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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Beale v. District of Columbia JC-DC-0012
Docket / Court 1:04-CV-0959 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On June 10, 2004, the estate of a deceased former inmate of the District of Columbia jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia against the D. C. Department of Corrections. On November 18, 2004, another former inmate of the Jail, who had simillarly suffered a ... read more >
On June 10, 2004, the estate of a deceased former inmate of the District of Columbia jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia against the D. C. Department of Corrections. On November 18, 2004, another former inmate of the Jail, who had simillarly suffered a stabbing attack, joined the suit through the Amended Complaint. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for damages resulting from claims of wrongful death, unsafe jail conditions, due process violations, and cruel and unusual punishment violations. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that due to the increased population in the D.C. Jail, which was not accompanied by an increase in corrections personnel, jail conditions created a substantial risk that plaintiffs would be exposed to physical harm and that the defendants were aware of the increased risk and did nothing to mitigate that risk.

On December 11, 2002, the originalplaintiff was stabbed and killed by a fellow inmate while in pretrial detention at the D.C. Jail. The additional plaintiff was stabbed two days later. Plaintiffs claimed the stabbings were only possible because the cell block in which Plaintiffs were housed was overcrowded and understaffed by security personnel. Shortly before Mr. Pendleton's death, the D.C. jail was relieved of court-imposed population cap and the population had risen by nearly 40%. The plaintiffs argued that the defendants had been well informed of the situation in the jail but had not resolved the safety concerns at the time of the incident.

The case was heard in District Court (Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, replaced by Judge Ricardo M. Urbina). Defendants moved for summary judgment on June 30, 2005, which was denied October 18, 2005. Concurrently, the parties participated in sealed settlement proceedings before a District of Columbia Magistrate Court (Judge John M. Facciola, replaced by Judge Alan Kay). After discovery was closed but before the case had come before open court, a private settlement was reached, at which point the case was voluntarily dismissed by Plaintiffs on November 18, 2008. According to the website for Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, this case secured "the largest settlement ever in an inmate wrongful death suit against the District of Columbia." http://www.washlaw.org/projects/dc-prisoners-rights.

Jesse Stricklan - 03/10/2014
Daniel Fryer - 02/01/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Conditions of confinement
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Personal injury
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description Estate of an inmate killed by another inmate in the D.C. Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
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)
1:04-cv-00959-RMU (D.D.C.) 11/18/2008
JC-DC-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/10/2004
JC-DC-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 11/08/2004
JC-DC-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [Denying the Plaintiffs' Appeal of Magistrate Judge's Orders Regarding Reopening of Discovery and Briefing Schedule for Dispositive Motions] 03/31/2008 (545 F.Supp.2d 8) (D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0012-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Praecipe of Dismissal 11/18/2008
JC-DC-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Urbina, Ricardo M. (D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0012-0003 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ellickson, Jenny C. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Finkenstadt, Ivy (Virginia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Fornaci, Phillip Jerome (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0001 | JC-DC-0012-0002 | JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Jucovy, Timothy Laszlo (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0001 | JC-DC-0012-0002 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Lamb, Andrew W. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Lange, Ivy (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004
Love, Kelly A. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Martin, Matthew G. T. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Mathias, Edward Michael (Connecticut)
JC-DC-0012-9000
McNish, Kimberly S. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Rippey, Edward H. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0001 | JC-DC-0012-0002 | JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Sparks, Douglas R. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0001 | JC-DC-0012-0002 | JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Zambuto, Joseph Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, C. (Corliss) Vaughn (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Gainey, Shameka (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Jones, Patricia A. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004
Nickles, Peter J. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004
Oxendine, Patricia Ann (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Rickman, George E. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-9000
Valentine, George C. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004
Williams, Zuberi Bakari (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0012-0004 | JC-DC-0012-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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