University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Richardson v. Kane PC-PA-0035
Docket / Court 3:11-cv-02266-WJN-DB ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On July 27, 2012, plaintiff, a male prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest lawyers, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages on behalf ... read more >
On July 27, 2012, plaintiff, a male prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest lawyers, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of himself and an injunction preventing defendants from continuing their unconstitutional housing, recreation, and restraint patterns, practices and policies on behalf of all current and future United States Penitentiary (USP) Lewisburg prisoners.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants violated plaintiff's right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution by forcing him to share a cell with a hostile prisoner, which caused a threat of violence, and by placing him in painful restraints that caused injury for prolonged periods on multiple occasions for refusing dangerous cell assignments with hostile prisoners; and that defendants violated his right to due process under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by depriving him of any meaningful process prior to and during their use of punitive measures against him. Plaintiff claimed that defendants engaged in a pattern, practice, or policy of placing hostile inmates together and putting those who refuse placement in brutal restraints for long periods of time.

In 2008, the Bureau of Prisons created the Special Management Unit (SMU) at USP Lewisburg to serve prisoners who present unique security and management concerns including prisoners who participated in or led group/gang-related activity. Prisoners participate in intake interviews, in part to allow officials to gather information about the prisoners so as to make safe and appropriate placement decisions.

On April 9, 2013, the U.S. District Court (Judge William B. Nealon) granted in part and denied in part defendant's motion to dismiss, declining to certify the class. On October 3, 2014, the U.S. District Court granted an enlargement of time for discover until after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issues a decision on Richardson's appeal of his class certification claims, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that Richardson's appeal will be held pending their decision in Shelton v. Bledsoe. On October 8, 2014, the U.S. District Court issued an order staying the case, pending further order of the court, and ordering the action administratively closed until after the Third Circuit Court of appeals issues a decision on Richardson's appeal of his class certification claims.

Julie Singer - 10/15/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Conditions of confinement
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Male prisoner
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
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
Case Listing PC-PA-0034 : Shelton v. Kane (M.D. Pa.)
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)
3:11-cv-02266-WJN-DB (M.D. Pa.) 10/08/2014
PC-PA-0035-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint 07/27/2012
PC-PA-0035-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [motion to dismiss denied in part and granted in part] 04/09/2013 (2013 WL 1452962)
PC-PA-0035-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Staying Case 10/08/2014 (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0035-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Nealon, William Joseph Jr. (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0035-0002 | PC-PA-0035-0003 | PC-PA-0035-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dermody, Francis J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Finkenstadt, Ivy (Virginia)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Morgan-Kurtz, Alexandra T. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Tobin, Jennifer J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-0001 | PC-PA-0035-9000
Walsh, Marybeth (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Yeh, Su Ming (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Butler, Michael J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0035-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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