs did not make a showing that continued relief was necessary to correct a current violation of a federal right. The court also found that the PLRA was not unconstitutional. The plaintiffs appealed but the appeal was dismissed on February 12, 1998, for failing to pay the filing fee.

Jaclyn Adams - 04/05/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
General
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) DeKalb County
Plaintiff Description inmates in the DeKalb County Jail in Alabama
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
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 1992 - 1997
Case Closing Year 1997
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
91-AR-0308 (N.D. Ala.) 02/12/1998
JC-AL-0006-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion (Class Action) 10/07/1997 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0006-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Acker, William Marsh Jr. (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0006-0001 | JC-AL-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bensing, Robert F. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Ortega, Nancy E. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Thandiwe, Lynnae Francine (Georgia)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Toone, Robert E. Jr. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Leonard, Ellen Ruth (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Lyles, Harry A. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Masters, Daryl L. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Redd, Andrew Weldon (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Tate, Patrick H. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Webb, Kendrick E. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Wilson, Robert G. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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