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Case Name Roberts v. County of Mahoning JC-OH-0010
Docket / Court 4:03-cv-02329-DDD ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On November 14, 2003 Ohio inmates filed this class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Ohio, alleging that the conditions of confinement at the Mahoning County Justice Center ("Justice Center") and the Minimum Security Jail ("MSJ") ... read more >
On November 14, 2003 Ohio inmates filed this class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Ohio, alleging that the conditions of confinement at the Mahoning County Justice Center ("Justice Center") and the Minimum Security Jail ("MSJ") violated their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected severe overcrowding and corresponding deprivations. They sought equitable and declaratory relief.

On March 5, 2004, the District Court (Judge David D. Dowd Jr.) granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. A bench trial was held on December 13-15, 2004. Following the trial, Judge Dowd issued his Memorandum, Opinion and Order, including Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. In a Summary Conclusion, the Court stated:

"The Court hereby declares that the plaintiff class has met its burden of proof with respect to its claims that class members (1) are being denied their constitutional rights not to be punished without due process of law and/or not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and (2) are being denied their constitutional right of access to the courts. As a result, the Court finds in favor of the plaintiff class and against the defendants."

The Court did not enter a final judgment and instead appointed Vincent Nathan to act as a Special Master pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3626(f)(1)(B) to assist the parties in a complex and lengthy remedial phase aimed at reaching a final resolution. The Special Master formed the Mahoning County Criminal Justice Working Group which, along with the Special Master, submitted reports and recommendations to the Court.

On June 8, 2006, Judge Dowd requested that Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs appoint a three-judge court for the purpose of considering whether there should be a prisoner release order to rectify the unconstitutional conditions which the Court found existed. The Chief Judge appointed Hon. Alice M. Batchelder, Hon. David D. Dowd Jr., and Hon. Dan Aaron Polster to act as the three-judge court.

By order dated August 2, 2006, the City of Youngstown was permitted to intervene as a matter of right to oppose the imposition of a prisoner release order.

The District Court appointed Special Master Nathan to serve as a court expert within the meaning of Fed.R.Evid. 706(a) for the express purpose of serving and filing an expert report collecting his findings relative to the question of whether crowding at the Jail is the cause of constitutional violations.

On May 17, 2007, the three-judge district court entered a consent decree, which addressed overpopulation problems, double celling, provision of bunk beds rather than mattresses on the floor for inmates, classification procedures, staffing issues, table space for inmates at mealtimes, access to legal aid, disciplinary procedures, facility maintenance issues, lockdowns, and recreation, as well as granted attorney fees to plaintiffs. The three-judge panel entered the decree; it included a population cap and was therefore beyond the authority of a single district judge. 2007 WL 1655505.

Before the decree's expiration date in 2010, the plaintiffs and the County moved the Court to extend the decree in order to prevent the City from continuing to detain nonviolent misdemeanants and overcrowd the facilities. On May 18, 2010, the Court denied these motions stating that there was no basis upon which to extend the decree, and finding that the defendants had taken all reasonable steps to comply - thus the decree ended on May 17, 2010. In June of 2010, the Court also denied plaintiffs' motion to hold the City in contempt after finding that the defendants had taken all reasonable steps to comply with the decree. 2010 WL 2598193.

