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Case Name Alberti v. Klevenhagen JC-TX-0001
Docket / Court 72-1094 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1972, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against the Harris County Commissioners Court and the County Sheriff's Department in district court for the Southern District of Texas, alleging unconstitutional jail conditions resulting from overcrowding. In 1975, the court (Judge Carl O. Bue, Jr.) ... read more >
In 1972, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against the Harris County Commissioners Court and the County Sheriff's Department in district court for the Southern District of Texas, alleging unconstitutional jail conditions resulting from overcrowding. In 1975, the court (Judge Carl O. Bue, Jr.) entered a consent decree and instructed defendants to take remedial action to alleviate overcrowding in the jail, to address sanitation problems, and to submit reports to court of its progress. Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris Co., 406 F. Supp. 649 (S.D. Tex. 1975).

The court issued subsequent orders instructing defendants to continue to improve jail conditions, specifically staffing and supervision. In 1985, the court found defendants in civil contempt for failing to comply with staffing requirements laid out in a 1984 order. Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 610 F. Supp. 138 (S.D. Tex. 1985). Defendants appealed the 1985 staffing order, and in 1986, the Fifth Circuit affirmed, Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 790 F.2d 1220 (5th Cir. 1986), and later denied a rehearing en banc. Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 799 F.2d 992 (5th Cir. 1986). Over the next several years, the jail was monitored by a special master, a medical monitor-assessor, and a jail monitor-assessor.

Around 1989, defendants joined the Governor of Texas as a third-party defendant, alleging that the state was responsible for overcrowded conditions because the state jail refused to accept state inmates held at the county jail. The state defendants petitioned the Fifth Circuit for a writ of mandamus to compel transfer of the third-party complaint to a different court in In re Clements (see JC-TX-010). In 1991, the Fifth Circuit held that the state could be held liable for conditions in the county jail system if the state were deliberately indifferent to conditions at the jails and remanded the issue of indifference. Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris Co., 937 F.2d 984 (5th Cir. 1991). The district court (Chief Judge James DeAnda) held both the state and county liable; defendants appealed, the Fifth Circuit affirmed, Alberti v. Sheriff of Harris Co., 978 F.2d 893 (5th Cir. 1992), and the Supreme Court denied defendants' certiorari petition. Richards v. Alberti, 509 U.S. 905 (1993).

Sometime after the Supreme Court denied defendants' writ of certiorari, the district court (Chief Judge Norman W. Black) denied the state's motion to modify the court's 1991 order, and the state appealed. In 1995, the Fifth Circuit affirmed most of the district court's holding but reversed on the issue of population caps. Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 46 F.3d 1347 (5th Cir. 1995).

The PACER docket for this case, which begins in 1992, is virtually empty, so we have no information after 1995 except that the case was reassigned to a new district judge in 1997. The docket records that the case was closed in 1992.

Kristen Sagar - 06/13/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Harris County Jails
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are inmates of the Harris County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1975 - 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)
72-1094 (S.D. Tex.) 07/28/1997
JC-TX-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Opinion 12/16/1975 (406 F.Supp. 649) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 04/10/1985 (606 F.Supp. 478) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 05/24/1985 (610 F.Supp. 138) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 06/04/1986 (790 F.2d 1220)
JC-TX-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
On Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc 09/15/1986 (799 F.2d 992)
JC-TX-0001-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Appointing Special Masters 04/28/1987 (660 F.Supp. 605) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0012 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Amended Order 09/01/1987 (688 F.Supp. 1210) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 10/08/1987 (688 F.Supp. 1176) (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 03/21/1990 (896 F.2d 927)
JC-TX-0001-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
On Petitions for Rehearing 05/31/1990 (903 F.2d 352)
JC-TX-0001-0013 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Reported Opinion 07/25/1991 (937 F.2d 984)
JC-TX-0001-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 05/18/1992 (504 U.S. 930)
JC-TX-0001-0014 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion 11/20/1992 (978 F.2d 893)
JC-TX-0001-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/21/1993 (509 U.S. 905)
JC-TX-0001-0015 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion 02/23/1995 (46 F.3d 1347)
JC-TX-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Benavides, Fortunato Pedro (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0001-0007
Brown, Paul Neeley (E.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005
Bue, Carl Olaf Jr. (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0003 | JC-TX-0001-0006 | JC-TX-0001-0009 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0012
Duhe, John Malcolm Jr. (Fifth Circuit, W.D. La.)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Higginbotham, Patrick Errol (Fifth Circuit, N.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Hill, Robert Madden (Fifth Circuit, N.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005
Jolly, E. Grady (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0013
King, Carolyn Dineen (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0001-0007
Lake, Simeon Timothy III (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-0007
Lively, Pierce (Sixth Circuit)
JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Reavley, Thomas Morrow (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Rosenthal, Lee Hyman (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Birnberg, Gerald M. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0012 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Griffiths, Bruce V. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005
Oitzinger, James T. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0003 | JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005 | JC-TX-0001-0006 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0012 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Defendant's Lawyers Aguilar, Javier (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0007
Begle, Eileen C. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0007
Driscoll, Mike (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Eversole, Jerry (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Fonteno, Jim (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Landry, Edward J. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0011
Lawrence, Roderick O. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0003 | JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005 | JC-TX-0001-0006 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0009 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0012 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Lee, El Franco (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Morales, Dan (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Moss, Joe S. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0011
Ozer, Robert M. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Qualtrough, Kerrie Jo (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001
Radack, Steven (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Resweber, Joe (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0011
Rice, Lisa S. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0011 | JC-TX-0001-0013
Salinas, Lupe (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0004 | JC-TX-0001-0005 | JC-TX-0001-0006 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008 | JC-TX-0001-0010 | JC-TX-0001-0012
Sheppard, Anthony D. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0011
Speece, Ray (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0003 | JC-TX-0001-0006 | JC-TX-0001-0009 | JC-TX-0001-0010
Streicher, Harold M. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Vance, Carol S. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0002 | JC-TX-0001-0011
Worley, John B. (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0001 | JC-TX-0001-0007 | JC-TX-0001-0008
Other Lawyers White, William (Texas)
JC-TX-0001-0010

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