University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Moss v. Ward PC-NY-0023
Docket / Court 77-301 ( W.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1977, an inmate at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New York State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. The inmate asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, ... read more >
In 1977, an inmate at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New York State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. The inmate asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that his constitutional rights had been violated when he was deprived of food for four days due to his refusal to return a drink cup to the prison guards.

On May 4, 1978, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (Judge John Thomas Elfvin) denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that the conduct of the prison officials, and the prison superintendent in particular, violated the plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights. The court further held that since the parties' pleadings did not address the issue of governmental immunity, the court would hold a hearing at which the superintendent could explain his actions. The court then held that the defendant prison guards had been reasonable in their use of gas to control the prisoner in an effort to obtain a piece of electrical conduit that he had ripped from the ceiling of his cell. Moss v. Ward, 450 F.Supp. 591 (W.D.N.Y. 1978). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 10/31/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Disciplinary procedures
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Restraints : chemical
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York State Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Prison inmate claiming that prison superintendent violated his Eighth Amendment rights
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 1978 - 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 05/04/1978 (450 F.Supp. 591) (W.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0023-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Elfvin, John Thomas (W.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0023-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers Cream, Douglas S. (New York)
PC-NY-0023-0001
Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)
PC-NY-0023-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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