Prisoners at the Cape May County Jail in New Jersey filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the county in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The plaintiffs alleged that the conditions at the jail violated the constitutionally mandated minimum standards in the areas of physical conditions of the jail, classification, health care, discipline, grievance procedures, food and diet, recreation, educational programs, visitation, clothing provided, and preferential treatment of inmates.
On January 20, 1983, the parties entered into a consent decree wherein the defendants agreed to change some of their policies in order to fully comply with the Manual of Standards for New Jersey Adult County Correctional Facilities. The plaintiffs asked the court to award them attorneys' fees, and on January 12, 1984, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Judge Stanley S. Brotman) held that the consent decree was sufficiently favorable to the plaintiffs to allow them an award of 40% of their reasonable attorneys' fees. Poston v. Fox, 577 F.Supp. 915 (D.N.J. 1984).Kristen Sagar - 06/07/2007