University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. v. Coupe PC-DE-0009
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-00688-GMS ( D. Del. )
State/Territory Delaware
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On August 6, 2015, Delaware's Community Legal Aid Society filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiffs sued the Delaware Department of Correction under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, and ... read more >
On August 6, 2015, Delaware's Community Legal Aid Society filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiffs sued the Delaware Department of Correction under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, and the Declaratory Judgment Act; represented by the ACLU, the complaint sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief. The plaintiff claimed constitutionally inadequate treatment, housing, and care of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed the state was confining prisoners with mental illness in solitary confinement without providing proper medical and mental health treatment for serious medical and mental health needs and without allowing adequate out-of-cell time. The complaint alleged that defendants failed to promptly acknowledge or provide the minimum appropriate care for mentally-ill prisoners, and instead exacerbated their illnesses.

On March 16, 2016, the Court [Gregory M. Sleet] denied defendant's motion to dismiss, except for Count II of the Complaint (Violation Of Article I, Section 11 Of The Delaware Constitution).

As of May 14, 2016, the case is ongoing.

Lakshmi Gopal - 05/14/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 10801
Defendant(s) Delaware Department of Correction
Plaintiff Description Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (“CLASI”) is a non-profit Delaware corporation that represents indigent clients. CLASI has been designated, by the State of Delaware, as the organization with responsibility to protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illness.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
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
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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)
1:15-cv-688 (D. Del.) 06/21/2016
PC-DE-0009-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/06/2015
PC-DE-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 03/16/2016 (2016 WL 1055741) (D. Del.)
PC-DE-0009-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sleet, Gregory Moneta (D. Del.)
PC-DE-0009-0002 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Atkins, Daniel Gary (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Chuff, Christopher Brian (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Cline, Joanna J. (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Dolinsky, Kyle A. (Pennsylvania)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Levine, James Harry Stone (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
McMillan, James Gordon III (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Morse, Richard H. (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Reibach, Ashleigh Kara (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Schanne, John H. II (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Stratton, David B (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-0001 | PC-DE-0009-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Handlon, Joseph Clement (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-9001
Staib, Jason Wade (Delaware)
PC-DE-0009-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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