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Case Name Monmouth County Correctional Institution Inmates v. Lanzaro JC-NJ-0008
Docket / Court 82-1924 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1982, various pro se inmates filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against county and state officials regarding conditions in the Manmouth County Correctional Institute (MCCI) in New Jersey. On January 4, 1983, the district court consolidated the ... read more >
In 1982, various pro se inmates filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against county and state officials regarding conditions in the Manmouth County Correctional Institute (MCCI) in New Jersey. On January 4, 1983, the district court consolidated the lawsuits. Plaintiffs were represented by the Department of the Public Advocate. The court referred the matter to a special master, James R. Zazzali, to investigate conditions at MCCI. The Master's report concluded that the conditions were unconstitutional and on October 10, 1984, the court (Judge Harold A. Ackerman) ordered a population limit of 344 inmates in MCCI, an increase in visitation hours, one hour of recreation per day for all inmates, and medical screening prior to release for all inmates. Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 595 F.Supp. 1417 (D.N.J. 1984).

In January of 1985, plaintiffs sought preliminary injunctive relief from deficiencies in meeting the health needs of pregnant inmates. The parties entered into a consent judgment, but inmates again filed a lawsuit after they were unable to obtain services related to the termination of pregnancies. MCCI had a policy of only providing abortions in life-threatening situations. Some inmates were allowed to leave the facility after obtaining a court-ordered release to personally arrange an abortion. Inmates incarcerated on serious charges were not permitted to leave and were forced to carry pregnancies to term. Plaintiffs challenged the requirement of getting a court order as an infringement of their right to privacy. On June 30, 1986, the court (Judge Ackerman) found the policy unconstitutional. Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 643 F.Supp. 1217 (D.N.J. 1986). Additionally, the refusal to appropriate funds for non-life-threatening situations violated the New Jersey constitution, although not the federal Constitution. Judge Ackerman ordered the facility to cease its practice of requiring pregnant inmates to seek a court-ordered release, to inform women of their right to continue their pregnancy or obtain an abortion, to provide counseling, to make arrangements necessary to obtain an abortion, to assume the cost of all inmate abortions, and to provide a copy of the order to all pregnant inmates.

Defendants appealed. The United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit (Judge A. Leon Higginbotham) affirmed the decision of the district court and modified it in part. Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326 (3d Cir. 1987). The court modified the order so that authorities were not required to make arrangements for an abortion, only provide transportation, and only fund abortions if no other funding is available. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on May 16, 1988. Lanzano v. Monmouth County, New Jersey, Corr. Inst. Inmates, 486 U.S. 1006 (1988).

On September 1, 1988, Judge Ackerman modified his 1984 order to reflect improved conditions in the facility as reported by the special master and increased the capacity to 560 inmates. Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 695 F.Supp. 759 (D.N.J. 1988). Plaintiffs requested a modification to reduce the inmate cap. This was denied. Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 717 F.Supp. 268 (D.N.J. 1989).

Angela Heverling - 05/09/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Recreation / Exercise
Visiting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Monmouth County Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution challenging conditions of confinement
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1984 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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
Opinion 11/14/1984 (595 F.Supp. 1417) (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0008-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/30/1986 (643 F.Supp. 1217) (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0008-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion of the Court 11/25/1987 (834 F.2d 326)
JC-NJ-0008-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 05/16/1988 (486 U.S. 1006)
JC-NJ-0008-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 09/01/1988 (695 F.Supp. 759) (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0008-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 04/13/1989 (717 F.Supp. 268) (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0008-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Ackerman, Harold Arnold (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0008-0001 | JC-NJ-0008-0003 | JC-NJ-0008-0004 | JC-NJ-0008-0005
Higginbotham, Aloyisus Leon Jr. (Third Circuit, E.D. Pa., FISCR)
JC-NJ-0008-0002
Monitors/Masters Zazzali, James (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0001 | JC-NJ-0008-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bomsey, Audrey (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0002 | JC-NJ-0008-0004
Boswell, Gerald (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0005
Hanssens, Catherine A. (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0002 | JC-NJ-0008-0004
Mitchell, T. Gary (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0001 | JC-NJ-0008-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Carton, Malcolm V. (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0001 | JC-NJ-0008-0002 | JC-NJ-0008-0003 | JC-NJ-0008-0004 | JC-NJ-0008-0005
Maloney, Joseph T. (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0008-0001 | JC-NJ-0008-0003 | JC-NJ-0008-0005
Other Lawyers Benshoof, Janet (New York)
JC-NJ-0008-0002
Jones, Charles H. Jr. (New York)
JC-NJ-0008-0002

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