University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Thomas v. Kidd JC-NC-0002
Docket / Court 90-104 ( W.D.N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
Plaintiff inmates, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against officials at the Mecklenburg County, NC Jail ("Jail") on April 3, 1990 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that a variety ... read more >
Plaintiff inmates, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against officials at the Mecklenburg County, NC Jail ("Jail") on April 3, 1990 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that a variety of conditions violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The parties negotiated a consent decree, which was approved by the court (Judge Robert D. Potter) on November 13, 1990.

The consent decree ordered the Jail to institute population limits, create a maximum time in the intake center of 48 hours, and increase staffing levels. Additionally, the decree ordered the Jail to permit both recreational courtyards to be used simultaneously. The decree stated that each inmate should be given an initial hygiene kit, and it ordered various improvements in sanitation and medical care. The decree also ordered that no inmate should ever be solitarily confined in a metal "box" at any time. The decree also ordered various improvements in fire safety and plumbing, and addressed issues of non-punitive segregation.

Following a series of motions and reports, the court on October 3, 1994 (Judge Potter) approved an order amending the original decree and eliminating requirements for further court oversight.

David Terry - 03/22/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Protective custody
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Mecklenburg County Jail
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, North Carolina
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1990 - 1994
Case Closing Year 1994
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)
90-00104 (W.D.N.C.) 10/03/1994
JC-NC-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Order 11/02/1990 (W.D.N.C.)
JC-NC-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Potter, Robert Daniel (W.D.N.C.)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Daly, George (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Koren, Edward I. (District of Columbia)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Lesesne, Louis L. Jr. (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Simpson, William G. Jr. (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bethune, Marvin A. (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001
Cobb, James O. (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Fox, Gerald G. (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001
Knox, H. Edward (North Carolina)
JC-NC-0002-0001 | JC-NC-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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