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Case Name Tyler v. Percich JC-MO-0004
Docket / Court 74-40 ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On January 18, 1974, inmates of the St. Louis City Jail filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against the City of St. Louis, its Department of Public Safety, and the St. Louis Sheriff. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On January 18, 1974, inmates of the St. Louis City Jail filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against the City of St. Louis, its Department of Public Safety, and the St. Louis Sheriff. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, sought injunctive relief, alleging that overcrowding at the St. Louis City Jail produced conditions which violated the inmates' constitutional rights. The United States initially participated as amicus curiae.

On October 2, 1974, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Judge John K. Regan) ordered the closure of the St. Louis City Jail. The court stayed its order for 30 days to allow the city to improve conditions at the jail. To avoid closure, the court ordered the St. Louis Jail (1) to have two guards on each floor at all times, (2) to follow cell occupancy limits, (3) to cease giving inmates authority over one another, and (4) to promptly transport sick and injured inmates to medical facilities. The court also capped jail capacity at 228 prisoners.

The City appealed. The file contains internal documents showing that the United States considered filing an amicus curiae brief to represent the federal government's interest in litigation involving a recently surveyed facility. On the court's order, the United States' status was changed from amicus curiae to intervener for the plaintiff on December 10, 1974.

On December 29, 1975, the court denied motions by the United States to enjoin the city (1) from transferring prisoners from the St. Louis City Jail to other facilities in the county and (2) to improve visitation and recreation for inmates. First, the United States challenged the practice of housing overflow detainees at Central Police Holdover because conditions at Holdover were more restrictive than at the jail. Second, the United States alleged that visitation facilities and recreational opportunities were too scarce for all inmates to enjoy their benefits.



The Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice initially recommended that the United States appeal the denial on March 1, 1976. By April 20, 1976, it appears that the Department of Justice had abandoned that plan because to appeal would be effectively to ask the court to hold the St. Louis Jail to higher standards than 90% of the facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. On March 29, 1977, the Civil Rights Division recommended the case be closed, which was done on April 7, 1977.

On September 19, 1977, the matter was reopened for investigation of alleged double-celling. The Department of Justice chose not to pursue the allegations because double-celling had ended when the jail finished remodeling its facilities.

In 1982, the plaintiffs asked the court to hold the defendants in contempt of court for housing more than 228 prisoners at the St. Louis Jail. During evidentiary hearings, it became apparent that the St. Louis Jail still regularly housed overflow inmates at the Holdover. The court concluded that Holdover had effectively become an extension of the jail and, therefore, was subject to the terms of the injunction. Conditions in the overflow facilities, however, fell far below the mark. For instance, prisoners at Holdover could not wash their hands or shower, had no beds to sleep on, and were given neither towels nor toilet paper. Prisoners also lacked clean clothing, bedding, and toothbrushes.

On September 4, 1984, the court (Judge Clyde S. Cahill, Jr.) ordered that Holdover be closed as a jail facility and decreed that no prisoner would be held at Holdover for more than twenty-four hours. Tyler v. United States v. Schweitzer, 602 F. Supp. 476 (E.D. Mo. 1984). Although the court found the City in contempt, it concluded that a court order was not necessary because the City had already voluntarily taken remedial steps. The court also set a new population cap for the St. Louis City Workhouse, which it thought could be used to house jail overflow. The court awarded the plaintiffs attorney's fees and costs.

On April 11, 1990, the court increased the population cap for the St. Louis City Workhouse from 450 inmates to 481. Tyler v. United Stats v. Murphy, 737 F. Supp. 531 (E.D. Mo. 1990). The court mandated increases in staff and ordered the city to maintain per-inmate food, clothing, medical and dental expenditures. The court also ordered the City to submit a plan for electronic shackling and house arrest. The court discussed the social problems that contribute to jail overcrowding and suggested that simply building more jails would not necessarily resolve the problem. The court suggested that jail overcrowding could be addressed by expediting criminal trials, increasing the use of bail bonds, home arrest, and closing the jail to military arrestees, parole violators, and convicts awaiting other trials.

From 1993 to 1994, the court considered the problem that parole violators posed for already overcrowded jails. The court placed caps on the number of parole violators who could be housed at the Workhouse. In 1994, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ordered the lower court to reconsider the cap on parole violators. On September 16, 1996, the District Court issued an order capping at twenty the number of parole violators who could be detained at the Workhouse. The court's order required the Workhouse to release parole violators arrested after the facility was at capacity, even if open beds were available. When the district court refused the St. Louis Sheriff's request to dissolve the injunction pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the Sheriff appealed. On February 5, 1998, the Eighth Circuit (Judge James B. Loken) reversed, holding that the injunction should be dissolved under the PLRA because it predated the PLRA. Tyler v. Murphy, 135 F.3d 594 (8th Cir. 1998).

