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Case Name Hertz v. Cleary PC-AK-0001
Docket / Court 3AN-81-5274 ( State Court )
State/Territory Alaska
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1981, inmates filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Alaska in state court challenging the conditions of Alaska's correctional facilities. The class consisted of all inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities. ... read more >
In 1981, inmates filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Alaska in state court challenging the conditions of Alaska's correctional facilities. The class consisted of all inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities. In 1983, the parties entered into settlement agreements and several issues were reserved for trial, which was held in 1984. In 1985, the superior court entered an order setting population caps. An appeal was stayed to allow settlement negotiations. On August 1, 1990, the Final Settlement Agreement was reached and it was subsequently modified after comments from class members.

Prior to the comment period, inmate Sidney Hertz moved to intervene as a plaintiff in the litigation. He also later moved to extend the comment period and filed proposed changes to the settlement agreement. The Superior Court, Third Judicial District in Anchorage (Judge Karen L. Hunt) did not rule on the motion to intervene and treated his other motions as comments. Hertz appealed and the Supreme Court of Alaska (Judge Rabinowitz) held that the superior court did not err in denying Hertz's motion to intervene. Hertz v. Cleary, 835 P.2d 438 (Alaska 1992).

In 1993, defendants moved to modify provisions of the settlement agreement to increase maximum capacity limits due to financial constraints. An expert reported that there had been significant improvements in the prison conditions since the settlement agreement was reached. An order by Judge Hunt dated October 25, 1993 allowed defendants to increase capacity at two prisons but denied any other modifications. Judge Hunt granted plaintiffs' motion to reconsider in late 1993.

Plaintiffs moved for an order holding the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with population caps in the original settlement agreement. On September 9, 1994, Judge Hunt ordered the state of Alaska to pay sanctions for every day that the statewide prison population exceeded capacity agreed upon in the settlement agreement. It also ordered the DOC to provide monthly population reports.

Angela Heverling - 04/07/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Fairbanks Correctional Center
Spring Creek Correctional Center
Plaintiff Description All inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1990 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 05/29/1992 (835 P.2d 438)
PC-AK-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Decision and Order: Defendants' Motion for Relief and Judgment 10/25/1993
PC-AK-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Motion to Reconsider Decision and Order: Defendant's Motion for Relief from Judgment 11/04/1993
PC-AK-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Reconsider Decision and Order: Defendant's Motion for Relief from Judgment 12/28/1993
PC-AK-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Decision and Order (Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions 09/12/1994
PC-AK-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges Burke, Edmond W. (State Supreme Court)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Compton, Allen T. (State Supreme Court)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Hunt, Karen L. (State Supreme Court)
PC-AK-0001-0003 | PC-AK-0001-0004 | PC-AK-0001-0005
Matthews, Warren W. (State Supreme Court)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Rabinowitz, Jay Andrew (State Supreme Court)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Sanders, Vance A. (Alaska)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Taylor, R. Scott (Alaska)
PC-AK-0001-0003
Volland, Philip R. (Alaska)
PC-AK-0001-0002 | PC-AK-0001-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Cole, Charles E. (Alaska)
PC-AK-0001-0006
Stark, Michael J. (Alaska)
PC-AK-0001-0002 | PC-AK-0001-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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