University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Dougan v. Singletary PC-FL-0006
Docket / Court 81-11 ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Seeking more outdoor exercise, Florida death row inmates filed a class action lawsuit in 1981 against prison officials. A class was certified, and in 1983, the district court approved a consent decree providing for two two-hour exercise sessions per week, weather permitting. Several years later, ... read more >
Seeking more outdoor exercise, Florida death row inmates filed a class action lawsuit in 1981 against prison officials. A class was certified, and in 1983, the district court approved a consent decree providing for two two-hour exercise sessions per week, weather permitting. Several years later, the court found the prison officials in contempt for violating the decree and entered a detailed remedial order that left prison officials less discretion in determining when inmates could exercise. The prison officials appealed, contending that the remedial order went too far.

While that appeal was pending, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) was enacted, which requires a court to terminate prospective relief on defendants' motion under certain conditions. 18 USC 3626. Prison officials filed a motion to terminate the consent decree. The district court denied the motion, finding the termination provision of the PLRA unconstitutional. Prison officials appealed. In a per curiam opinion, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the termination provision of the PLRA was not unconstitutional and vacated the lower court's order. Dougan v. Singletary, 129 F.3d 1424 (11th Cir. 1997). A subsequent petition for a writ of certiorari was denied, Dougan v. Singletary, 524 U.S. 956 (1998) as was a subsequent motion for rehearing. Dougan v. Singletary, 524 U.S. 971 (1998).

On January 21, 1999, the district court (Judge William T. Hodges) vacated the consent decree and dismissed the case, though several motions for attorneys fees were litigated until the parties settled in May 2000.

Denise Lieberman - 10/23/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Recreation / Exercise
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Florida Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Florida death row inmates
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 1983 - 1999
Case Closing Year 1999
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)
81-11 (M.D. Fla.) 01/12/2004
PC-FL-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion 12/01/1997 (129 F.3d 1424)
PC-FL-0006-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/26/1998 (524 U.S. 956)
PC-FL-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Decision 08/12/1998 (524 U.S. 971)
PC-FL-0006-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Clark, Thomas Alonzo (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
PC-FL-0006-0001
Cox, Emmett Ripley (S.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit)
PC-FL-0006-0001
Hodges, William Terrell (M.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0006-9000
Wood, Harlington Jr. (S.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
PC-FL-0006-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Sheppard, William J. (Florida)
PC-FL-0006-0001 | PC-FL-0006-9000
Thomas, D. Gray (Florida)
PC-FL-0006-0001
Weiner, Diana A. (Florida)
PC-FL-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Belitzky, Joe (Florida)
PC-FL-0006-0001 | PC-FL-0006-9000
McCoy, Charlie (Florida)
PC-FL-0006-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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