In April 1999, the City of St. Louis announced that the St. Louis City Jail would be demolished and replaced by a new facility, scheduled to be complete in 2002. On April 6, 2000, the parties entered a stipulation for dismissal of the case, which the court (Judge Carol E. Jackson) approved. On May 24, 2000, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees and costs.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/27/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
General
Bathing and hygiene
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Recreation / Exercise
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) St. Louis City Jail
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now confined, or have been confined, or will be confined in the City Jail of St. Louis.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1974 - 1998
Case Closing Year 2000
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 ]

  Judicial Policy-Making in Institutional Reform Litigation: Analysis of an Activist Bench in the Saint Louis City Jail Case
Written: Sep. 15, 2006
By: Terri B. Payne (Washington University)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
74-40 (E.D. Mo.) 03/11/1994
JC-MO-0004-9001.pdf | Detail
4:74-cv-00040-CEJ (E.D. Mo.) 02/28/2003
JC-MO-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 10/02/1974 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion 10/15/1974 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0033.pdf | Detail
Memorandum for the Solicitor General 11/06/1974
JC-MO-0004-0011.pdf | Detail
Judgment 12/10/1974
JC-MO-0004-0040.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of the U.S. in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Amend Judgment 01/20/1975
JC-MO-0004-0039.pdf | Detail
Motion of U.S. for Injunctive Relief 03/06/1975
JC-MO-0004-0037.pdf | Detail
Reply Memorandum to United States Memorandum 03/07/1975
JC-MO-0004-0038.pdf | Detail
Order 04/11/1975 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0036.pdf | Detail
Partial Consent Decree 08/08/1975 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0034.pdf | Detail
Motion of the Bar Association to File Amicus Curiae in Support of United States 12/19/1975
JC-MO-0004-0035.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiff-Intervenor's Motion for a Restraining Order 12/19/1975
JC-MO-0004-0041.pdf | Detail
Memorandum for the Solicitor General 03/02/1976
JC-MO-0004-0012.pdf | Detail
Recommendation of Amicus participation on Appeal 04/20/1976
JC-MO-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Notice to Close File 03/29/1977
JC-MO-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Correspondence: Tyler v. Percich & U.S., amicus curiae 04/07/1977
JC-MO-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Notice to Close File 09/19/1977
JC-MO-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Correspondence 09/20/1982
JC-MO-0004-0014.pdf | Detail
Order & Memorandum 08/31/1984 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0015.pdf | Detail
Memorandum 08/31/1984 (602 F.Supp. 476) (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0043.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Interim Order 04/11/1990 (737 F.Supp. 531) (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0042.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 04/22/1994 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0016.pdf | Detail
Defendant's Plan for Construction of Additional Detention Facilities and Other Related Matters 08/01/1994
JC-MO-0004-0017.pdf | Detail
Order 08/26/1994 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0018.pdf | Detail
Memorandum 08/31/1994
JC-MO-0004-0019.pdf | Detail
Order 09/08/1994 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0020.pdf | Detail
Courtroom Minute Sheet 09/20/1994
JC-MO-0004-0022.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Concurrence with Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Adding State as a Party 10/12/1994
JC-MO-0004-0021.pdf | Detail
State's Suggestions in Opposition to Join State as Party Defendant 10/14/1994
JC-MO-0004-0023.pdf | Detail
Order 02/06/1995 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0025.pdf | Detail
Order 03/07/1995 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0024.pdf | Detail
Suggestions of City Regarding the Effect on this Case of the Helms Amendment 03/30/1995
JC-MO-0004-0027.pdf | Detail
Memorandum 04/26/1995
JC-MO-0004-0026.pdf | Detail
Defendant's Memorandum in Oppositionto Plaintiffs' Motion to Return Prisoners to Missouri and for Contempt 04/27/1995
JC-MO-0004-0029.pdf | Detail
Order 09/16/1996 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0030.pdf | Detail
Correspondence 12/05/1996
JC-MO-0004-0031.pdf | Detail
Fax 08/01/1997
JC-MO-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter 08/21/1997
JC-MO-0004-0032.pdf | Detail
Reported Opinion 02/05/1998 (135 F.3d 594)
JC-MO-0004-0044.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
ACLU Newsletter Article 08/01/1999
JC-MO-0004-0013.pdf | Detail
Consent Dismissal 04/06/2000
JC-MO-0004-0028.pdf | Detail
Judges Bright, Myron H. (Eighth Circuit)
JC-MO-0004-0040 | JC-MO-0004-0044
Cahill, Clyde S. Jr. (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0015 | JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0022 | JC-MO-0004-0042 | JC-MO-0004-0043
Jackson, Carol E. (E.D. Mo.) [Magistrate]
JC-MO-0004-0024 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0028 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-0031 | JC-MO-0004-0032 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Lay, Donald Pomery (Eighth Circuit)
JC-MO-0004-0040
Loken, James B. (Eighth Circuit)
JC-MO-0004-0044
Regan, John Keating (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0004-0002 | JC-MO-0004-0033 | JC-MO-0004-0036
Webster, William Hedgcock (E.D. Mo., Eighth Circuit)
JC-MO-0004-0040
Wollman, Roger Leland (Eighth Circuit)
JC-MO-0004-0044
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Behm, James (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9000
Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0010
Guilfoil, Thomas (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0038 | JC-MO-0004-0041 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Hamilton, Jean Constance (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0005 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0038
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0003
Lawrenz, Jerry (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0017 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0019 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Lazier, Wellington (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9000
Moore, Joseph B. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-0042 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9000 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0003 | JC-MO-0004-0011 | JC-MO-0004-0012 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0039
Queen, Jesse H. (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0004
Shea, Quinlan J. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0039
Short, Barry A. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0005 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0023 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0027 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Susman, Frank (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0013 | JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0017 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0019 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0023 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0026 | JC-MO-0004-0027 | JC-MO-0004-0028 | JC-MO-0004-0029 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-0031 | JC-MO-0004-0032 | JC-MO-0004-0042 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-0044 | JC-MO-0004-9000 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Waxenberg, Michael (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0015
Whinston, Stephen A. (District of Columbia)
JC-MO-0004-0004 | JC-MO-0004-0005 | JC-MO-0004-0006 | JC-MO-0004-0034 | JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0038 | JC-MO-0004-0039 | JC-MO-0004-0041
Defendant's Lawyers Ahrens, Richard A. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Arthur, Jennifer M. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9000
Banks, Eric K (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0044
Belscher, A. Robert (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0038 | JC-MO-0004-0041 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Bennett, James F. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0044 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Carmody, Gerald T. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0028 | JC-MO-0004-0032 | JC-MO-0004-0044 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Coultas, Anthony J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9001
Dierker, Robert H. Jr. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0043
Downey, Joseph (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0042 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Dylewski, Donald G. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0028 | JC-MO-0004-0032 | JC-MO-0004-0044 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Farmer, Bruce (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0023
FitzGibbon, John J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0034 | JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0038 | JC-MO-0004-0041 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Fitzgibbons, John J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0042
Franz, William M. III (Texas)
JC-MO-0004-0017 | JC-MO-0004-0019 | JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0023 | JC-MO-0004-0026 | JC-MO-0004-0027 | JC-MO-0004-0029 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Kovac, Stephen J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0042
Lee, Charlie (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Matchefts, James L. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0017 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0019 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0023 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0026 | JC-MO-0004-0027 | JC-MO-0004-0029 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000 | JC-MO-0004-9001
McLaurin, Phillip (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Mummert, Thomas C. III (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0018 | JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Munich, John R. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0023
Murphy, James W. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9001
Nixon, Jeremiah (Jay) W. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0023
Ray, Thomas J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0017 | JC-MO-0004-0019 | JC-MO-0004-0028
Schweitzer, Gordon (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9001
Stelzer, Michael F. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-9000
Taborn, Tyrone A. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0021 | JC-MO-0004-0026 | JC-MO-0004-0027 | JC-MO-0004-0029
Walsh, Thomas C. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0044
Wilson, Timothy J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0020 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-9000
Witherspoon, Brian (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0042
Yates, Carl W III (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0044
Other Lawyers Arnold, John Fox (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0041
Dittmeier, Thomas E. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014
Gardner, Gary L. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0023 | JC-MO-0004-0025 | JC-MO-0004-0030 | JC-MO-0004-0042 | JC-MO-0004-9000 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Schultz, Gene (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Stohr, Donald J. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0035 | JC-MO-0004-0037 | JC-MO-0004-0039 | JC-MO-0004-0041 | JC-MO-0004-9001
Thompson, Curtis F. (Missouri)
JC-MO-0004-0014 | JC-MO-0004-0016 | JC-MO-0004-0043 | JC-MO-0004-9001

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