University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Whitmire v. State of Arizona PC-AZ-0012
Docket / Court 98-641 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
A same-sex partner of a state prisoner filed a lawsuit on April 14, 1998 in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC). The plaintiff complained that the DOC regulation that prohibited same-sex kissing ... read more >
A same-sex partner of a state prisoner filed a lawsuit on April 14, 1998 in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC). The plaintiff complained that the DOC regulation that prohibited same-sex kissing and hugging among non-family members during visits to the prison violated his rights under the First and Third Amendments and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The District Court (Judge Roger G. Strand) dismissed the action for failure to state a claim, holding that the prison had a legitimate interest in promoting prison safety.

The plaintiff appealed the District Court's dismissal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Atsushi Wallace Tashima) reversed, holding that no connection between the visitation policy and the DOC's interest in prison safety existed. Whitmire v. Arizona, 298 F.3d 1194 (9th Cir. 2002). The case was remanded for further proceedings. The parties reached a settlement which Judge Strand approved on July 14, 2003. The DOC agreed not to implement or enforce any visitation policy that prohibits same-sex kissing and hugging in prison visitation. The docket continues to December 22, 2003, and ends once attorneys fees issues were resolved.

David Terry - 04/10/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Visiting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Arizona Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Homosexual partner of state prisoner alleging that DOC regulation prohibiting same-sex kissing and hugging among non-family members during prison visits violated equal protection clause
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2003
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)
98-641 (D. Ariz.) 12/22/2003
PC-AZ-0012-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 08/12/2002 (298 F.3d 1134)
PC-AZ-0012-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Strand, Roger Gordon (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
PC-AZ-0012-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Joslin, Courtney (California)
PC-AZ-0012-0001
Matthews, Martha (California)
PC-AZ-0012-0001
Pochoda, Daniel Joseph (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Sutherland, Pamela Kirkpatrick (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Luellig, Lorrie Lynne (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Morrow, James Russel (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Pineda, Susanna Carballo (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Schaack, Daniel Patrick (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-0001
Wilder, William Charles (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0012-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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