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Case Name Jackson v. Montemagno PC-NY-0044
Docket / Court CV 85-2384 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 27, 1985, inmates jailed at the Brooklyn House of Detention filed a class action lawsuit against New York City and jail personnel in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society Prisoners' Rights Project, sought ... read more >
On June 27, 1985, inmates jailed at the Brooklyn House of Detention filed a class action lawsuit against New York City and jail personnel in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society Prisoners' Rights Project, sought compensatory and punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging injuries sustained during beatings by guards. On October 21, 1991, the parties signed a settlement agreement, which appears to have been negotiated by a Magistrate (Judge John L. Caden). The consent decree was negotiated within the terms of an injunction issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Fisher v. Koehler, 692 F. Supp. 1519 (S.D.N.Y. 1988), injunction entered, 718 F. Supp. 1111 (S.D.N.Y. 1989), aff'd, 902 F.2d 2 (2d Cir. 1990), PC-NY-005.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the Brooklyn House of Detention agreed to take specific steps to reduce and eliminate guard brutality. To reduce incidences of guard brutality, the City agreed to provide new and existing guards with extensive training on values, interpersonal skills, and inappropriate types of force (e.g., kicking and using keys as a weapon). The jail also agreed to implement investigation training and procedures, monitor guard behavior with video surveillance, and dismiss any personnel who were either convicted of or pled no contest to charges of excessive force. The consent decree would be in effect until at least July 1, 1995, when the defendants could petition the court to modify or terminate the decree.

On October 25, 1991, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered that class members be notified of the proposed settlement. On November 26, 1991, the court (Judge Arthur D. Spatt) held a hearing on the settlement and approved the consent decree. The case was closed on November 26, 1991. From what we have in the file, it does not appear that New York ever sought to terminate or modify the consent decree.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/21/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Brooklyn House of Detention
New York City
Plaintiff Description Current and future inmates of the Brooklyn House of Detention.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1988 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1991
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)
85-2384 (E.D.N.Y.) 11/26/2001
PC-NY-0044-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Stipulation of Settlement 10/25/1991 (E.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0044-0001.pdf | Detail
Order Approving Stipulation of Settlement and Entry as Consent Judgment 11/26/1991 (E.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0044-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Caden, John L. (E.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PC-NY-0044-9000
Spatt, Arthur Donald (E.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0044-0002 | PC-NY-0044-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beck, John A. (New York)
PC-NY-0044-0001 | PC-NY-0044-0002
Chasan, Jonathan S. (New York)
PC-NY-0044-0001 | PC-NY-0044-0002
Weinstein, Philip L. (New York)
PC-NY-0044-0001 | PC-NY-0044-0002
Defendant's Lawyers D'Orazio, Vincent (New York)
PC-NY-0044-0001 | PC-NY-0044-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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