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Case Name Ginest v. Board of County Commissioners JC-WY-0002
Docket / Court 86-310 ( D. Wyo. )
State/Territory Wyoming
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
In 1986, inmates at the Carbon County Jail in Wyoming filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all present and future inmates of the Carbon County Jail in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. The plaintiffs alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequacies ... read more >
In 1986, inmates at the Carbon County Jail in Wyoming filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all present and future inmates of the Carbon County Jail in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. The plaintiffs alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequacies in the areas of medical care and mental health care.

In 1987, the court (Judge Alan B. Johnson) certified the class and entered a consent decree on behalf of plaintiffs that required defendants to comply with numerous federal standards in their operation and administration of the jail. In 2003, defendants moved to terminate the consent decree pursuant to the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), and plaintiffs moved for additional discovery to find defendants in contempt of the consent decree. The court denied defendants' motion to terminate and granted plaintiffs' motion for discovery, reasoning that the plaintiffs were entitled to the opportunity to present evidence of ongoing violations before the court terminated the decree. Ginest v. Bd. of Co. Comm'rs. of Carbon Co., 295 F. Supp. 2d 1274 (D. Wyo. 2003). On February 10, 2004, the court granted the plaintiffs' to motion to discover inmate medical information, ordering the defendants to turn over the necessary medical records. Ginest v. Bd. of Co. Comm'rs. of Carbon Co., 306 F. Supp. 2d 1158 (D. Wyo. 2004).

After discovery, on February 5, 2002, the parties entered into a Private Settlement Agreement, to be in effect for eighteenth months. It duly expired on August 6, 2003. We do not have this agreement, but apparently plaintiffs agreed, as one of its provisions, to limit any demonstration of unconstitutional conditions to facts after February 5, 2002.

On July 27, 2004, the court granted plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment and denied defendants' motion to terminate the consent decree, finding that the defendants had violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiff class by failing to provide adequate medical care, inadequate medical record keeping, and a lack of training in suicide prevention. The court ordered defendants to submit a proposed remedial plan to the court within 30 days. Ginest v. Bd. of Co. Comm'rs. of Carbon Co., 333 F. Supp. 2d 1190 (D. Wyo. 2004).

On February 1, 2005, the District Court adopted a remedial plan. We don't have a copy of this document, but we know that it included numerous jail policies and appointed Glenn Biggs as compliance monitor. The plan required the monitor to submit an audit report to the court every two months. The parties also settled plaintiffs' counsel's fee petition as of that date.

After February 1, 2005, plaintiffs' counsel continued to monitor the defendants' compliance with the remedial plan, as well as the compliance monitor's actions to monitor the defendants. Apparently the plaintiffs sought and obtained contempt sanctions at some point before May 2005.

After this, though it is unclear exactly when, plaintiffs' counsel moved to recover fees and out of pocket costs, including travel expenses, associated with his monitoring of the case. The defendants objected, arguing that Pevar should not be compensated for monitoring the defendants' compliance when the court had already appointed Glenn Biggs to be the compliance monitor. The Court observed that attorney fees for a prevailing party in a § 1983 action under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) were "exceptionally low" (maximum $135/hour). Thus, the Court found that in this case - one in which Mr. Pevar achieved exceptional results - a 25% fee enhancement was merited. The Court then reviewed Pevar's fee motion and granted it. Ginest v. Bd. of Co. Comm'rs. of Carbon Co., 423 F.Supp.2d 1237 (D.Wyo. 2006).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision in 2006.

Kristen Sagar - 08/31/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Carbon County
Plaintiff Description all present and future inmates of the Carbon County Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National (all projects)
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 1987 - 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)
86-0310 (D. Wyo.) 07/27/1988
JC-WY-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
District Court
General Documents
Consent Order and Decree 07/28/1987 (D. Wyo.)
JC-WY-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Corrected Nunc pro Tunc order reserving ruling "Defendants' Motion for immediate termination of consent decree" 12/10/2003 (295 F.Supp.2d 1274) (D. Wyo.)
JC-WY-0002-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Allowing Discovery of Inmate Medical Information 02/10/2004 (306 F.Supp.2d 1158) (D. Wyo.)
JC-WY-0002-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order on First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Motions for Summary Judgment, Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Strike Fifth Motion for Summary Judgment; and Partial Order on Motion to Terminte Consent Decree 07/27/2004 (333 F.Supp.2d 1190) (D. Wyo.)
JC-WY-0002-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for an Award of Attorney's Fees and Expenses 03/09/2006 (423 F.Supp.2d 1237) (D. Wyo.)
JC-WY-0002-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Johnson, Alan Bond (D. Wyo.) [Magistrate]
JC-WY-0002-0001 | JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004 | JC-WY-0002-0005 | JC-WY-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Kermit C. (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0005
Burt, Linda (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004
Pevar, Stephen L. (Connecticut)
JC-WY-0002-0001 | JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004 | JC-WY-0002-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Blythe, Daniel G. (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004
Rideout, Richard (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004 | JC-WY-0002-0005
Thompson, Thomas A. (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0001 | JC-WY-0002-0002 | JC-WY-0002-0003 | JC-WY-0002-0004
Villemez, Jane A. (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0005
Williams, K. Craig (Wyoming)
JC-WY-0002-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

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