Kristen Sagar - 03/29/2009
Maurice Youkanna - 07/03/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Hire
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Post-PLRA Population Cap
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Failure to train
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Visiting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Mahoning County Jail
Plaintiff Description All present and future inmates of the Mahoning County Jail and all persons committed to the custody of the Sheriff of the Mahoning 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
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - 2010
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
03-cv-2329-DDD (N.D. Ohio) 02/20/2009
JC-OH-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint Class Action 11/14/2003
JC-OH-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Motion for Class Certification 01/30/2004
JC-OH-0010-0003.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's Proposed Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law 12/01/2004
JC-OH-0010-0021.pdf | Detail
Defendants’ Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 12/10/2004
JC-OH-0010-0022.pdf | Detail
Stipulation of the Parties 12/10/2004
JC-OH-0010-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion (Including Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law) 03/10/2005 (495 F.Supp.2d 670) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for an Injunction 03/21/2005
JC-OH-0010-0005.pdf | Detail
Order (Resolving Doc. No. 95) 03/25/2005 (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response to Defendant's Request for 3 Judge Panel 03/28/2005
JC-OH-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Appointing Special Master Vincent M. Nathan 03/28/2005 (495 F.Supp.2d 693) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0024.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1st Report of the Special Master 04/06/2005
JC-OH-0010-0008.pdf | Detail
Order Re: Compensation for Special Master 04/06/2005 (495 F.Supp.2d 693) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0027.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Report of the Special Master 05/11/2005
JC-OH-0010-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/26/2005 (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Report of the Special Master 08/10/2005
JC-OH-0010-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Fifth Report-Length of Stay at the Mahoning County Justice Center 09/23/2005
JC-OH-0010-0012.pdf | Detail
Sixth Report of the Special Master on Days Elapsed Between Sentencing of Felons and Transportation to Prison 10/12/2005
JC-OH-0010-0013.pdf | Detail
Correspondence 12/20/2005
JC-OH-0010-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/21/2005 (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Seventh Report of the Special Master Report on Days Elapsed Between Major Events in Felony Cases in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas 12/24/2005
JC-OH-0010-0014.pdf | Detail
Seventh Report of the Special Master Appendices 12/24/2005
JC-OH-0010-0015.pdf | Detail
2nd Report of the Special Master 04/19/2006
JC-OH-0010-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ordering Referral to Three Judge Panel] 05/25/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 694) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0028.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Appointing Three Judge Panel] 06/08/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 708) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0029.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Regarding Status Conference] 06/29/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 710) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0030.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention 08/02/2006
JC-OH-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Motion to Intervene] 08/02/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 712) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0031.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/07/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 713) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Submission of Itemized Statement of Time & Expenses 09/12/2006
JC-OH-0010-0016.pdf | Detail
Order [Regarding the Hearing of the Panel] 12/29/2006 (495 F.Supp.2d 718) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0032.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Judgment Entry 05/17/2007 (495 F.Supp.2d 719)
JC-OH-0010-0025.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 06/04/2007 (495 F.Supp.2d 784) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0026.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order [Denying Motion to Extend Consent Entry] 05/18/2010 (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0033.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Denying Motion for Contempt] 06/23/2010 (2010 WL 2598193) (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0034.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batchelder, Alice Moore (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
JC-OH-0010-0004 | JC-OH-0010-0007 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0033 | JC-OH-0010-0034
Dowd, David Dudley Jr. (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0002 | JC-OH-0010-0003 | JC-OH-0010-0004 | JC-OH-0010-0005 | JC-OH-0010-0006 | JC-OH-0010-0007 | JC-OH-0010-0017 | JC-OH-0010-0018 | JC-OH-0010-0019 | JC-OH-0010-0020 | JC-OH-0010-0021 | JC-OH-0010-0022 | JC-OH-0010-0023 | JC-OH-0010-0024 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-0027 | JC-OH-0010-0028 | JC-OH-0010-0029 | JC-OH-0010-0030 | JC-OH-0010-0031 | JC-OH-0010-0032 | JC-OH-0010-0033 | JC-OH-0010-0034 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Limbert, George J. (N.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
JC-OH-0010-0002 | JC-OH-0010-0022
Polster, Dan A. (N.D. Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0004 | JC-OH-0010-0007 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0033 | JC-OH-0010-0034
Monitors/Masters Nathan, Vincent M. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0006 | JC-OH-0010-0008 | JC-OH-0010-0009 | JC-OH-0010-0010 | JC-OH-0010-0011 | JC-OH-0010-0012 | JC-OH-0010-0013 | JC-OH-0010-0014 | JC-OH-0010-0015 | JC-OH-0010-0016 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Armbruster, Robert (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0001 | JC-OH-0010-0002 | JC-OH-0010-0003 | JC-OH-0010-0005 | JC-OH-0010-0021 | JC-OH-0010-0023 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Kelley, Thomas (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0001 | JC-OH-0010-0002 | JC-OH-0010-0003 | JC-OH-0010-0005 | JC-OH-0010-0021 | JC-OH-0010-0023 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Downey, Daniel T. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0005 | JC-OH-0010-0022 | JC-OH-0010-0023 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Gains, Paul J. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Hackett, Sharon K. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Landes, Mark David (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0005 | JC-OH-0010-0022 | JC-OH-0010-0023 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Michaels, Thomas N. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Stratford, Linette M. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-0026 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Other Lawyers Farris, Anthony J. (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0004 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-9000
Guglucello, Iris Torres (Ohio)
JC-OH-0010-0004 | JC-OH-0010-0025 | JC-OH-0010-9000

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