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Case Name Duran v. Apodaca PC-NM-0001
Docket / Court 77-721 ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU National Prison Project
Case Summary
In 1977, inmates of the Penitentiary of New Mexico, represented by the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against the governor of New Mexico and officials of the New Mexico Department of Corrections. ... read more >
In 1977, inmates of the Penitentiary of New Mexico, represented by the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against the governor of New Mexico and officials of the New Mexico Department of Corrections. In the First Amended Complaint, plaintiffs alleged that ""the totality of the overcrowding and other conditions at PNM fall beneath standards of human decency, inflict needless suffering on prisoners and create an environment which threatens prisoners' mental and physical well-being, and results in the physical and mental deterioration and debilitation of the persons confined therein which is both unnecessary and penologically unjustifiable.""

In 1979, the parties reached a settlement agreement which was adopted by the court. Following a massive prison riot in February 1980, the decree was modified. The modified decree focused on fourteen issues: correspondence, attorney visitation, food services, legal access, visitation, classification, living conditions, inmate activity, medical care, mental health care, staffing and training, administrative segregation, inmate discipline, and pre-hearing detention/disciplinary segregation. As part of the decree a special master was required to file a report every six months evaluating defendants' compliance.

There was periodic litigation throughout the 1980s regarding the implementation of the consent order. In 1986, plaintiffs successfully sought a preliminary injunction to halt prison staff layoffs with respect to medical care, mental health care and security. Duran v. Anaya, 642 F. Supp. 510 (D. N.M. 1986).

In 1988, prison officials moved to vacate portions of the consent decree. The District Court (Judge Juan G. Burciaga) denied the motion to vacate, holding that by presenting to the court an agreed remedial order, state officials waived their rights to restraint of comity in selection of equitable remedies. Duran v. Carruthers, 678 F. Supp. 839 (D. N.M. 1988). Defendants appealed. The Tenth Circuit (Judge McWilliams) affirmed the lower court decision, holding that the Eleventh Amendment did not bar the consent decree, even if some of the relief could not have been granted by the court under the Eleventh Amendment had the case gone to trial. Duran v. Carruthers, 885 F.2d 1485 (10th Cir. 1989).

Following renewed litigation, the parties agreed to a new settlement agreement in June 1991. The settlement agreement established new restrictions on overcrowding and modified provisions of the existing injunctive decree. The settlement agreement also established a timetable for monitoring and reporting by a special master. The monitoring process continued through the mid-1990's with Vincent M. Nathan and W. David Arnold acting as special master.

In December 1994, the plaintiffs sought contempt sanctions and further remedial orders; the parties settled the enforcement dispute in March 1995, with additional stipulated relief. But in January 1996, New Mexico began to move prisoners to Texas. The plaintiffs argued that this violated the prior agreements, and the Court granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the transfer. In March of that year, the parties agreed that the transfer of 350 medium security prisoners could go forward if the Texas facilities satisfied certain minimal standards, set out in the stipulation. (The parties amended the agreement in August 1997.)

During late 1996 or early 1997, Governor Gary Johnson vetoed a bill that would have set up a commission to oversee prison releases to deal with overcrowding at state prisons. At that point, the plaintiffs sought a population cap for the New Mexico Penitentiary, and Chief Judge Conway agreed to convene a three-judge district court to consider the request, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (which limits such orders to narrow circumstances and requires they be considered by a specially convened three-judge panel). The panel met in March 1997, and scheduled an evidentiary hearing for September 1997. With that as the deadline, the parties reached an interim settlement, designed to reduce population by measures including increased use of diversion by drug courts and allowing inmates to regain lost good time under certain circumstances. The agreement was filed in August 1997; it put off any additional hearing on overcrowding for a few months. It seems that even though the agreement included population caps, the state agreed not to challenge them until April 1998.

The PACER docket in this case doesn't start until 2015, and we don't have a paper docket.

Later in 1997, the parties agreed to a termination plan which provided "definitive, specific, and measurable tasks to be accomplished in order to achieve substantial compliance." The termination plan required check out audits by a special monitor and self-monitoring in all areas except for medical care. The termination plan also established December 1998 as a deadline for substantial compliance with the agreement. Following a finding of substantial compliance all orders were to be vacated.

The docket for this case only contains two entries from 1998 and 1999 regarding objections by defendants to a final report on mental health.

Kristen Sagar - 08/07/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Post-PLRA Population Cap
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) State Correctional Facilities
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Penitentiary of New Mexico
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU National Prison Project
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1979 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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 ]

  The Duran Consent Decree: Analysis of Judicial Intervention on the State of New Mexico
By: Judith Ann Driscoll (University of New Mexico)
Citation: (1999) (unpublished Masters thesis, University of New Mexico)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
77-00721 (D.N.M.) 05/05/1998
PC-NM-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Termination Plan-Part I & II
PC-NM-0001-0046 PDF | Detail
Order 04/18/1979 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree (Agreement; Joint Request; Order) 04/18/1979
PC-NM-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Order 08/21/1979 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Joint Request for Partial Consent Decree 12/07/1979
PC-NM-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Order 12/07/1979 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Order 07/14/1980 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0007 PDF | Detail
Agreement 07/14/1980
PC-NM-0001-0050 PDF | Detail
Agreement 06/01/1983
PC-NM-0001-0008 PDF | Detail
Order of Reference 06/03/1983 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0009 PDF | Detail
Order 03/15/1984 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0010 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Concerning Closing of Dormitories at the Penitentiary of New Mexico 04/20/1984
PC-NM-0001-0011 PDF | Detail
Order 04/20/1984 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0012 PDF | Detail
Correspondence re: Proposed Modification of Maximum Security Policy Statement 06/26/1985
PC-NM-0001-0013 PDF | Detail
Motion to Modify the Inmate Discipline Policy Statement of the Consent Decree 06/27/1985
PC-NM-0001-0014 PDF | Detail
Memorandum in Support of Defendants' Motion to Modify the Maximum Security Policy Statement of the Consent Decree 07/11/1985 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0015 PDF | Detail
Defendants' Motion to Modify the Maximum Security Policy Statement of the Consent Decree 07/11/1985
PC-NM-0001-0016 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Opinion 06/27/1986 (642 F.Supp. 510) (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0053 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 10/03/1986 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0018 PDF | Detail
Reported Opinion 02/11/1988 (678 F.Supp. 839) (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0052 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/06/1988 (486 U.S. 1046)
PC-NM-0001-0056 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Appendix to Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit 09/15/1989
PC-NM-0001-0022 PDF | Detail
Reported Opinion 09/15/1989 (885 F.2d 1485)
PC-NM-0001-0051 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 09/15/1989 (885 F.2d 1492)
PC-NM-0001-0054 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 01/22/1990 (493 U.S. 1056)
PC-NM-0001-0055 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Settlement Agreement 06/10/1991
PC-NM-0001-0024 PDF | Detail
Order 06/19/1991 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0025 PDF | Detail
Order 09/20/1991 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0026 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Between the Parties 01/29/1993
PC-NM-0001-0027 PDF | Detail
Order to Vacate Modified Decree at Central, Western and Southern New Mexico Correctional Facilities 01/29/1993 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0028 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Regarding Fire Safety 02/16/1993
PC-NM-0001-0029 PDF | Detail
Order Approving Stipulation and Approving Employment of Expert 02/16/1993 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0030 PDF | Detail
Order to Vacate Modified Decree, as to Inmate Activity, at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility 12/21/1993 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0031 PDF | Detail
First Stipulation on Inmate Activity 02/24/1994
PC-NM-0001-0033 PDF | Detail
Order Approving First Stipulation on Inmate Activity 02/25/1994 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0034 PDF | Detail
Order 05/02/1994 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0035 PDF | Detail
Second Stipulation on Inmate Activity 05/11/1994
PC-NM-0001-0036 PDF | Detail
Stipulation as to Penitentiary of New Mexico 03/02/1995
PC-NM-0001-0037 PDF | Detail
Unopposed Order Approving Stipulation and Dismissing Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Motion for a Show Cause Order and for Further Remedial Orders 03/14/1995 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0038 PDF | Detail
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order 01/29/1996
PC-NM-0001-0039 PDF | Detail
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Request for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. 01/29/1996
PC-NM-0001-0040 PDF | Detail
Stipulation 01/29/1996
PC-NM-0001-0045 PDF | Detail
Order 01/31/1996 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0041 PDF | Detail
Amended Stipulation 08/11/1997
PC-NM-0001-0042 PDF | Detail
Order Approving Amended Stipulation and Suggesting Modification of Three-Judge Court's April 3, 1997 Order 08/11/1997 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0043 PDF | Detail
Judges Burciaga, Juan Guerrero (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0008 | PC-NM-0001-0009 | PC-NM-0001-0010 | PC-NM-0001-0012 | PC-NM-0001-0018 | PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0025 | PC-NM-0001-0026 | PC-NM-0001-0028 | PC-NM-0001-0030 | PC-NM-0001-0031 | PC-NM-0001-0033 | PC-NM-0001-0034 | PC-NM-0001-0035 | PC-NM-0001-0038 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0053 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Campos, Santiago E. (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0001-0002 | PC-NM-0001-0004 | PC-NM-0001-0006 | PC-NM-0001-0007 | PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0050 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Conway, John Edwards (D.N.M., FISC)
PC-NM-0001-0041 | PC-NM-0001-0043 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Ebel, David M. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-NM-0001-9000
McWilliams, Robert Hugh Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Seymour, Stephanie Kulp (Tenth Circuit)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters Nathan, Vincent M. (Ohio)
PC-NM-0001-0039 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, Elizabeth R. (District of Columbia)
PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Bailey, Rothstein (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0008 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Bronstein, Alvin J. (District of Columbia)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Cubra, Peter (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Davis, Philip B. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Deaton, William W. Jr. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0011 | PC-NM-0001-0012 | PC-NM-0001-0013 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Donatelli, Mark H. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0027 | PC-NM-0001-0029 | PC-NM-0001-0033 | PC-NM-0001-0034 | PC-NM-0001-0036 | PC-NM-0001-0037 | PC-NM-0001-0039 | PC-NM-0001-0040 | PC-NM-0001-0042 | PC-NM-0001-0045 | PC-NM-0001-0046 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Gonzales, Dan (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0027 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Kitts, W. F. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Knowles, Ralph I. Jr. (Georgia)
PC-NM-0001-0003 | PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Lopez, Mark J. (District of Columbia)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Macy, Edwin (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0003 | PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0050 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Twohig, R. Raymond Jr. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0008 | PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0053 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Winterbottom, Richard A. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0027 | PC-NM-0001-0039 | PC-NM-0001-0040 | PC-NM-0001-0045 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bieg, James (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Bigelow, John (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0008 | PC-NM-0001-0011 | PC-NM-0001-0012 | PC-NM-0001-0013 | PC-NM-0001-0014 | PC-NM-0001-0015 | PC-NM-0001-0016 | PC-NM-0001-0053 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Bohnhoff, Henry M. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Booms, Robert Tabor (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0027 | PC-NM-0001-0029 | PC-NM-0001-0033 | PC-NM-0001-0034 | PC-NM-0001-0036 | PC-NM-0001-0037 | PC-NM-0001-0039 | PC-NM-0001-0042 | PC-NM-0001-0045 | PC-NM-0001-0046 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Childress, Randall W. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Cohen, Saul (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Kaser, Martha J. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Klein, Joel I. (District of Columbia)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Peifer, Charles R. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Smith, Paul M. (District of Columbia)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Stratton, Hal (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Thayer, Norman S. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0052 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Udall, Tom (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0024 | PC-NM-0001-0029 | PC-NM-0001-0033 | PC-NM-0001-0034 | PC-NM-0001-0045 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Wilson, Stephany S. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-0054 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Eikenberry, Kenneth O. (Washington)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Farley, Paul (Colorado)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Frohnmayer, David B. (Oregon)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Meyer, Joseph B. (Wyoming)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Michaels, Steven S. (Hawaii)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Price, Warren III (Hawaii)
PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Stephan, Robert T. (Kansas)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000
Wilkinson, David L. (Utah)
PC-NM-0001-0022 | PC-NM-0001-0051 | PC-NM-0001-9000

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