University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Baker v. Sweeney PC-NV-0013
Docket / Court 91-65 ( D. Nev. )
State/Territory Nevada
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1991, inmates in the Washoe County Detention Center filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of Nevada, pro se, against officials of the Nevada Department of Prisons. The court appointed private counsel for the plaintiffs and certified the class as 'all prisoners who are or will ... read more >
In 1991, inmates in the Washoe County Detention Center filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of Nevada, pro se, against officials of the Nevada Department of Prisons. The court appointed private counsel for the plaintiffs and certified the class as 'all prisoners who are or will be incarcerated at Washoe County Jail.'

Following discovery, both plaintiffs and defendants moved for summary judgment. In a March 1993 order, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on the issue of the inadequacy of the access to the court provided by defendants for the purpose of filing state and federal petitions for writ of habeas corpus. The court denied plaintiffs' and defendants' motions for summary judgment on all other issues.

Two months later, the court referred this case to Judge James M. Burns for the purpose of conducting a settlement conference. In October 1993, the parties had reached an agreement and the court entered a consent decree finding the plaintiffs as the prevailing party and awarding attorney's fees. The court retained jurisdiction for two years to ensure compliance.

The case file contains only a copy of the docket, so the specifics of the case are unavailable. In the last entry the court denied plaintiffs' motion for contempt for defendants' failure to adhere to the consent decree, dated September 29, 1999.

Note: In April 1993, the court ordered that this case be consolidated with Witherow v. Sweeney, CV-N-91-65-ECR. Both dockets are included in this file.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Nevada Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description inmates in the Washoe County Detention Center
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1993 - 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)
89-807 (D. Nev.) 02/28/1994
PC-NV-0013-9001 PDF | Detail
91-65 (D. Nev.) 09/29/1999
PC-NV-0013-9002 PDF | Detail
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dickerson, Jeffrey A. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9002
Evans, Donald Y. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9001
Keyser-Cooper, Terri (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9002
Semenza, Lawrence (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Holmes, Dorothy Nash (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9002
Lane, Mills (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9001
Rhodes, John B. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9001
Shannon, Gregory R. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0013-9002
Other Lawyers None on record

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