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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Battle v. Anderson PC-OK-0001
Docket / Court 72-95 ( E.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 24, 1972, Bobby Battle, an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, filed a lawsuit pro se in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Oklahoma corrections officials. On March 15, 1973, the district court granted the ... read more >
On April 24, 1972, Bobby Battle, an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, filed a lawsuit pro se in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Oklahoma corrections officials. On March 15, 1973, the district court granted the United State's motion to intervene pursuant to Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2. Battle was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and private counsel and the case was eventually certified as a class action. In 1973, before the case went to trial, a riot occurred at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

On May 30, 1974, the district court (Judge Luther L. Bohanon) found that several conditions in the prison violated the constitution. Battle v. Anderson, 376 F.Supp. 402 (E.D.Ok. 1974). These included racial segregation, the punishment of detainees prior to disciplinary hearings, conditions of confinement, use of chemical agents in punishment, medical care, denial of publications, and denial of opportunity to gather for religious services. Judge Bohanon issued an order addressing all of these areas. The order included provisions requiring defendants to cease using race in its classification system, to cease disciplining inmates by placing them in 72-hour solitary confinement, to cease the unjustified use of chemical agents, and to provide inmates opportunities to engage in group religious services.

In June of 1977, the district court ordered defendants to reduce populations at two state penal facilities, the facility at McAlester and the Oklahoma State Reformatory at Granite, by transferring inmates to other institutions. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit (Judge James Emmett Barrett) affirmed. Battle v. Anderson, 564 F.2d 388 (10th Cir. 1977).

In December of 1981, the State of Oklahoma requested relief from a provision of a previous order that prohibited the double celling of inmates. On January 12, 1982, the district court entered an order permitting double celling at four facilities. On April 23, 1982, the district court vacated that order to allow double celling throughout the entire state, but noted that the order was not permanent. On October 12, 1982, the court entered an order requiring the state to submit a plan for returning to single celling conditions.

On appeal the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's orders and held that the district court should maintain jurisdiction over the Oklahoma prison system until it can assure that there are no constitutional violations and that there is no expectation that further violations will occur. Battle v. Anderson, 708 F.2d 1523 (10th Cir. 1983).

On December 30, 1983, the district court (Judge Frank Howell Seay) dismissed the case after determining that conditions were constitutional, even though there were several areas of previous court orders where defendants were not in compliance. These were access to courts, racial integration, and equal protection guarantees for women. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals examined each of these subjects. Battle v. Anderson, 788 F.2d 1421 (10th Cir. 1986). It affirmed the dismissal regarding all issues except racial discrimination. The dismissal was vacated and remanded for further proceedings regarding that issue.

On May 11, 1993, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the district court to allow an inmate to file a separate action against the defendants. Battle v. Anderson, Nos. 92-7086, 92-7101, 1993 WL 152672 (10th Cir. May 11, 1993).

The PACER docket, which begins in 1996, indicates that litigation continued for several years. On January 26, 2001, Judge Michael Burrage granted defendants' motion to terminate under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Angela Heverling - 05/18/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disciplinary procedures
Mail
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : chemical
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description inmates at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1974 - 2001
Case Closing Year 2001
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)
72-95 (E.D. Okla.) 11/04/2004
PC-OK-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion; Judgment, Decree, Injunction and Order for Remedial Action 05/30/1974 (376 F.Supp. 402) (E.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 11/22/1977 (564 F.2d 388)
PC-OK-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 05/06/1983 (708 F.2d 1523)
PC-OK-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 04/16/1986 (788 F.2d 1421)
PC-OK-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order and Judgment 05/11/1993 (993 F.2d 1551)
PC-OK-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Barrett, James Emmett (Tenth Circuit, FISCR)
PC-OK-0001-0001 | PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003
Bohanon, Luther Lee (N.D. Okla., W.D. Okla., E.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Brorby, Wade (Tenth Circuit)
PC-OK-0001-0005
Doyle, William Edward (D. Colo., Tenth Circuit)
PC-OK-0001-0001 | PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003
Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-OK-0001-0003
McKay, Monroe G. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-OK-0001-0002
McWilliams, Robert Hugh Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Moore, Alfred (SCOTUS)
PC-OK-0001-0005
Payne, James H. (E.D. Okla., N.D. Okla., W.D. Okla.) [Magistrate]
PC-OK-0001-9000
VanBebber, George Thomas (D. Kan.) [Magistrate]
PC-OK-0001-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bane, Mary E. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Bullock, Louis Werner (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0001 | PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003 | PC-OK-0001-9000
Carvin, Michael (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0003
Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Cooper, Charles Justin (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0003
Gehres, Michele T. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Jones, Stephen (Ohio)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0003
Nelson, Melody Noble (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Ory, Charles (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Peraertz, Louis E. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Queen, Jesse H. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Seymour, R. Thomas (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Shea, Quinlan J. Jr. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Sheran, Thomas R. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Sperling, Sheldon J. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Utley, Margie A. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Anthony, Robert Morley (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Avant-Pybas, Michael (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Babb, Charles K. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Bradford, Elizabeth J. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Cartwright, Jan Eric (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Crowe, Paul (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0001 | PC-OK-0001-0004
Deleshaw, Kenneth Jr. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Derryberry, Larry (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Douglas, John E. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Edmondson, W. A. Drew (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Gotcher, Willard (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0004
Gruber, Thomas W. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Hodgins, Amalija J. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Hurst, Guy Lee (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Kennedy, Kay Karen (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0004
McCoy, Gloyd L. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Minietta, Michele (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Nance, Robert A. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003
Robinson, James M. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-9000
Silverman, Scott J. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Turpen, Michael C. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0003
Other Lawyers Allen, Frank D. Jr. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Barnett, Walter W. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Dimsey, Dennis J. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0001 | PC-OK-0001-0003
Lerner, Louise A. (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0002
Pyle, Richard A. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0001
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003
Richardson, Gary L. (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0001-0002 | PC-OK-0001-0003

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