University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. ex rel. Hoss v. Cuyler PC-PA-0015
Docket / Court 74-2148 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1974, an inmate in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against prison officials. Plaintiff contended that, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, he had been subjected to cruel and ... read more >
In 1974, an inmate in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against prison officials. Plaintiff contended that, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, he had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and denied procedural due process. The factual basis of the claim was his continued confinement in the "Behavior Adjustment Unit" of the prison. The court appointed law student counsel from the Indigent Prisoner Litigation Program.

Between 1976 and 1978, the parties unsuccessfully attempted to settle the case. During this period, plaintiff also underwent several psychiatric evaluations. After reviewing the record, the District Court (Judge Alfred Leopold Luongo) held that plaintiff had not been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, but had been deprived of his right to due process by defendants' administrative segregation procedures. United States ex rel. Hoss v. Cuyler, 452 F. Supp. 256 (E.D. Pa. 1978). The court issued a permanent injunction ordering defendants to remedy the constitutional defects in BAU confinement procedures.

In August 1978, the court approved new administrative segregation criteria for use by officials of the State Correctional Institution at Graterford in a final judgment and decree. United States ex rel. Hoss v. Cuyler, 454 F. Supp. 51 (E.D. Pa. 1978). The new criteria established several factors to be considered by the Program Review Committee in determining whether an inmate warranted continued administrative confinement as a security risk.

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision, dated August 2, 1978.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Administrative segregation
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) State Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description State prison inmate who was confined to prison's "Behavior Adjustment Unit"
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1978 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1978
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion 05/01/1978 (452 F.Supp. 256) (E.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Final Judgment and Decree 08/02/1978 (454 F.Supp. 51) (E.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0015-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Luongo, Alfred Leopold (E.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Backstrom, James A. Jr. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
McKnight, H. Vincent Jr. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
Rifkin, Roy G. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Goldberg, Joseph (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
Vickers, Maria Parisi (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0015-0001 | PC-PA-0015-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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