University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name In re: Texas Prison Litigation PC-MO-0003
Docket / Court 2:99-cv-04021-NKL ( W.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA Jail and Prison Private Settlement Agreements
Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
This was a class action prisoner § 1983 lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs were Missouri prisoners who were transferred from Missouri state-penal institutions to jails in Texas pursuant to the "Texas Cell Lease Program," a contract between ... read more >
This was a class action prisoner § 1983 lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs were Missouri prisoners who were transferred from Missouri state-penal institutions to jails in Texas pursuant to the "Texas Cell Lease Program," a contract between the Missouri Department of Corrections [DOC] and several Texas counties and a city whereby the Texas entities agreed to house and supervise the Missouri prisoners in exchange for money. The Texas Cell Lease Program was operational in 1995 through 1997.

Plaintiffs alleged violations of their constitutional rights due to a wide range of conduct which included beatings, dog attacks, rapes, and poor conditions of confinement.

The litigation began after the public release of a videotape of an incident which occurred on September 18, 1996, at the Brazoria County Jail, Texas. The video showed prisoners offering no resistance being subjected to stun guns, tear gas, physical abuse, body cavity searches and an attack by a German Shepherd. See Kesler v. King, 29 F.Supp.2d 356 (S.D.Tex.1998) (describing the occurrence in the Brazoria County Jail). Correctional officers captured on the video were employees of Brazoria County and Capitol Corrections Resources, Inc. ("CCRI"), a private jail company. A federal criminal investigation ensured and was followed by a flood of over 700 inmate lawsuits in state and federal courts in Missouri and Texas.

Eventually, many of the cases were consolidated for purposes of discovery and pre-trial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Judge Scott O. Wright initially presided over the cases, until they were transferred to Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. A large number of plaintiffs were represented by a group of private attorneys in Missouri.

Protracted discovery and litigation followed. Brazoria County moved to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, but the motion was denied by the District Court (Judge Laughrey). In Re Texas Prison Litigation, 41 F.Supp.2d 960 (W.D.Mo. 1999). The DOC initially took a hard line stance in the litigation advising the parties and the Court that it intended to depose every prisoner in the case and that it would not pay any monies towards settlement. Despite the DOC position, the parties engaged in mediation and eventually a reached a tentative settlement.

On July 20, 1999, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in one of the consolidated cases and subsequently filed a joint motion for conditional certification of a settlement class and a joint motion for approval of the settlement. The Class Complaint sought equitable relief, actual, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs The District Court conditionally certified the class to address all claims arising out of the Texas Cell Lease Program on July 29, 1999. A fairness hearing was held on December 3, 1999.

On January 14, 2000, the District Court approved the Settlement Agreement. The Agreement as modified by the Court called for the payment of $2.2 Million by the defendants, with $800,000 being allocated to class counsel and $300,000 for expenses. The remainder was to be divided among three groups of class members according to the nature and severity of their claims. The Agreement contained injunctive relief in the form of limitations to when and under what conditions Missouri prisoners could be transferred out of state and a DOC provision for redressing conduct violations unfairly imposed while the class members were in Texas. The DOC was also enjoined from confiscating all of the monetary relief afforded to the inmates as reimbursement for costs of incarceration pursuant to the Missouri Reimbursement Incarceration Act, §§ 217.825, R.S.Mo. In Re Texas Prison Litigation, 191 F.R.D. 164 (W.D.Mo. 2000).

Kristen Sagar - 04/07/2009


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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
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Strip search policy
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Brazoria County Jail
Capitol Corrections Resources, Inc. ("CCRI")
Dove Development, Corp.
Gregg County Jail
Missouri Department of Corrections
The Bobby Ross Group, Inc.
Transcor America, Inc.
Plaintiff Description All Missouri inmates transferred to Texas from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1997, pursuant to the Texas Cell Lease Program.
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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2000 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2002
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 ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ 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)
99-4021 (E.D. Mo.) 09/19/2002
PC-MO-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
98-7330 (W.D. Mo.) 05/01/2007
PC-MO-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order Approving Class Settlement and Ordering Payment of Attorney Fee 01/14/1999 (191 F.R.D. 164) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Report and Recommendation 02/09/1999 (1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11123) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0009.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Order 02/12/1999 (41 F.Supp.2d 960) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/17/1999 (1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11120) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0010.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Texas Inmate Settlement Fund Agreement 06/23/1999
PC-MO-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Texas Inmate Litigation Settlement Agreement 06/23/1999
PC-MO-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement 06/25/1999
PC-MO-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Memorandum and Order Approving Class settlement and Ordering Payment of Attorney Fee 01/21/2000 (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion for an Order Requiring Payment of the Settlement Funds Pur suant to the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement 09/19/2000
PC-MO-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Order 11/01/2000 (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Knox, William A. (W.D. Mo.) [Magistrate]
PC-MO-0003-0009
Laughrey, Nanette Kay (W.D. Mo., E.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0001 | PC-MO-0003-0002 | PC-MO-0003-0007 | PC-MO-0003-0008 | PC-MO-0003-0010 | PC-MO-0003-9000 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bastian, Michael P. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-0006 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Dalton, Daniel T. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Holt, David T. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Kavanaugh, Paul Fred (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-9000
Kenner, Nancy Elizabeth (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-9000
Lafferty, George (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Owens, Dennis J. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Baker, David S. (Kansas)
PC-MO-0003-9000
Buckley, Robert J. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-9000
Carlson, Frank K. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Conkright, James D. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Cooney, John F. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Corley, M. Corinne (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Faddis, Clifford B. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Gray, Richard (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Heidemann, Craig R. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
James, Sylvester Jr. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Jester, Robert O. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Klement, Lynn J. (Texas)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005
Knappenberger, James J. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Kurtz, John Wray (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-9001
McAvoy, Michael (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Miller, Amanda K (Texas)
PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Mingus, Thomas M. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Mollenkamp, John (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Nixon, Jeremiah (Jay) W. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0004
Ohlemeyer, Bill (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Poland, John P. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Prejean, Henry W. (Texas)
PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Pritchett, Michael (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-9000
Protzman, Andrew B. (Kansas)
PC-MO-0003-9001
Purdy, Dan K. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Roberson, Donald (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Rohlfing, James (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Ryals, Stephen M. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Sarachan, Gary R. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Schaffer, Tony L. (Texas)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Stevens, Richard (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Stout, Myra J. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Thompson, Randall D (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Vleiside, Gregory W. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Wolf, Mary K. (Texas)
PC-MO-0003-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

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