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Case Name Kifer v. Ellsworth JC-IN-0006
Docket / Court 79-66 ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
The only information available regarding this case is a United States Court of Appeals opinion which includes a brief summary of the procedural history. In the late 1970s, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana seeking injunctive ... read more >
The only information available regarding this case is a United States Court of Appeals opinion which includes a brief summary of the procedural history. In the late 1970s, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana seeking injunctive relief and alleging violations of the Eight Amendment at Vanderburgh County Jail. The class consisted of current and future inmates of the jail. In 1994, the district court approved a settlement providing injunctive relief and retaining jurisdiction to enforce the injunction. Five years later, an inmate, David Kifer, asked the district court to modify the injunction. Kifer was represented by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU). Kifer was never appointed as class representative but was listed as plaintiff on several court documents. The ICLU entered into negotiations with the jail and Kifer filed several motions, including a motion for appointment of new counsel and a motion to withdraw from the litigation. The district court (Judge Richard Young) denied these motions because Kifer had been discharged from jail and lacked standing. The district court also issued an order closing the case until the filing of a settlement agreement. The ICLU negotiated a settlement but it was never filed.

Kifer appealed and appeared pro se before the court of appeals. His appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judge Richard Posner) on October 17, 2003. Kifer v. Ellsworth, 346 F.3d 1155 (7th Cir. 2003). The court noted that the class had no representative but that Kifer could not be the representative because he was not incarcerated. The Seventh Circuit urged the district judge to address this litigation and ensure that the class of inmates had representation. There is no further information available about this litigation.

Angela Heverling - 03/06/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Vanderburgh County Jail
Plaintiff Description inmates at the Vanderburgh County Jail
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion 10/17/2003 (346 F.3d 1155)
JC-IN-0006-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
JC-IN-0006-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers Ahlers, Jeffrey W. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0006-0001
Bodkin, R. Thomas (Indiana)
JC-IN-0006-0001
Born, D. Timothy (Indiana)
JC-IN-0006-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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