University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Brown v. Beck JC-GA-0020
Docket / Court 1:77-cv-00056 ( S.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On April 28, 1977, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against officials at the Richmond County Jail ("Richmond") in Augusta, Georgia. The United States District Court in the Southern District of Georgia certified the class and subsequently created sub-classes. After a year of litigation, the ... read more >
On April 28, 1977, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against officials at the Richmond County Jail ("Richmond") in Augusta, Georgia. The United States District Court in the Southern District of Georgia certified the class and subsequently created sub-classes. After a year of litigation, the parties negotiated a stipulation, and the court entered a consent decree in 1978. A year later, plaintiffs filed a motion for a judgment of contempt because of inadequate medical treatment of an inmate. The District Court (Judge Dudley Bowen) denied plaintiffs' motion. Brown v. Beck, 481 F. Supp. 723 (S.D. Ga. 1980).

By late 1996, the defendants had still not complied with the consent decree, and the District Court (Judge Bowen) issued an Order directing the transfer of prisoners to alleviate overcrowding, and also ordered the hiring of additional staff. In September of 1997, plaintiffs moved for a show cause order, asking the Court to order defendants to show why further relief should not be granted and why defendants should not be held in contempt. The Court granted the motion and set a show cause hearing. At the hearing, the Court (Judge Bowen) ordered defendants to submit daily reports to the Court until further notice. Four days later, on September 29, 1997, the Court issued an Order establishing a timetable for the mandatory decrease in jail population, to be achieved by the year's end, and setting deadlines for the establishment of programs aimed at maintaining a clean environment and conducting operational maintenance of the facility. The Court further ordered that daily reports on the inmate population were to be made to the Court until further notice. A few months later, the Court granted plaintiffs' motion for interim attorneys' fees.

On December 19, 1997, the defendants moved to dismiss and close the case. In their motion, defendants stated that on November 19, the Augusta-Richmond County Detention Center opened and inmates from Richmond were transferred to that facility. As a result, the overcrowding at Richmond had been remedied. Defendants also contended that they had cured all deficiencies and made all repairs as set forth in the Court's September 29 Order. Plaintiffs did not respond to the motion. At a February 2, 1998 hearing, the Court granted defendants' motion, dismissing the case. The Court also granted plaintiffs' final motions for attorneys' fees.

Lauren Cutson - 05/20/2005
Dan Whitman - 11/02/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Reporting
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Richmond County Jail
Plaintiff Description Inmates of Richmond County Jail in Augusta, Georgia.
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1978 - 1998
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
1:77-cv-00056 (S.D. Ga.) 03/11/2010
JC-GA-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 01/09/1980 (481 F.Supp. 723) (S.D. Ga.)
JC-GA-0020-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bowen, Dudley Hollingsworth Jr. (S.D. Ga.)
JC-GA-0020-0001 | JC-GA-0020-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cromartie, John L. Jr. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Cullen, Robert W. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001 | JC-GA-0020-9000
Miller, Martha A. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Wilkinson, Charles L. III (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Atkinson, Kirby G. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Bolton, Arthur K. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Childers, Neal B. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-9000
Daniel, Robert C. Jr. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Harris, Roy V. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Jackson, Stanley G. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-0001
Revell, Harry D. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-9000
Wall, James B. (Georgia)
JC-GA-0020-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -