University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name In Re: Southern Ohio Correctional Facility PC-OH-0010
Docket / Court 93-436 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In June 1993, inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials in Youngstown, Ohio of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Plaintiffs' claims were related to the treatment of ... read more >
In June 1993, inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials in Youngstown, Ohio of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Plaintiffs' claims were related to the treatment of prisoners during the prison riot that occurred in April 1993. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants locked as many as ten inmates in a cell, failed to protect them from violence, did not provide them with water or working toilets, used excessive force, destroyed personal property, and denied medical care.

In December 1993, Magistrate Judge Robert A. Steinberg appointed several private lawyers and certified the class. By the summer of 1994, counsel, along with their expert Steven Martin, negotiated an end to the post-riot lockdown of general population inmates. By February 1995, counsel negotiated with Defendants for a special Rules Infraction Board to handle the cases of inmates against whom administrative charges for riot-related, violent misconduct were filed.

Following extensive discovery, the parties reached an agreement and signed the Class Action Memorandum of Understanding in January 1997. The settlement included two major parts. First, the settlement established terms to improve the ""quality of life"" including: single-celling maximum security inmates; modifying the inmate classification system; improving racial and cultural relations; securing at least forty hours of out-of-cell time per week; and instituting new state-wide directives on religious practices. Second, the settlement established a $4.1 million fund, from which inmate damage claims, attorneys' fees and expenses would be paid. The case was dismissed conditional on completion of the reforms specified in the settlement agreement. Following a fairness hearing, the District Court (Judge S. Arthur Spiegel) approved the settlement in April 1997.

Michael R. Barrett was named Special Master and has filed several status reports regarding the distribution of the fund. However, extensive litigation continued regarding the distribution of the fund and attorneys' fees.

On December 12, 1999, the District Court (Judge Spiegel) approved a recommendation by the claims administrator that the two class representatives be paid $7,500 apiece.
The stated basis for these awards was that "the class representatives performed important work on behalf of the other members of class and class counsel," serving as a "crucial link for class members and counsel throughout the proceedings" and keeping the "class members generally informed in the progress of the case and relay[ing] information back to
class counsel." In a subsequent order, the district court stayed its grant of incentive awards pending appeal.

In 2001, the Sixth Circuit (Judge David A. Nelson) reversed the district court's decision to grant incentive awards to the two named plaintiffs and place all inmates' claim determinations under protective order. In re Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, 2001 WL 1667267 (6th Cir. 2001).

On November 4, 2002, Judge Spiegel entered an order granting class counsel's request for an order increasing the awards to class members pro rata and ordering the settlement master/trustee to distribute $500,000 to be awarded on a pro rata basis on each claimant's previous award totals. In 2004, the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court's disbursement of unassigned funds to certain prisoner-class members. The court held that the settlement agreement did not authorize the district court to make a pro rata distribution of the remaining settlement funds. Morris v. Voinovich, 2004 WL 1745781 (6th Cir. 2004).

On January 20, 2005, Judge Spiegel approved the joint motion of the parties to distribute the remainder of the settlement fund. The remaining funds are to be used to support two re-entry caseworkers who will work with the class members to help them succeed on release.

Kristen Sagar - 08/19/2007
Anna Dimon - 02/02/2015


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Administrative segregation
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Loss or damage to property
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Plaintiff Description Prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1997 - 2000
Case Closing Year 2007
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)
1:93-cv-00436-SAS-TSB (S.D. Ohio) 01/12/2011
PC-OH-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 04/24/1996 (166 F.R.D. 391) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Second Amended Class Action Complaint 07/19/1996 (1993 WL 13547951)
PC-OH-0010-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Class Action Memorandum of Understanding 01/22/1997 (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Order 04/22/1997 (173 F.R.D. 205) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 07/24/1997 (175 F.R.D. 270) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Unpublished Opinion 09/24/1999 (191 F.3d 453)
PC-OH-0010-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Reported Opinion 12/26/2001 (24 Fed.Appx. 520)
PC-OH-0010-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 07/29/2004 (106 Fed.Appx. 962)
PC-OH-0010-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 01/18/2005 (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batchelder, Alice Moore (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0010-0002
Carr, James G. (FISC, N.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
PC-OH-0010-0007
Clay, Eric L. (Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0010-0007
Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0010-0002
Merritt, Frank S. Court not on record
PC-OH-0010-0003
Nelson, David Aldrich (Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0010-0003
Spiegel, S. Arthur (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0005 | PC-OH-0010-0006 | PC-OH-0010-0009 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Suhrheinrich, Richard Fred (E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0003 | PC-OH-0010-0007
Monitors/Masters Barrett, Michael Ryan (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baker, Neal David (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Chesley, Stanley Morris (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
DeMarco, Paul M. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Mezibov, Marc David (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Stilz, Fay Elizabeth (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Wolpert, Michael (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berry, John Franklin (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Boyle, Sean OReilly (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Carney, Stephen P. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0002
Clark, Jeffery William (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Cox, Joshua T. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Criss, M. Scott (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Duvin, Robert Philip (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Mancini, Joseph Matthew (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Marti, Todd Robert (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0002
Messerman, Gerald Arthur (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Montgomery, Betty D. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0001
Myers, Robert Warren (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Norchi, Kevin Michael (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Whiteley, Daniel Edward Jr. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Wolff, Robert M. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Other Lawyers Schaefer, Christian Joseph (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000
Zorn, Philip Lewis Jr. (Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -