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Case Name Tuggle v. Cook PC-TN-0004
Docket / Court 83-1009 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On December 30, 1983, African American inmates in the Tennessee prison system filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging racial discrimination on cell and work assignments. In May of 1986, the two sides in that suit reached a ... read more >
On December 30, 1983, African American inmates in the Tennessee prison system filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging racial discrimination on cell and work assignments. In May of 1986, the two sides in that suit reached a draft settlement agreement. The case was consolidated with another action filed by African-American inmates in July 1985 seeking injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief, alleging that after being fired from their prison jobs following a riot, discriminatory hiring practices kept them from getting their jobs back. This litigation is Tuggle.

On June 6, 1986, the defendants in the Tuggle case submitted a motion to consolidate it with still more, individual cases. Three of the plaintiffs from these individual cases filed an objection to the consolidation in the district court, but on May 6, 1987, the district court approved the consolidation and the settlement agreement from the first case which certified a mandatory class of all African American inmates in the Tennessee prison system. In the settlement agreement, the prison system agreed to reform cell and job assignment procedures by not considering race in making these assignments. The parties also agreed to refer some additional claims concerning injunctive relief to the special master in Grubbs v. Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052 (M.D. Tenn. 1982), PC-TN-007. The settlement did not award class members any money.

Five inmates from the involuntarily consolidated cases appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, alleging that the district court erred by consolidating the cases, and by foreclosing their claims for monetary and other relief. On January 3, 1989, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (Judge Ralph B. Guy), in an unpublished opinion, affirmed the district court's holdings, and denied the plaintiffs appeals. Mitchell v. Dutton, 865 F.2d 1268 (6th Cir. 1989)(table op). The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. Mitchell v. Dutton, 490 U.S. 1048 (1989).

In August, 1992, the court noted the "conclusion of all action under the implementation plan," ordered the prior order itself in full force and effect, and closed the file. Subsequent activity was by single claim members, and went nowhere. We have no further information on the case.

Ben Kelly - 03/26/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Tenn. Prison System
Tennessee Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description all African American inmates in the Tennessee prison system
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 1987 - 1992
Case Closing Year 1992
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-TN-0007 : Grubbs v. Bradley (M.D. Tenn.)
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)
83-1009 (M.D. Tenn.) 07/23/1999
PC-TN-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 01/03/1989 (865 F.2d 1268)
PC-TN-0004-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Decision 05/01/1989 (490 U.S. 1048)
PC-TN-0004-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Guy, Ralph B. Jr. (FISCR, Sixth Circuit, E.D. Mich.)
PC-TN-0004-0002
Higgins, Thomas Aquinas (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dinkins, Richard Hovey (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Edward Lee (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Booker, Cyrus (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Carpenter, William F. Jr. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Robinson, Charles E. (North Carolina)
PC-TN-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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