University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Knapp v. Romer PC-CO-0002
Docket / Court 95-K-1878 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On July 27, 1995 Colorado inmates incarcerated at Bowie County Correctional Facility (BCCF) in Texas filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and private ... read more >
On July 27, 1995 Colorado inmates incarcerated at Bowie County Correctional Facility (BCCF) in Texas filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and private attorneys. Plaintiffs' complaint, filed in November of 1995, alleged an abusive, overcrowded, unsanitary, and unhealthful environment at BCCF. It alleged forced idleness, fire danger, deficient medical care, and lack of access to the courts due to an inadequate law library. In addition, plaintiffs claimed that BCCF violated the Establishment Clause by paying inmates to attend a Bible study class when there was little or no paid work available to other inmates and no other religious activities.

Defendants moved for transfer and change of venue. The district court (Judge John L. Kane, Jr.) denied these motions. Knapp v. Romer, 909 F.Supp. 810 (D. Colo. 1995).

A number of lawsuits were filed in the District of Colorado regarding conditions at BCCF. The cases were consolidated until September 30, 1997, when Judge Kane issued an order ending consolidation and certifying the case as a class action to be represented by counsel for one of the claims, Leggions, et al v. CO Dept. Corrections, et al. Litigation continued, with the court granting many plaintiffs' motions for exclusion from class representation and several motions for joinder. The PACER docket for this case ends on February 25, 1999 so no information regarding further proceedings is available.

Angela Heverling - 04/17/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by staff
Fire safety
Law library access
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Colorado Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description inmates incarcerated at Bowie County Correctional Facility
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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 ]

Links SuperMaxLawsuit Website
http://www.supermaxlawsuit.com/
Posted: Jan. 15, 2016
By: Thomas
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:95-cv-01919-JLK (D. Colo.) 09/30/1997
PC-CO-0002-9002 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
95-2225 (D. Colo.) 09/16/1998
PC-CO-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
95-1878 (D. Colo.) 02/25/1999
PC-CO-0002-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 11/17/1995
PC-CO-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 12/22/1995 (909 F.Supp. 810) (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0002-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0002-0002 | PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bell, Jane Anne (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Black, Steven W. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-0001 | PC-CO-0002-0002 | PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Hartley, James Edward (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-0001 | PC-CO-0002-0002 | PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Morbach, Nicole R. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Belsches, Grace A. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-9000
Brougham, David R. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-0001 | PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Lizza, John August (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-0001 | PC-CO-0002-0002 | PC-CO-0002-9001 | PC-CO-0002-9002
Schaffer, Tony L. (Texas)
PC-CO-0002-9000 | PC-CO-0002-9001
Other Lawyers Miller, David H. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0002-0002 | PC-CO-0002-9001

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