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Case Name Capps v. Atiyeh PC-OR-0006
Docket / Court 80-141 ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the conditions of their confinement inflicted cruel and unusual punishment ... read more >
Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the conditions of their confinement inflicted cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, the inmates contended that the institutions were so crowded that the conditions were likely to cause physical and mental deterioration. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief to reduce the inmate population at the prisons.

On, August 22, 1980, the District Court (Judge James M. Burns) held that the conditions present at the institutions constituted cruel and unusual punishment and were constitutionally impermissible and granted the requested injunction. Capps v. Atiyeh, 495 F. Supp. 802 (D. Ore. 1980). Subsequently, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, acting as Circuit Justice, stayed the injunction pending resolution of Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337 (1981), which at that time was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Capps/West v. Atiyeh, 449 U.S. 1312 (1981). Following the Supreme Court's opinion in Chapman, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Anthony McLeod Kennedy, Arthur Lawrence Alacorn, and William P. Copple) vacated the injunction in Atiyeh and remanded the case for "further consideration and specific findings" in light of Chapman. Capps v. Atiyeh, 652 F.2d 823 (9th Cir. 1981). On remand, the District Court (Judge Burns) held that prison conditions met Eighth Amendment requirements in the matters of violence and guard behavior, segregation and isolation, inmate idleness and classification, shelter and sanitation, and the provision of mental health services; however, there were constitutional deficiencies in the provision of medical care, the process of milk pasteurization at the dairy farm serving the prisons, and fire safety at the prison dairy farm. Capps v. Atiyeh, 559 F. Supp. 894 (D. Ore. 1983). A PACER docket is unavailable for this case, and this is the last published opinion.

David Terry - 04/10/2006
Megan Richardson - 07/18/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Oregon State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon 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 1983 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 08/22/1980 (495 F.Supp. 802) (D. Or.)
PC-OR-0006-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 02/04/1981 (449 U.S. 1312)
PC-OR-0006-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
[Denying motion to vacate stay] 03/09/1981 (450 U.S. 975)
PC-OR-0006-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 08/03/1981 (652 F.2d 823)
PC-OR-0006-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Amended Supplemental Opinion and Order 02/25/1983 (559 F.Supp. 894) (D. Or.)
PC-OR-0006-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Alarcon, Arthur Lawrence (Ninth Circuit)
PC-OR-0006-0003
Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (SCOTUS)
PC-OR-0006-0005
Burns, James Milton (D. Or.)
PC-OR-0006-0001 | PC-OR-0006-0002
Copple, William Perry (D. Ariz.)
PC-OR-0006-0003
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (Ninth Circuit, SCOTUS)
PC-OR-0006-0003
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
PC-OR-0006-0004 | PC-OR-0006-0005
Stevens, John Paul (Seventh Circuit, SCOTUS)
PC-OR-0006-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers DeLessio, Patricia (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0001
Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0002
Stalker, Robert A. Jr. (Washington)
PC-OR-0006-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Frohnmayer, David B. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0001
Linder, Virginia L. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0001
Long, Stanton F. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0001
McAlister, J. Scott (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0001
McCulloch, John (Oregon)
PC-OR-0006-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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