University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Petersen JC-WI-0001
Docket / Court 70-C-545 ( E.D. Wis. )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
Pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee County Jail filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, alleging that the conditions at the jail violated their constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Specifically, they complained about inadequacies in relation to ... read more >
Pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee County Jail filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, alleging that the conditions at the jail violated their constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Specifically, they complained about inadequacies in relation to medical care, recreational facilities, sanitation, and access to counsel. The prisoners were represented by the Corrections Legal Services Program, Freedom Through Equality, Inc., the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

On January 12, 1971, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Judge Myron L. Gordon) issued the first opinion in the case, holding that the action could not be maintained as a class action since there was too much turnover in the inmate population. Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Peterson, 51 F.R.D. 540 (E.D.Wis.1971).

On January 17, 1973, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Judge Gordon) issued a second opinion in the case, holding that the policies and procedures at the jail were unconstitutional. Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Peterson, 353 F.Supp. 1157 (E.D.Wis. 1973). He stated that injunctive relief would have been granted had this been a class action lawsuit, but since that status was denied and the prisoners who initiated the lawsuit were no longer at the jail, no relief was granted.

Kristen Sagar - 06/14/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Loss or damage to property
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Milwaukee County Jail
Plaintiff Description Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail alleging inadequacies in relation to medical care, recreational facilities, sanitation, and access to counsel violated constitutional rights
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1973
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
Decision and Order 01/12/1971 (51 F.R.D. 540) (E.D. Wis.)
JC-WI-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported opinion 01/17/1973 (353 F.Supp. 1157) (E.D. Wis.)
JC-WI-0001-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gordon, Myron L. (E.D. Wis.)
JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bass, Stanley A. (New York)
JC-WI-0001-0001
Kelly, Walter F. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0002
Martin, Kent A. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0001
Steinglass, Steven H. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0002
Sutton, Robert E. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bonifas, James J. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0002 | JC-WI-0001-0002
Russell, Robert P. (Wisconsin)
JC-WI-0001-0001 | JC-WI-0001-0002
Thompson, Thomas A. (Wyoming)
JC-WI-0001-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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