University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Grubbs v. Bradley PC-TN-0007
Docket / Court 3:80-cv-03404 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On August 11, 1980, several inmates filed pro se lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Tennessee Attorney General. The cases were consolidated and attorneys were appointed to represent plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were ... read more >
On August 11, 1980, several inmates filed pro se lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Tennessee Attorney General. The cases were consolidated and attorneys were appointed to represent plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were represented by Legal Services of Middle Tennessee, Legal Services of South Central Tennessee, National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, Rural Legal Services of Tennessee, and Legal Aid in Nashville.

In August of 1982, the district court (Judge Leland Clure Morton) found that the conditions within Tennessee's adult penal institutions were unconstitutional and ordered the defendants to establish remedies and submit them to the court. Grubbs v. Bradley, 552 F.Supp. 1052 (M.D.Tenn. 1982). The court also appointed a special master, Patrick D. McManus, to evaluate the defendants' plan. The constitutional violations occurred in the areas of overcrowding, living conditions, and health services. Other remedial orders were issued by the court in this case. In 1987, the court ordered the plans to be completed by 1992.

In a separate litigation concerning inmate populations at Tennessee penal institutions governed by the Grubbs population orders, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Merritt, Nelson, and Lievely), remanded the case to the judge presiding over the Grubbs decree to oversee proceedings in that case consistent with the Grubbs order. Roberts v. Tennessee Department of Correction, 887 F.2d 1281. The Sixth Circuit noted that the Grubbs' court should have jurisdiction of all matters pertaining to population limits and other matters of the Grubbs decree.

On May 14, 1993, the matter came before the court regarding terminating the class action. The court (Judge Thomas A. Higgins) determined that conditions within Tennessee prisons had improved sufficiently to warrant the almost complete termination of court supervision. Grubbs v. Bradley, 821 F.Supp. 496 (M.D.Tenn. 1993). The court retained jurisdiction in one area to ensure the defendants created a health care quality-assurance program. The PACER docket indicates that defendants complied with this order and the docket ends on October 13, 2000 after several years of compliance review.

Angela Heverling - 05/18/2006
Richard Jolly - 11/14/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
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 present and future adult inmates committed to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC).
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1982 - 2000
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-TN-0004 : Tuggle v. Cook (M.D. Tenn.)
JC-TN-0005 : Carver v. Knox County (E.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)
80-3404 (M.D. Tenn.) 10/13/2000
PC-TN-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 10/05/1989 (887 F.2d 1281)
PC-TN-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum 08/13/1992 (552 F.Supp. 1052) (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0007-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum 05/14/1993 (821 F.Supp. 496) (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Higgins, Thomas Aquinas (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Lively, Pierce (Sixth Circuit)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Merritt, Gilbert Stroud Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Morton, Leland Clure (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Nelson, David Aldrich (Sixth Circuit)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonnyman, George G. Jr. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001 | PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Bronstein, Alvin J. (District of Columbia)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Calhoon, Kathryn F. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Carter, O. Michael (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Charles, James Lawrence (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Correll, Frank C. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Croce, Lenny L. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Grimes, R. Dale (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Holliday, Drake (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Kennedy, John Lee (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Kipp, David C. Jr. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Knowles, E. Clifton (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001 | PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Kozlowski, David Arthur (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Mahn, Michael J. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Moore, Shawn F. (District of Columbia)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Overby, Russell J. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Vanderbilt, Susan Kay (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Burson, Charles W. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-0003
Himmelreich, David M. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0003
Leech, William M. Jr. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Littleton, Robert B. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Pearingen, Michael D. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Reevers, Stephanie (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-9000
Robinson, Charles E. (North Carolina)
PC-TN-0007-0002 | PC-TN-0007-9000
Small, Jennifer Helton (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Southworth, John F. Jr. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Zimmerman, John C. (Tennessee)
PC-TN-0007-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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