University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Wooten v. Klein PC-NJ-0009
Docket / Court 75-179 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
There are no documents available in this case. However, through reference to it in a later case opinion by Judge Dickinson Richards Debevoise of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, we are able to understand some aspects of this case. Calloway v. Fauver, 544 F. Supp 584 ... read more >
There are no documents available in this case. However, through reference to it in a later case opinion by Judge Dickinson Richards Debevoise of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, we are able to understand some aspects of this case. Calloway v. Fauver, 544 F. Supp 584 (D. N.J. 1982) (PC-NJ-0012).

As chronicled by Calloway, the Wooten plaintiffs were fifty-eight of the then sixty-six inmates confined to the Vroom Readjustment Unit (VRU) of the Trenton State Prison. Some of the plaintiffs had been confined in VRU for disciplinary reasons while others were in protective custody. In February 1975, they filed a lawsuit against the Commissioner of the Department of Institutions and Agencies and several other departmental and prison officials alleging Sixth, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendment violations. Specifically, they alleged arbitrary procedures in transferring inmates in and out of VRU; arbitrary infliction of physical punishment in VRU; and deprivation of virtually all freedom, right of association, and access to programming to medical care.

Various pretrial proceedings occurred in 1975 and 1976, and the case was ultimately terminated by a consent order filed December 14, 1976. The consent order incorporated a stipulation of settlement which recorded the agreements the parties had reached in negotiations. The stipulation addressed the transfer of inmates to VRU and the counseling of inmates transferred there for disciplinary reasons. It also provided that there must be periodic review of the status of VRU inmates and that the defendants must make all best efforts to maintain programming and healthful and sanitary conditions in VRU. With respect to inmates confided to VRU for protective custody, the stipulation provided that the conditions must be a close as possible to those in the general population. Finally, it set forth minimum requirements for legal assistance for VRU inmates. The stipulation culminated by dismissing the complaint with prejudice with the exception of any action filed within a certain time frame relating to any individual plaintiff's personal allegation of the use of brutality against him.

In addition to there being no documents in this case, the docket is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the discussion of the case in the Calloway opinion.

Sherrie Waldrup - 04/03/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Disciplinary segregation
Protective custody
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action
Defendant(s) Trenton State Prison
Plaintiff Description Fifty-eight of the then sixty-six inmates confined to the Vroom Readjustment Unit (VRU) of the Trenton State Prison, some of whom had been placed there for disciplinary reasons and some for protective custody.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
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 1976 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1976
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-NJ-0012 : Calloway v. Fauver (D.N.J.)
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
No documents currently in the collection
Judges None on record
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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