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Case Name Mawson v. Wideman JC-PA-0014
Docket / Court 78-1096 ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
In November 1978, inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison, a jail, filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against county officials. Plaintiffs alleged that certain conditions of confinement were substandard and in violation of the Eighth ... read more >
In November 1978, inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison, a jail, filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against county officials. Plaintiffs alleged that certain conditions of confinement were substandard and in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: inadequate access to courts, medical care, exercise, supplies, and mail; supervision of inmates by other inmates; denial of due process prior to punishment; racial segregation; overcrowding; and denial of access to the commissary. The district court (Judge Richard Paul Conaboy) appointed Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services to represent plaintiffs and certified the class. Mawson v. Wideman, 84 F.R.D. 116 (M.D. Pa. 1979).

The parties reached an agreement, which was approved by the court in December 1981. In 1985 the court determined that defendants had not adequately complied with the terms of the consent decree and appointed Major John D. Case to act as a Master for the purpose of investigating conditions at the prison and reporting to the court.

In October 1987, defendants filed a motion to terminate the 1981 consent decree and to close the case. Following several hearings the court granted defendants motion to terminate the order and closed the case in April 1989. Mawson v. Dorris, 1989 WL 132157 (M.D. Pa. April 12, 1989).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated April 21, 1989.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Law library access
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Recreation / Exercise
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Luzerne County Prison
Plaintiff Description inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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 1981 - 1989
Case Closing Year 1989
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 and Order 10/26/1979 (84 F.R.D. 116) (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0014-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 08/25/1983 (720 F.2d 665)
JC-PA-0014-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum and Order 04/21/1989 (1989 WL 132157 / 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13006) (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0014-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Conaboy, Richard Paul (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0014-0001 | JC-PA-0014-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bragg, O. Randolph (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0014-0001
Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0014-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Gill, Thomas F. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0014-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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