University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Sage v. Risley PC-MT-0004
Docket / Court 85-82 ( D. Mont. )
State/Territory Montana
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1985, visitors to the Montana State Prison filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Montana Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The plaintiffs, who were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged that ... read more >
In 1985, visitors to the Montana State Prison filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Montana Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The plaintiffs, who were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated when they were required to undergo strip searches before being allowed to visit the prison.

Seven months after the initiation of the lawsuit, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, which enumerated several procedures to be followed by the prison authorities in relation to strip searches of visitors. In 1990, the defendants strip searched two prison visitors in violation of the settlement agreement, and they reached a second agreement with the plaintiffs' attorneys regarding that noncompliance. The plaintiffs' attorneys asked the court to award them attorneys' fees for their work in this second agreement with the defendants.

On February 18, 1992, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Judge Paul Hatfield) granted the plaintiffs their attorneys fees, and ordered the defendants to pay. Sage v. Risley, 785 F.Supp. 134 (D.Mt. 1992). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 04/05/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Search policies
Visiting
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Montana Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description visitors to the Montana State Prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
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 1985 - 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
Memorandum and Order 02/18/1992 (785 F.Supp. 134) (D. Mont.)
PC-MT-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Hatfield, Paul Gerhart (D. Mont.)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kozakiewicz, Vincent J (Montana)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Pevar, Stephen L. (Colorado)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Nagel, Karl (Montana)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Obie, James B. (Montana)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Rotering, Nick A. (Montana)
PC-MT-0004-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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