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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lozeau v. Lake County JC-MT-0001
Docket / Court 95-CV-82 ( D. Mont. )
State/Territory Montana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On June 30, 1995, five inmates at the Lake County Jail in Polson, Montana, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against representatives of the county in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the ... read more >
On June 30, 1995, five inmates at the Lake County Jail in Polson, Montana, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against representatives of the county in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by overcrowding, poor maintenance of physical facilities, understaffing, poor classification procedures, failure to protect, inadequate religious exercise, lack of exercise, inadequate recreation, inadequate medical care, and inadequate dental care.

On October 24, 1996, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Judge Charles C. Lovell) entered a consent decree, which dealt with the areas of overcrowding, single celling, staffing, exercise, recreation, clothing, laundry, bedding, sanitation, hygiene, lighting, heating, ventilation, noise, fire protection, inmate security, classification, visitation, mail, telephone privileges, religious exercise, law library access, food services, medical care, and dental care. The court then dismissed the case.

On October 30, 1997, the plaintiffs asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with the terms of the consent decree. The defendants acknowledged that they had failed to comply with a number of the decree's requirements, and they agreed to fix those problems. On April 27, 1999, the plaintiffs again asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with the consent decree in the areas of staffing, medical record keeping, lighting, plumbing, and fire safety.

Upon improvements in these areas, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the contempt actions. On December 16, 1999, the parties also dismissed the underlying consent decree, executing a private settlement agreement in its stead. The plaintiffs asked the district court to award them attorneys fees, and on April 4, 2000, the district court (Magistrate Judge Richard F. Cebull) awarded the requested fees to the plaintiffs. Lozeau v. Lake County, Montana, 98 F.Supp.2d 1157 (D.Mont. 2000).

Kristen Sagar - 10/07/2006
Jessica Kincaid - 07/14/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Hire
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Law library access
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Lake County
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Lake County Jail in Polson, Montana
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1996 - 1999
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 ]

Docket(s)
95-CV-82 (D. Mont.) 05/11/2000
JC-MT-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Press Release -- ACLU Challenges County Jail Conditions 07/01/1995
JC-MT-0001-0002 PDF | External Link | Detail
Consent Decree Order and Judgment 10/23/1996 (D. Mont.)
JC-MT-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Order 04/04/2000 (98 F.Supp.2d 1157) (D. Mont.)
JC-MT-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Cebull, Richard F. (D. Mont.) [Magistrate]
JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alterowitz, Michael G. (Montana)
JC-MT-0001-0002 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Connell, Mark S. (Montana)
JC-MT-0001-0001 | JC-MT-0001-0002 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Pevar, Stephen L. (Colorado)
JC-MT-0001-0001 | JC-MT-0001-0002 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Christopher, Deborah Kim (Montana)
JC-MT-0001-0001 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Long, Robert J. (Montana)
JC-MT-0001-0001 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Sheridan, Robert E. (Montana)
JC-MT-0001-0001 | JC-MT-0001-0003 | JC-MT-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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