University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Ellis v. District of Columbia PC-DC-0013
Docket / Court 91-3041 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Inmates, represented both pro se and by private attorneys, in the District of Columbia filed a class action lawsuit against the District of Columbia officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on November 22, 1991, claiming that the District was denying them due process and otherwise violating their ... read more >
Inmates, represented both pro se and by private attorneys, in the District of Columbia filed a class action lawsuit against the District of Columbia officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on November 22, 1991, claiming that the District was denying them due process and otherwise violating their liberty interest in granting, denying, and revoking parole. Plaintiffs argued that their due process rights were violated because the D.C. Board of Parole refused to hold parole hearings far enough in advance of their respective parole eligibility dates so they may be released on that date if parole is granted. The plaintiffs also sought materials to assist them in understanding the Board's parole decisions in their cases, and they sought prompt "preliminary hearings" after parole warrants were executed and to be provided parole revocation hearings no more than 90 days thereafter.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge William B. Bryant), in an unpublished opinion, granted the inmates' requests. Ellis v. District of Columbia, No. 91-3041, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21092 (D. D.C. Mar. 30, 1995).

The D.C. Court of Appeals on May 28, 1996, reversed, holding that the Board regulations do not give prisoners a liberty interest in parole, and accordingly the prison need not hold parole hearings far enough in advance of prisoners' parole eligibility dates so that prisoners may be released on that date if eligible. Ellis v. District of Columbia, 84 F.3d 1413 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (Judge Arthur R. Randolph). The court also overruled the District Court's modification of the Board's revocation hearings procedures. The case was closed on July 17, 1996.

David Terry - 02/19/2006


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
General
Library (non-law) access
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description prisoners of the District of Columbia
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1995 - 1996
Case Closing Year 1996
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
91-3041 (D.D.C.) 07/17/1996
PC-DC-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Published Opinion 03/30/1995 (1995 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21092) (D.D.C.)
PC-DC-0013-0003.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Reported Opinion 05/28/1996 (84 F.3d 1413)
PC-DC-0013-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bryant, William Benson (D.D.C.)
PC-DC-0013-0003 | PC-DC-0013-9000
Randolph, Arthur Raymond (D.C. Circuit)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Tatel, David S. (D.C. Circuit)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Sheehy, Terrence Charles (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0003 | PC-DC-0013-9000
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Wheeler, Edwin H. (California)
PC-DC-0013-0002 | PC-DC-0013-0003 | PC-DC-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers King, Metcalfe C. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0003 | PC-DC-0013-9000
Pinkston, Garland Jr. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Reischel, Charles L. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Ruff, Charles F.C. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Wilson, Mary L. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0013-0002
Zielinski, Michael Edward (California)
PC-DC-0013-0003 | PC-DC-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -