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Case Name Pickle v. Harris PC-TN-0011
Docket / Court 85-801 ( E.D. Tenn )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On September 27, 1985, inmates at the Brushy Mountain Penitentiary in Tennessee filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Tennessee Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had violated ... read more >
On September 27, 1985, inmates at the Brushy Mountain Penitentiary in Tennessee filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Tennessee Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had violated their constitutional rights by denying them access to the courts due to security measures in place in the D-Block at BMP, which prevented or limited inmates' physical access to the law library. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief.

On February 28, 1986, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (Judge Thomas G. Hull) found that the plaintiffs' constitutional rights had been violated, and they ordered the defendants to file a report within 30 days, advising the court on how they intended to remedy the current unconstitutional procedures. Pickle v. Harris, 1986 WL 4302 (E.D.Tenn. Feb 28, 1986). We have no information on the court order that resulted from the subsequent report.

In 1988, several prisoners asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt of the court's order. On November 29, 1988, the district court (Judge Hull) denied the motions for contempt and dismissed the action. The plaintiffs appealed.

On February 12, 1990, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Judge Anna Taylor, Judge Damon Keith, and Judge Robert Krupansky) affirmed the district court's decision not to intervene and dismissed the appeal. Pickle v. Harris, 1990 WL 11385 (6th Cir.(Tenn.) Feb. 12, 1990. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 07/12/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Law library access
Visiting
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Tennessee Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmate in D-Block [Maximum Security] at Brushy Mountain Penitentiary
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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
Report and Recommendation 02/28/1986 (1986 WL 4302) (E.D. Tenn)
PC-TN-0011-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Order 02/12/1990 (895 F.2d 1414)
PC-TN-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Keith, Damon Jerome (E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit)
PC-TN-0011-0002
Krupansky, Robert B. (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
PC-TN-0011-0002
Murrian, Robert P. (E.D. Tenn) [Magistrate]
PC-TN-0011-0001
Taylor, Anna Katherine Johnston Diggs (E.D. Mich.)
PC-TN-0011-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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