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Case Name Black v. Ricketts PC-AZ-0003
Docket / Court CA No. 84-111 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1984, prisoners of Cellblock 6 who were confined to administrative segregation of the Arizona State Prison filed suit under 42 USC 1983 against the prison and its employees. The plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU National Prison Project and private counsel.

There is no docket ... read more >
In 1984, prisoners of Cellblock 6 who were confined to administrative segregation of the Arizona State Prison filed suit under 42 USC 1983 against the prison and its employees. The plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU National Prison Project and private counsel.

There is no docket available for the case, and it is unclear when the original complaint was filed. The first amended complaint, filed March 8, 1984, focused on administrative segregation procedures and conditions. Plaintiffs alleged many problems with the disciplinary program, including arbitrary assignment of levels, penalties that were degrading and dehumanizing, denial of access to courts, denial of freedom to exercise religious beliefs, and lack of procedural due process. The second amended complaint, filed on May 7, 1984, added a number of general allegations about the totality of conditions in the prison. The ACLU National Prison Project came on the case as counsel for the plaintiffs at this time.

Class certification was granted on May 25, 1984 to include all prisoners classified to Administrative Segregation at the Arizona State Prison.

A stipulated partial settlement agreement was submitted to the District Court of Arizona (Judge Carl A. Muecke) for review and approval on October 26, 1984. In it, the parties agreed to the appointment of Allen Breed as monitor to observe and report to the court on the progress of compliance with the partial settlement. The court heard oral testimony and evidence between February and April of 1985, and a Stipulated Settlement Agreement was filed May 8, 1985. On May 16, 1985, a notice to the class of the proposed partial settlement was filed, and plaintiff inmates filed two sets of objections to it.

Judge Muecke approved the agreement on June 17,1985, noting its provision for an independent monitor to observe the implementation and operation of the policies and practices set forth in the agreement. The court also set deadlines for the resolution of the issues of fees and costs.

The settlement agreement was in three parts. The first part provided for structural and operational agreements governing the execution of the settlement agreement. The second part set out the principles governing the operation and conditions of the administrative segregation unit. The third part of the agreement set forth the present policies and procedures of the Arizona Department of Corrections, including policies on: use of force; use of chemical agents; regulations on mail, telephone, and visitation; safety and emergency procedures; food services, sanitation and hygiene; and administrative segregation. The agreement mandated that these policies be consistent with the first and second parts of the settlement agreement.

Defendants moved to dismiss the case on December 2, 1987. Judge Muecke found that the Monitor's Fourth Report and the Addendum Thereto provided certification that the defendants were in full compliance with the requirements of the agreement, and the case was dismissed on February 4, 1988.

Theresa Spaulding - 06/04/2005

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Law library access
Library (non-law) access
Medical care
Mental health care
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Arizona State Prison
Plaintiff Description Arizona State Prison Cellblock 6 inmates who are classified to administratiev segregation
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1985 - 1988
Case Closing Year 1988
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-AZ-0014 : Wilkinson v. MacDougall (D. Ariz.)
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 ]

  Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment
By: Mona Lynch (UC Irvine)
Citation: (2010)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order 01/05/1984 (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0003-0015 PDF | Detail
Amended Complaint 03/08/1984
PC-AZ-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Second Amended Complaint 05/07/1984
PC-AZ-0003-0003 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Partial Settlement Agreement (Class Action) 10/26/1984
PC-AZ-0003-0005 PDF | Detail
Notice to Class of Proposed Partial Settlement (Class Action) 02/19/1985
PC-AZ-0003-0007 PDF | Detail
Order 06/18/1985 (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0003-0009 PDF | Detail
Order 12/12/1985 (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0003-0011 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Settlement Agreement; Order 02/04/1988
PC-AZ-0003-0013 PDF | Detail
Judges Muecke, Charles Andrew (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0003-0001 | PC-AZ-0003-0003 | PC-AZ-0003-0005 | PC-AZ-0003-0007 | PC-AZ-0003-0009 | PC-AZ-0003-0011 | PC-AZ-0003-0013 | PC-AZ-0003-0015
Monitors/Masters Breed, Allen F. (California)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bendheim, Alice L. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0003-0001 | PC-AZ-0003-0003 | PC-AZ-0003-0005 | PC-AZ-0003-0011
Wright, Claudia T. (District of Columbia)
PC-AZ-0003-0003 | PC-AZ-0003-0005 | PC-AZ-0003-0011
Defendant's Lawyers Corbin, Robert K. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0003-0005 | PC-AZ-0003-0011
Prose, Thomas (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0003-0005 | PC-AZ-0003-0011
Other Lawyers None on record

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