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Case Name Arney v. Bennett PC-KS-0001
Docket / Court 77-3045 ( D. Kan. )
State/Territory Kansas
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On February 23, 1977, inmates of state prisons in Lansing and Hutchinson, Kansas filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Washburn University School of ... read more >
On February 23, 1977, inmates of state prisons in Lansing and Hutchinson, Kansas filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Washburn University School of Law Legal Clinic and Legal Services for Prisoners, alleged that prison overcrowding violated their constitutional rights. The prisoners claimed that double-celling, outdoor dormitories, the conditions of protective custody, the conditions of administrative segregation, and inadequate mental health care, endangered their health, safety, and welfare.

On May 15, 1980, the parties entered a consent decree, under which the State agreed to ask the American Correctional Association to accredit the Kansas State Penitentiary (later renamed the Lansing Correctional Facility) and to house inmates in individual cells or closely-supervised shared rooms. Once the Penitentiary was accredited, the plaintiffs would dismiss their complaint.

On January 26, 1988, the plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the District of Kansas (Judge Richard D. Rogers) to modify and enforce the consent decree. On February 15, 1989, the court ordered the State to develop short- and long-term plans to address the prison's weakness in respect to mentally ill inmates, protective custody, and administrative segregation. On April 13, 1989, the court also compelled the State to strategically address overcrowding. One element of the State's long-term plan was the construction of the El Dorado Correctional Facility. On May 17, 1991, the court approved double-celling and population increases for some Kansas prisons, but not for others. Arney v. Finney, 766 F. Supp. 934 (D. Kan. 1991).

Once the El Dorado Correctional Facility was constructed, Kansas began relocating inmates from overcrowded facilities. The State limited the quantity of personal property including legal work that each prisoner could move. Because the court believed that the plaintiffs' claim was weak, the court refused to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the prison to transfer all legal materials. Porter v. Finney, No. 77-3045-R, 1991 WL 284141 (D. Kan. Dec. 9, 1991).

On June 28, 1994, the court interpreted the State's long-term plan for improving administrative segregation to require that the State determine prison privileges for each segregated inmate individually. Porter v. Finney, 857 F. Supp. 65 (D. Kan. 1994). On December 19, 1995, the court tentatively approved the State's request to resume double-celling in accordance with standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association. Porter v. Graves, No. 77-3045-RDR, 1995 WL 775301 (D. Kan. Dec. 19, 1995). The court reasoned that consent decrees and court orders should be interpreted in the spirit they were intended, and that the intent was to force Kansas prisons to meet national standards for prison quality.

The court also ruled on a number of petitions addressed to intervener status and pleadings entered by unnamed plaintiffs. Porter v. Finney, No. 77-3045-R, 1991 WL 126724 (D. Kan. June 28, 1991), Arney v. Finney, 967 F.2d 418 (10th Cir. 1992), Porter v. Finney, No. 77-3045-R, 1991 WL 264514 (D. Kan. Nov. 4, 1991). We have no additional information on this case.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/02/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Administrative segregation
Protective custody
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Kansas
Plaintiff Description Inmates of state prisons in Lansing and Hutchinson, Kansas.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1980 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
77-3045 (D. Kan.) 04/06/2005
PC-KS-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 05/17/1991 (766 F.Supp. 934) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 06/28/1991 (1991 WL 126724 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9119) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum and Order 11/04/1991 (1991 WL 264514 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17736) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum and Order 12/09/1991 (1991 WL 284141 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19008) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Reported Opinion 06/18/1992 (967 F.2d 418)
PC-KS-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 06/28/1994 (857 F.Supp. 65) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and order 12/19/1995 (1995 WL 775301 / 1995 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19662) (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Brorby, Wade (Tenth Circuit)
PC-KS-0001-0002
Moore, Alfred (SCOTUS)
PC-KS-0001-0002
Rogers, Richard Dean (D. Kan.)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Tacha, Deanell Reece (Tenth Circuit)
PC-KS-0001-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Corrin, Dwight A. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Kaye, Michael (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001
Kessler, Stephen W. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Moots, Lisa Nathanson (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Nathanson, Lisa (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003
Rich, William J. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Theis, Roger M. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bonebrake, Carol R. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Case, Kevin D. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0007
Case, Kevin D. (Missouri)
PC-KS-0001-9000
Knoll, John J. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Logback, Lawrence J. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Maddan, Timothy G. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0002
Madden, Timothy G. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Simmons, Charles E. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0004 | PC-KS-0001-0005 | PC-KS-0001-0006 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Stephen, Robert T. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0002
Stratton, Wayne T. (Kansas)
PC-KS-0001-0001 | PC-KS-0001-0003 | PC-KS-0001-0007 | PC-KS-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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