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Case Name Dotson v. Satterfield JC-MD-0004
Docket / Court 1:87-cv-03123-BEL ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
Plaintiffs brought a section 1983 class action on their own behalf and on behalf of all present and future inmates in the Dorchester County Detention Center seeking injunctive and declaratory relief for deprivations of constitutionally guaranteed rights. Plaintiffs alleged numerous deficiencies of ... read more >
Plaintiffs brought a section 1983 class action on their own behalf and on behalf of all present and future inmates in the Dorchester County Detention Center seeking injunctive and declaratory relief for deprivations of constitutionally guaranteed rights. Plaintiffs alleged numerous deficiencies of the Detention Center regarding issues such as shelter, food, sanitation, personal safety, medical care, visitation, and access to courts. In 1988, the District Court in Maryland (Judge Joseph C. Howard) approved a consent decree memorializing a negotiated settlement between the parties. The decree stipulated that the court would retain jurisdiction until defendants implemented the substantive terms of the agreement, including creation of a pre-trial release program and work release program; higher standards for food services, staffing requirements, population control, fire safety, sanitation, classification, recreation, visitation, medical care; and an agreement to defer the issue of access to the courts for trial if necessary.

In 1992, the District Court re-opened the case, and defendants brought American Risk Pooling and the Coverx Corporation, defendant's insurance companies, into the suit as third-party plaintiffs. The court (Chief Judge Benson E. Legg) held that defendant's insurance policy did not cover attorney's fees for a suit in which damages were not sought. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision in a per curium, unpublished opinion. Dotson v. Chester, 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 28279 (4th Cir. 1994). The docket for this case is available for 1992 through 1994.

Lauren Cutson - 05/19/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Law library access
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Dorchester County Jail
Plaintiff Description all present and future inmates in the Dorchester County Detention Center
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1988 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1994
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)
1:87-cv-03123-BEL (D. Md.) 11/04/1994
JC-MD-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 07/11/1991 (937 F.2d 920)
JC-MD-0004-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 10/12/1994 (37 F.3d 1493)
JC-MD-0004-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Complaint 11/19/1997
JC-MD-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Settlement Agreement 10/03/1998
JC-MD-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Ervin, Samuel James III (Fourth Circuit)
JC-MD-0004-0004
Howard, Joseph Clemens (D. Md.)
JC-MD-0004-0002
Legg, Benson Everett (D. Md.)
JC-MD-0004-9000
Murnaghan, Francis Dominic Jr. (Fourth Circuit)
JC-MD-0004-0003 | JC-MD-0004-0004
Phillips, James Dickson Jr. (Fourth Circuit)
JC-MD-0004-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aiyetoro, Adjoa A. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0004-0001
Goering, Susan (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0001 | JC-MD-0004-9000
Ingram, Patricia L. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0003
Stanley, Denise Ramsburg (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0004
Steele, Nevett Jr. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0003
Wright, Claudia T. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0004-0001 | JC-MD-0004-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Michael A. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0004
Gillece, James Patrick Jr. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0002 | JC-MD-0004-0003 | JC-MD-0004-0004 | JC-MD-0004-9000
Karp, Daniel (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0002 | JC-MD-0004-0004 | JC-MD-0004-9000
Phillips, Lynette M. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0003 | JC-MD-0004-0004
Redden, Roger D. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0004-0003 | JC-MD-0004-0004 | JC-MD-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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