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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Rooks & U.S. v. Herring JC-AL-0007
Docket / Court 1:92-cv-00316-M ( S.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On April 23, 1992, inmates at the Conecuh County Jail ("Jail") in Evergreen, Alabama filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

The plaintiffs, represented by ... read more >
On April 23, 1992, inmates at the Conecuh County Jail ("Jail") in Evergreen, Alabama filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the Southern Center For Human Rights, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages for the alleged inhumane conditions of confinement they were subjected to at the Jail. The case was certified by the Court as a class action and, subsequently, the United States intervened pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1997 et seg.

After extensive discovery and several settlement conferences, the parties arrived at a settlement. On September 27, 1994, the proposed Consent Order setting forth the settlement agreement was preliminarily approved. After a hearing, the District Court (Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling, Jr.) overruled objections to the settlement and approved and entered the Consent Order on January 24, 1995. The Consent Order resolved the class action claims, the individual inmate claims, and the claims of the United States. It called for a renovation of the Jail and substantive reforms in various policies and procedures which governed its operation.

Following the entry of the Consent Order, the defendants provided progress reports to the District Court detailing the status of implementing the specified reforms.

On July 11, 1996, counsel for all parties filed a joint motion to dismiss, stating that the defendants had substantially complied the terms of the Consent Order. The District Court granted the motion on July 24, 2006 and dismissed the case, retaining jurisdiction over the payment of attorneys' fees.

Subsequent to the dismissal order, plaintiffs filed a motion for relief from the judgment and a motion to Show Cause. On March 7, 1997, the District Court entered a stay order in the case and further ordered the defendants to submit monthly reports to counsel for plaintiffs, covering agreed upon topics which included the jail's population.

Thereafter, defendants filed a motion to terminate Consent Order pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. For reasons that are not clear from the PACER docket, on 10/05/1998, the Court entered an order denying plaintiffs' motion for relief from the Order and denied as moot all other pending motions. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Dan Dalton - 02/07/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Grievance Procedures
Mail
Phone
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Corrections
Conecuh County Jail
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now, have previously or in the future will be incarcerated at the Conecuh County Jail.
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 - 1998
Case Closing Year 1998
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 ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Written: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
92-0316AH-M (S.D. Ala.) 10/05/1998
JC-AL-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint & Amended Complaint 06/30/1992
JC-AL-0007-0001 PDF | Detail
Report and Recommendation 11/10/1992 (1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17794) (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0008 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Letter 10/06/1993
JC-AL-0007-0007 PDF | Detail
Findings letter re: Intention to Intervene in Rooks v. Thigpen (Rooks v. Herring) 11/30/1993
JC-AL-0007-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order and Judgment 12/10/1993 (1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17683) (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0009 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Consent Order 09/27/1994 (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0003 PDF | Detail
Order 01/24/1995 (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0006 PDF | Detail
Joint Motion to Dismiss 07/11/1996
JC-AL-0007-0004 PDF | Detail
Order 07/24/1996 (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0005 PDF | Detail
Judges Milling, Bert W. Jr. (S.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0005 | JC-AL-0007-0006 | JC-AL-0007-0008 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Vollmer, Richard W. Jr. (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0009
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0004
Brewster, Henry (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0001 | JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0007 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Ortega, Nancy E. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0007-0001 | JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0007 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-9000
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-9000
Schoen, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-9000
Seidel, Eugene A. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0002 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Vulevich, Edward J. Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Alford, Helen Johnson (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Harden, Paul M. Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-9000
Leonard, Ellen Ruth (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Lyles, Harry A. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-9000
Redd, Andrew Weldon (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Stevens, Frederick H. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0004 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Wasden, H. William (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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