University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Reynolds v. Sielaff PC-NY-0045
Docket / Court 81 Civ. 101 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On January 9, 1981, pretrial detainees confined in the medical and psychiatric wards operated by the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the DOC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs ... read more >
On January 9, 1981, pretrial detainees confined in the medical and psychiatric wards operated by the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the DOC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequate fire safety, poor mental health care, and generally inhumane conditions of confinement.

On October 1, 1990, the District Court (Judge Pierre N. Leval) entered a Consent Decree. The Decree provided for changes in the areas of classification, physical facilities, mental health care, fire safety, emergency medical care, population levels, recreation, physical therapy, exercise, staffing, physical restraints, segregation, administration of medication, record keeping, personal property storage, grievance procedures, law library access, reading materials, mail, religious services, telephone privileges, and visitation procedures.

Defendants moved to terminate the Stipulation and Order in 2008, pursuant to the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §3636(b). The court denied that motion and allowed Plaintiffs time to pursue discovery related to the motion. After a couple of years of settlement negotiations, the parties entered into a new Stipulation and Order of Settlement on November 23, 2010. The new settlement agreement terminates the previous agreement and is set to expire after 30 months. The agreement covers mental health treatment services, admission and discharge, training and supervision, role of DOC staff, outposted inmate-patients, monitoring, and dispute resolution.

Elizabeth Daligga - 07/23/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Goals and Timekeeping
Monitoring
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Law library access
Loss or damage to property
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Bellevue Hospital
Department of Correction of the City of New York
Elmhurst Hospital
Plaintiff Description Pretrial detainees confined in the jail medical and psychiatric wards operated by the New York City Department of Corrections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1990 - 2013
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
81-107 (S.D.N.Y.) 10/20/1990
PC-NY-0045-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Stipulation and Order of Settlement 10/01/1990 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0045-0001.pdf | Detail
Order and Consent Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement 10/01/1990 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0045-0002.pdf | Detail
Stipulation and Order of Settlement 11/23/2010
PC-NY-0045-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges Leval, Pierre Nelson (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
PC-NY-0045-0002 | PC-NY-0045-9000
Sullivan, Richard Joseph (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0045-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chasan, Jonathan S. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001 | PC-NY-0045-0002 | PC-NY-0045-0003
Frackman, Andrew J. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0003
Katz, Theodore H. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001
Lewis, Dori A. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001
Weinstein, Philip L. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001 | PC-NY-0045-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Gantz, Toni (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0003
Kovner, Victor A. (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001 | PC-NY-0045-0002
Pestana, Georgia (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0002
Trachtenberg, Robert (New York)
PC-NY-0045-0001 | PC-NY-0045-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -