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Case Name Courtney v. Bishop PC-AR-0002
Docket / Court Docket No. Not Available ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On May 28, 1967, Robert Courtney filed a pro-se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging cruel and unusual treatment while he was held in solitary confinement at Cummins Farm, an Arkansas state prison. Private counsel was ... read more >
On May 28, 1967, Robert Courtney filed a pro-se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging cruel and unusual treatment while he was held in solitary confinement at Cummins Farm, an Arkansas state prison. Private counsel was assigned to represent Plaintiff, and a second complaint, which was based on another placement in solitary confinement subsequent to filing of the first complaint, was filed on December 18, 1967, and was incorporated into the first complaint. Plaintiff was specifically alleging that he was arbitrarily placed in solitary confinement, and was deprived of adequate and sanitary food, medical and psychiatric treatment, and was beaten by prison officials.

On January 26, 1968, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Judge Oren Harris) dismissed the complaint, finding that Plaintiff had not been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff was not arbitrarily held in solitary confinement; rather, he was confined the first time for being intoxicated and scratching another inmate, and the second time for stabbing another inmate twice in the back. On the other issues, the court found that the Plaintiff had failed to prove cruel and unusual treatment.

On April 21, 1969, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Marion Charles Matthes) affirmed. Courtney v. Bishop, 409 F.2d 1185 (8th Cir. 1969). On November 10, 1969, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Courtney v. Bishop, 90 S.Ct. 235 (1969).

Megan Raynor - 04/02/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
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) Arkansas State Penitentiary
Cummins Farm
Plaintiff Description Prisoner alleging cruel and unusual treatment inflicted upon him during solitary confinement in state penal institution
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
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 04/21/1969 (409 F.2d 1185)
PC-AR-0002-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 11/10/1969 (396 U.S. 915)
PC-AR-0002-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Matthes, Marion Charles (Eighth Circuit)
PC-AR-0002-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lyon, Philip K. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0002-0001
Robinson, Robert L. Jr. (Missouri)
PC-AR-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Langston, Don (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0002-0001
Purcell, Joe (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0002-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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