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Case Name Beard v. Lee PC-AL-0019
Docket / Court 4345 ( S.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Sometime prior to 1967, an inmate at the Atmore Prison Farm in Alabama filed a pro se lawsuit 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The plaintiff asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the ... read more >
Sometime prior to 1967, an inmate at the Atmore Prison Farm in Alabama filed a pro se lawsuit 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The plaintiff asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights by segregating the inmates by race and subjecting the black inmates to inferior conditions of confinement than the other inmates.

On March 6, 1967, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama (Judge Virgil Pittman) dismissed the petition without prejudice, ruling that a December 12, 1966 order of the Middle District of Alabama in the case of Washington v. Lee, 263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D.Ala. 1966), PC-AL-0020, had set forth clearly the right of black citizens not to be subjected to racial distinctions in the state penal system. That case had been a class action, and the court in this case found the plaintiff to be a member of that class.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff in this case appealed the district court's dismissal of his lawsuit. On July 1, 1968, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judges John Cooper Godbold, John Milton Bryan Simpson, and William Allen McRae) reversed the district court's dismissal and remanded the case, finding that some of the plaintiff's complaints were not addressed by the Washington order and directing the district court to allow the plaintiff to bring his lawsuit. Beard v. Lee, 396 F.2d 749 (5th Cir. 1968).

On January 24, 1969, the district court (Judge Daniel Holcombe Thomas) granted in part and dismissed in part the plaintiff's request for injunctive relief, ordering the defendants to discontinue certain disciplinary practices and to institute specific conditions and treatment. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 09/10/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Atmore State Prison
Plaintiff Description Convict alleging unconstitutional treatment of prisoners at state prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 1969 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Case Listing PC-AL-0020 : Washington v. Lee (M.D. Ala.)
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
Reported Opinion 07/01/1968 (396 F.2d 749)
PC-AL-0019-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 07/20/1970 (429 F.2d 1239)
PC-AL-0019-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Coleman, James Plemon (Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0019-0001
Godbold, John Cooper (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0019-0002
McRae, William Allan Jr. (M.D. Fla., S.D. Fla.)
PC-AL-0019-0002
Simpson, John Milton Bryan (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0019-0001 | PC-AL-0019-0002
Wisdom, John Minor (Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0019-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers Gallion, MacDonald (Alabama)
PC-AL-0019-0001 | PC-AL-0019-0002
Hall, Leslie (Alabama)
PC-AL-0019-0001
Madison, Gordon (Alabama)
PC-AL-0019-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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