University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Heyer v. United States Bureau of Prisons PC-NC-0014
Docket / Court 5:11-ct-03118-D ( E.D.N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On June 20, 2011, two deaf prisoners filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against the federal Bureau of Prisons. Represented by private counsel and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, the plaintiffs filed pursuant to ... read more >
On June 20, 2011, two deaf prisoners filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against the federal Bureau of Prisons. Represented by private counsel and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, the plaintiffs filed pursuant to Bivens claiming violations of the Rehabilitation Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged violations of their Fifth Amendment due process rights, First Amendment Freedom of Speech, and First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants refused to provide them with effective communication and auxiliary aids necessary to accommodate their disability. The discriminatory conduct deprived the plaintiffs of their ability to receive adequate and informed medical treatment, participate in institutional disciplinary proceedings, effectively take part in any rehabilitative, educational, or religious programs, or communicate with those within and outside the institution. The plaintiffs requested declaratory and injunctive relief.

On April 11, 2012, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On June 22, 2011, the case was transferred to Judge James C. Dever, with a revised case number of 5:11-ct-3118. The defendants then filed a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. The plaintiffs also filed for summary judgment on count two of their amended complaint.

On March 11, 2013, Judge Dever denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on count two, granted the defendants' motion to dismiss in part and denied in part, and denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Judge Dever dismissed count one under the Rehabilitation Act for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Judge Dever dismissed count five under the Fifth Amendment for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Eight claims of the plaintiffs' claims survived. 2013 WL 943406 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 11, 2013).

Discovery was contested and the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel the production of documents. On September 12, 2014, the district court issued an ordering denying the plaintiffs' motion to compel the production of documents from the defendants. 2014 WL 4545946 (E.D.N.C. Sept. 12, 2014).

On March 31, 2015, the Court granted in part the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, denied the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, and dismissed as moot the remaining counts of the amended complaint. 2015 WL 1470877 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 31, 2015). The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on May 27, 2015. The case went to the Fourth Circuit as Appeal No. 15-6826.

On November 5, 2015, after the plaintiffs submitted their appellate brief and while the defendants’ response brief was pending, Plaintiff Boyd filed a notice notifying the Fourth Circuit that he had “some limited ability to hear and understand speech in certain contexts.” See Notice, Appeal No. 15-6826, at Doc. 31. On this date, Boyd also filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of his appeal, and proposed that each party bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees. The U.S. opposed this proposal. The matter is currently pending review and disposition by the Fourth Circuit. On January 4, 2016, the district court dismissed Boyd's motion for a voluntary dismissal because the court lacked jurisdiction. As of April 22, 2016, the appeal is still pending before the Fourth Circuit.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/22/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Language discrimination
General
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Rehabilitation
Religious programs / policies
TTY/Close Captioning/etc.
Language
Other
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) United States Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Two deaf federal prisoners
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
5:11-cv-318 (E.D.N.C.) 04/22/2013
PC-NC-0014-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
5:11−ct−03118−D (E.D.N.C.) 01/04/2016
PC-NC-0014-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/20/2011
PC-NC-0014-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verified First Amended Complaint 04/11/2012
PC-NC-0014-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/11/2013 (2013 WL 943406) (E.D.N.C.)
PC-NC-0014-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/12/2014 (2014 WL 4545946) (E.D.N.C.)
PC-NC-0014-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order 03/31/2015 (2015 WL 1470877) (E.D.N.C.)
PC-NC-0014-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order 01/04/2016 (E.D.N.C.)
PC-NC-0014-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Dever, James C. III (E.D.N.C.) [Magistrate]
PC-NC-0014-0003 | PC-NC-0014-0005 | PC-NC-0014-0006 | PC-NC-0014-9000 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Gates, James E. (E.D.N.C.) [Magistrate]
PC-NC-0014-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bergman, Daniel B. (District of Columbia)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002
Fornaci, Phillip Jerome (District of Columbia)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002 | PC-NC-0014-9000 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Gardner, Elizabeth [Elaine] Elaine (District of Columbia)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Hoffman, Ian S. (District of Columbia)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002 | PC-NC-0014-9000 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Pearce, Carolyn A. (California)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Riemann, Neil A. (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-0001 | PC-NC-0014-0002 | PC-NC-0014-9000 | PC-NC-0014-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Acker, G Norman III (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Bredenberg, Michael D. (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Dannels, Jennifer D. (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Dodson, Robert J. (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Fesak, Matthew Lee (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Renfer, R. A. Jr. (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Wood, Seth Morgan (North Carolina)
PC-NC-0014-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -