University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Chandler v. Koon PC-NV-0012
Docket / Court 87-235 ( D. Nev. )
State/Territory Nevada
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1987, Michael Chandler, an inmate in the Nevada State Prison, filed a Section 1983 lawsuit in the District of Nevada, pro se, against officials of the Nevada Department of Prisons. Plaintiff alleged that his federal constitutional rights had been violated by a digital anal cavity search ... read more >
In 1987, Michael Chandler, an inmate in the Nevada State Prison, filed a Section 1983 lawsuit in the District of Nevada, pro se, against officials of the Nevada Department of Prisons. Plaintiff alleged that his federal constitutional rights had been violated by a digital anal cavity search performed on him without reasonable suspicion. At some point an attorney was appointed by the court.

The October 1989 trial resulted in a mistrial; a retrial was scheduled for January 1990. Following a three day trial, the jury found in favor of three of the four defendants; Jackson, Benzler and Butler. However, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff against Steve Koon, the associate warden at the Nevada State Prison. The jury awarded $1,000.00 in compensatory damages and $40,000.00 in exemplary damages. Defendant Koon appealed.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the awards of compensatory and punitive damages against appellant Koon, but vacated and remanded for the entry of a new award for attorney's fees and costs. Chandler v. Koon, 1993 WL 230278 (9th Cir. 1993). Following the District Court trial, a magistrate judge had limited the award for attorney's fees and costs to $6,552.00.

Litigation continued until July 1994 when the court ordered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and awarded attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $63,179.08.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Nevada Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmate at the Nevada State Prison alleged that his federal constitutional rights had been violated by a digital anal cavity search performed on him without reasonable suspicion
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1994 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
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 ]

  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)
87-235 (D. Nev.) 02/12/1996
PC-NV-0012-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Memorandum 06/29/1993 (996 F.2d 1223)
PC-NV-0012-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Fletcher, Betty Binns (Ninth Circuit)
PC-NV-0012-0001
Nelson, Dorothy Wright (Ninth Circuit)
PC-NV-0012-0001
Wilson, Stephen Victor (C.D. Cal.)
PC-NV-0012-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Evans, Donald Y. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hilsabeck, Charles (Nevada)
PC-NV-0012-9000
Yohey, Paul G. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0012-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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