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Case Name Taylor v. Sterrett JC-TX-0003
Docket / Court 3-5220-B ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1971, four inmates of the Dallas County Jail filed a class action suit under section 1983 against jail officials alleging that they were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. In 1972, after a trial on the merits, the district court for the Northern District of Texas (Judge Sarah ... read more >
In 1971, four inmates of the Dallas County Jail filed a class action suit under section 1983 against jail officials alleging that they were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. In 1972, after a trial on the merits, the district court for the Northern District of Texas (Judge Sarah Tilghman Hughes) enjoined defendants from violating Texas state law, censoring inmates' mail, allowing overcrowded conditions, using inmates as corridor bosses, and destroying reading materials and instructed defendants to provide an outdoor area for exercise, provide sufficient security, implement policies and procedures regarding inmate conduct, change visitation policies, and create a classification system. Taylor v. Sterrett, 344 F. Supp. 411 (N.D. Tex. 1972). Defendants appealed and in 1974 the Fifth Circuit affirmed most of the district court's holdings but vacated and remanded the trial court's order regarding visitation and inmates as corridor bosses. Taylor v. Sterrett, 499 F.2d 367 (5th Cir. 1974). Subsequently, the district court ordered defendants to provide the court with written progress reports; defendants appealed, and the Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal in a per curium opinion. Taylor v. Sterrett, 527 F.2d 856 (5th Cir. 1976).

Over the next several years, the district court vigilantly monitored jail conditions and progress. In 1979, the Fifth Circuit ordered the district court to stop exercising jurisdiction and to dismiss the case, finding that the jail was in compliance with previous court orders. Taylor v. Sterrett, 600 F.2d 1135 (5th Cir. 1979). In 1981, litigation continued over attorney's fees. Taylor v. Sterrett, 640 F.2d 663 (5th Cir. 1981). The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision in 1981.

Lauren Cutson - 05/26/2005


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Law library access
Library (non-law) access
Recreation / Exercise
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Visiting
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Dallas County Jail
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Dallas 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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1972 - 1979
Case Closing Year 1979
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
Reported opinion 06/05/1972 (344 F.Supp. 411) (N.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0003-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 08/19/1974 (499 F.2d 367)
JC-TX-0003-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 05/12/1975 (420 U.S. 983)
JC-TX-0003-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Decision 05/12/1975 (421 U.S. 971)
JC-TX-0003-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion 02/25/1976 (527 F.2d 856)
JC-TX-0003-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 08/16/1979 (600 F.2d 1135)
JC-TX-0003-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 03/25/1981 (640 F.2d 663)
JC-TX-0003-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (E.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0003-0001 | JC-TX-0003-0004
Brown, Paul Neeley (E.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Coleman, James Plemon (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0005
Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Gewin, Walter Pettus (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0003-0004
Hughes, Lynn Nettleton (S.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0003-0002
Roney, Paul Hitch (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit, FISCR)
JC-TX-0003-0001
Wisdom, John Minor (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0003-0001 | JC-TX-0003-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bass, Stanley A. (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0002 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004
Berger, Joel (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Byrd, Robert L. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0002 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004
Clayton, James E. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0003
Demarest, Sylvia M. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0004
Dupont, Jarilyn Catherine (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Eck, Sam K. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0002
Greenberg, Jack (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Jordan, John F. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0001 | JC-TX-0003-0002 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0005
Nabrit, James M. III (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Ochoa, Jesus B. Jr. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0002
Ralston, Charles Stephen (New York)
JC-TX-0003-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Luna, Earl (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0001 | JC-TX-0003-0002 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0005 | JC-TX-0003-0007
Murto, Thomas V. III (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0005
Porter, Robert William (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0007
Tolle, John B. (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0001 | JC-TX-0003-0002 | JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0004 | JC-TX-0003-0007
Wade, Henry (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0007
Weatherly, Gerald (Texas)
JC-TX-0003-0003 | JC-TX-0003-0007
Other Lawyers None on record

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