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Case Name Cole v. Tuttle JC-MS-0020
Docket / Court 73-73 ( N.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1973, Roosevelt Cole, on his own behalf and on behalf of all present and future black inmates in the Panola County jail, sued the individual members of the Board of Supervisors of Panola County, Mississippi and the Sheriff for neglecting to look into the state of the prisons as required by ... read more >
In 1973, Roosevelt Cole, on his own behalf and on behalf of all present and future black inmates in the Panola County jail, sued the individual members of the Board of Supervisors of Panola County, Mississippi and the Sheriff for neglecting to look into the state of the prisons as required by Mississippi statute. The plaintiff complained of the unsanitary and unsafe conditions, the absence of fair procedures, physical abuse, denial of religious and political freedoms, inadequate medical attention, denial of a right to fair trial, lack of educational, recreational, and rehabilitation facilities, denial of essential communication due to poverty, inadequate diet, and racial discrimination against black inmates.

In 1973, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi (Judge Orma Smith) dismissed individual board members as defendants. Cole v. Tuttle, 366 F. Supp. 1252 (N.D. Miss. 1973). The cause of action continued against the Sheriff, and in 1975, after the trial, the District Court granted plaintiff some injunctive relief and denied an award of attorney's fees to plaintiff's counsel, who was from North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and the Mississippi Prisoner's Defense Committee. The court also required the Sheriff to submit a detailed report announcing how he would comply with the judgment.

Over the next several years, litigation continued: the District Court denied plaintiff's objections to the Sheriff's report, and the court found that there was evidence that it was necessary for the Sheriff to segregate the races in the ""bull pens"" of the jail in order to protect the prisoners. Plaintiff appealed, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely.

During an appeal in 1976, the parties apparently settled the case, which was therefore remanded to the District Court for entry of an injunction reflecting the settlement and award of attorney's fees. The court entered the stipulated injunction and prohibited the Sheriff and his successors from engaging in racially discriminatory practices, including the assignment of inmates to cells, cell-blocks, or ""bullpens,"" except where the assignment is necessary for the security of the prison. Cole v. Tuttle, 540 F.2d 206 (5th Cir. 1976).

In 1978 the court approved and entered the resulting consent order submitted by the parties. Cole v. Tuttle, 462 F. Supp. 1016 (N.D. Miss. 1978). There is no docket available for this case on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision in 1978.

Lauren Cutson - 05/17/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Disciplinary procedures
Education
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Panola County Jail
Plaintiff Description black inmates of the Panola County Jail in Mississippi
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 1973 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
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 ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum of Decision 11/27/1973 (366 F.Supp. 1252) (N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 09/28/1976 (540 F.2d 206)
JC-MS-0020-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum of Decision 08/31/1978 (462 F.Supp. 1016) (N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Fifth Circuit)
JC-MS-0020-0002
Hill, Robert Andrews (S.D. Miss., N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0002
Roney, Paul Hitch (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit, FISCR)
JC-MS-0020-0002
Smith, Orma Rinehart (N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bailey, Willie (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001
Lipman, David M. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
McTeer, Charles Victor (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001
Myers, Lewis Jr. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Walker, John L. Jr. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002
Walls, Johnnie E. Jr. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001
Welch, Ronald R. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Bailey, M. Collins (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Belleperche, Thomas W. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0002
Finch, Charles C. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Hickman, Will A. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Jackson, John E. Jr. (Mississippi)
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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