University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gluth v. Arizona Department of Corrections PC-AZ-0011
Docket / Court 84-1626 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1984, inmates at the Arizona State Prison at Florence filed a class action suit seeking injunctive relief against the Arizona Department of Corrections under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that its policies concerning the prison law library denied them meaningful access to the courts. The ... read more >
In 1984, inmates at the Arizona State Prison at Florence filed a class action suit seeking injunctive relief against the Arizona Department of Corrections under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that its policies concerning the prison law library denied them meaningful access to the courts. The plaintiffs were represented by the Arizona State University Law School Clinic. The United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Judge Charles Andrew Muecke) granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff class and issued an order mandating certain changes in the operation of the library. Gluth v. Kangas, 773 F.Supp. 1309 (D. Ariz. 1988). The Court held the following: (1) inmates denied physical access to prison law library were entitled to assistance from someone trained in law, not simply another inmate without adequate training; (2) the new law library access policy implemented by the prison failed to provide detailed guidelines that would thwart arbitrariness and ensure that inmates would enjoy adequate law library access; (3) the indigency policy that forced inmates to choose between purchasing essential hygienic supplies and essential legal supplies provided prisoners unacceptable "choice" and that it should be adjusted to provide prisoners with enough funds to avoid forcing them to forfeit essential hygiene supplies. The Court drafted the provisions of the injunctive order, at the request of the plaintiffs; it ensured that inmates received adequate law library access through accommodating hours, properly trained legal assistants, and available resources needed for research and writing. The Court then appointed a Special Master, Daniel Pochoda, to ensure that the injunctive measures were abided by.

The defendant Department appealed the grant of summary judgment and the injunction in 1991 and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Pamela Ann Rymer) upheld the District Court decision. Gluth v. Kangas, 940 F.2d 668 (table), 1991 WL 138845 (9th Cir. 1991). Judge Rymer's memorandum disposition from this case was later redesignated as an opinion and thereafter published in F.2d. Gluth v. Kangas, 951 F.2d 1504 (9th Cir. 1991).

Litigation continued with respect to the appointment of subsequent Special Masters, attorneys' fees, and motions to modify the permanent injunction. In March 2000, the District Court (Judge Paul Rosenblatt) entered a stipulated Modified Permanent Injunction and the Special Master was thereafter dismissed. In the Special Master's place a Joint Expert was selected by the parties to monitor the Permanent Injunction with the understanding that if the Court was satisfied after reviewing the Joint Expert's status reports that the prison was being compliant, the injunction would be terminated and the case dismissed. In February 2002, Judge Rosenblatt terminated the Modified Permanent Injunction and dismissed the case without prejudice. Nothing further appears in the docket.

Rebecca Bloch - 02/15/2006

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Law library access
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Arizona Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description inmates at the Arizona State Prison
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
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1988 - 2002
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing MH-AZ-0001 : Arnold v. Lewis (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 ]

84-1626 (D. Ariz.) 11/25/2005
PC-AZ-0011-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 08/28/1990 (773 F.Supp. 1309) (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0011-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum 07/26/1991 (940 F.2d 668)
PC-AZ-0011-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order 12/23/1991 (951 F.2d 1504)
PC-AZ-0011-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Brunetti, Melvin T. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-AZ-0011-0002 | PC-AZ-0011-0003
Muecke, Charles Andrew (D. Ariz.)
Rosenblatt, Paul Gerhardt (D. Ariz.)
Rymer, Pamela Ann (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-AZ-0011-0002 | PC-AZ-0011-0003
Zilly, Thomas Samuel (W.D. Wash.)
PC-AZ-0011-0002 | PC-AZ-0011-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aiken, Jane H. (Arizona)
Bartlett, Elizabeth (Arizona)
Calleros, Charles R. (Arizona)
Dauber, Grant (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0011-0001 | PC-AZ-0011-0002
Mais, Sharon (Arizona)
Nomkin, Joel W. (Arizona)
Rosati, Kristen Brink (Arizona)
Weeks, Lawrence B. (California)
Weiss, Rachel Rife (Arizona)
Defendant's Lawyers Abney, Lynne W. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0011-0001 | PC-AZ-0011-0002 | PC-AZ-0011-9000
Brekke, Dean Edward (Arizona)
DeLange, Darrin J. (Arizona)
Dennis, Thomas John (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0011-0002 | PC-AZ-0011-9000
Epstein, Evelyn R. (Arizona)
Gaylord, John M. (Arizona)
Lugosi, Karen L. (Arizona)
Mills, Michelle Lynne (Arizona)
Morrow, James Russel (Arizona)
Woods, Grant (Arizona)
Other Lawyers Cooper, Charles Justin (District of Columbia)
Haungs, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
Johns, Michael A. (Arizona)
Kirschner, William R. (District of Columbia)
Wake, Neil Vincent (Arizona)

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