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Case Name Prisoners Progress Ass'n v. Johnson PC-MI-0016
Docket / Court 76-72416 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Plaintiffs in the case, individuals and a certified class, at least some of whom are inmates at the State Prison of Southern Michigan, petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on March 6, 1989 to enforce a consent decree dated April 2, 1981. Although it is not clear ... read more >
Plaintiffs in the case, individuals and a certified class, at least some of whom are inmates at the State Prison of Southern Michigan, petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on March 6, 1989 to enforce a consent decree dated April 2, 1981. Although it is not clear from the appellate opinion, it appears that this same group of plaintiffs had brought the original suit against the Michigan Department of Corrections sometime in 1976 resulting in the decree designed to ensure prisoners a minimum visitation time. In response to this request for enforcement, Defendants moved to modify or terminate the consent judgment arguing that changed circumstances warranted the modification and/or a major deficiency in the judgment impeded the achievement of its objectives.

A magistrate recommended that Plaintiffs' motion to enforce the consent decree be granted in part and that Defendants' motion to modify or terminate the decree be denied. The district court (Judge George E. Woods) adopted the magistrate's recommendation and Defendants appealed arguing that concern for institutional security amounted to a changed circumstance warranting a modification of the judgment.

The Sixth Circuit in a per curiam opinion (Judges Damon Jerome Keith, Boyce F. Martin, and Robert B. Krupansky) affirmed the district court decision Prisoners Progress Ass'n. v. Johnson, No. 90-1972, 1991 WL 235757 (6th Cir. Nov. 13, 1991). The court noted that nothing in the decree prevented the achievement of its narrow objective: to ensure prisoners a minimum visitation time. Moreover, the court held the defendants failed to prove a decline in security, and so there were no changed circumstances as required by law to modify the decree.

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent court opinion, dated November 13, 1991.

Sherrie Waldrup - 04/03/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Visiting
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Michigan Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description inmates at the State Prison of Southern Michigan
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 1981 - n/a
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 ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Unpublished Opinion 11/13/1991 (948 F.2d 1290)
PC-MI-0016-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Keith, Damon Jerome (Sixth Circuit, E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0016-0001
Krupansky, Robert B. (Sixth Circuit, N.D. Ohio)
PC-MI-0016-0001
Martin, Boyce Ficklen Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
PC-MI-0016-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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