University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gilland v. Owens JC-TN-0003
Docket / Court 87-2191 ( W.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On March 18, 1987, convicted inmates and pretrial detainees of Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various county and state entities in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On March 18, 1987, convicted inmates and pretrial detainees of Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various county and state entities in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief, alleging that the defendants had deprived them of various constitutional rights, including those under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, by maintaining poor conditions at the jail. The plaintiffs complained about the following conditions: (1) Crowding; (2) Insufficient Staffing; (3) Lack of Recreational Activity; (4) Insufficient medical services; (5) insufficient legal services; (6) unsanitary environment and absence of personal hygiene materials; (7) improper disciplinary measures; (8) classification; and (9) violence, including sexual assault and rape.

On August 16, 1989, the District Court (Judge Julia S. Gibbons) deferred decision about appropriate relief until further proof could be heard. Gilland v. Owens, 718 F.Supp. 665 (W.D.Tenn. 1989). The Court found that a number of measures had been already taken to remedy some of the unconstitutional conditions. The Court requested that the parties discuss the possibility of negotiation and decided to reconvene on August 24, 1989 to discuss further proceedings.

We do not have detailed documents of further proceedings. According to the docket, on November 13, 1989, the District Court (Judge Gibbons) issued an order granting interim relief and requiring a long range plan. Later, on April 20, 1993, the Shelby County Justice System submitted quarterly report regarding compliance with the court order.

On June 30, 1993, the District Court (Judge Gibbons) approved modification of the long range plan, terminated the consent decree granting relief, and dismissed the case.

Stacey Jensen - 06/05/2006
David Cho - 11/21/2014


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Medical care
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Shelby County Jail
State of Tennessee
Plaintiff Description convicted inmates and pretrial detainees of Shelby County Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
87-2191 (W.D. Tenn.) 08/18/2000
JC-TN-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as to Conditions Issues 08/16/1989 (718 F.Supp. 665) (W.D. Tenn.)
JC-TN-0003-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Terminating Consent Decree 06/30/1993 (W.D. Tenn.)
JC-TN-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gibbons, Julia Smith (Sixth Circuit, W.D. Tenn.)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-0002 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Feibelman, Jef (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Krupicka, Lisa (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Swisher, Kathryn M. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Peter M. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Himmelreich, Davis (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001
Inglis, Debra K. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001
Johnson, Carroll C. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Kuhn, Brian L. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001 | JC-TN-0003-9000
Robinson, Charles E. (North Carolina)
JC-TN-0003-9000
Spann, Kimbra Rowlette (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0003-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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