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Case Name Marion County Jail Inmates v. Cottey JC-IN-0001
Docket / Court 72-424 ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
Starting in 1972, Marion County Jail in Indiana was the subject of a long-running case to improve its conditions. One of the results of that case was a federal injunction putting a cap on the maximum population size of the jail. We do not have much information on this initial phase of the ... read more >
Starting in 1972, Marion County Jail in Indiana was the subject of a long-running case to improve its conditions. One of the results of that case was a federal injunction putting a cap on the maximum population size of the jail. We do not have much information on this initial phase of the litigation. What we do know is that after the passage of PLRA, on July 21, 1997, officials at the jail asked the court to lift the population cap so it could put in bunk beds and house an additional one hundred and sixty inmates. One month later, on August 19, 1997, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Judge S. Hugh Dillon) entered a temporary restraining order against any stay or suspension of the existing orders governing the jail, but did not rule on the jail's request. After a year without action or comment from the district court, jail officials sought mandamus to compel a ruling. That action prompted the district court, again without hearing or explanation, to enter an order effectively lifting the cap. One hundred and sixty beds were immediately added to the jail, and inmates appealed the lifting of the population cap.

On May 6, 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judge Frank Easterbrook), citing a "promptness" requirement in the PLRA, remanded the case to the district court, giving the court thirty days to decide on the plaintiffs' claim that adding the additional beds was a violation of the federal injunction because continued relief to maintain conditions at the Marion County Jail is appropriate under the PLRA. Berwanger v. Cottey, 178 F.3d 834 (7th Cir. 1999). The court also held that the district court erred by letting more than a year pass without action on the motion to terminate prospective relief and then terminating the decree without making any findings.

The docket, last updated on October 27, 2004, does not show any further activity on the case.

Ben Kelly - 03/06/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Marion County Jail
Plaintiff Description Inmates in the Marion County Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1999 - 2007
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
72-C-0424 (S.D. Ind.) 03/14/2006
JC-IN-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Entry 08/29/1997 (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Reported Opinion 05/06/1999 (178 F.3d 834)
JC-IN-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order in Aid of Prior Rulings 04/29/2002 (2002 WL 1042167 / 2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 6216) (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order Denying Request for Court-Supervised Mediation and Directing Defendants to Show Cause Why Contempt Should Not Be Entered Against Them and Sanctions Imposed 03/19/2003 (2003 WL 22425020 / 2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 18950) (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order Finding Defendant in Contempt and Imposing Sanctions as Well as Coercive Measures to Secure Future Compliance 07/10/2003 (270 F.Supp.2d 1034) (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Barker, Sarah Evans (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0004 | JC-IN-0001-0005 | JC-IN-0001-0006 | JC-IN-0001-9000
Dillin, Samuel Hugh (S.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0001-0001
Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit)
JC-IN-0001-0003
Monitors/Masters Shields, V. Sue (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0003 | JC-IN-0001-0004 | JC-IN-0001-0005 | JC-IN-0001-0006 | JC-IN-0001-9000
Staples, Ralph Winston Jr. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0001
Swhier, Robert D. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bailey, Jon M. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0005
Daniel, Melvin R. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0001
Moloy, James P. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0003
Murray, Kevin Charles (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0004 | JC-IN-0001-0006 | JC-IN-0001-9000
Overholt, Anthony W. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0004 | JC-IN-0001-0005 | JC-IN-0001-0006 | JC-IN-0001-9000
Seigel, Christopher D. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0001-0005
Other Lawyers Herwig, Barbara L. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0001-0003
Loeb, Robert Mark (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0001-0003

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