University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Gholson v. Murray PC-VA-0008
Docket / Court 95-442 ( E.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On May 15, 1995, inmates at the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Virginia filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Virginia Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In April, 1985, the prison had come under the authority of ... read more >
On May 15, 1995, inmates at the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Virginia filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Virginia Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In April, 1985, the prison had come under the authority of the Mecklenburg Consent Decree Settlement Agreement, and the plaintiffs in this case alleged that the defendants were violating the consent decree and their constitutional rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs complained that the defendants had denied them work programs, educational programs, and transfers to other facilities so that they could practice their religious diet, as well as provided them with small recreation facilities and lead in the prison water system.

On January 7, 1997, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Judge Rebecca Beach Smith) granted summary judgment to the defendants, holding that the denial of work opportunities and educational programs did not violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights, that denial of transfers to other facilities so that inmates could practice their religious diet did not violate the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that the allegedly small recreation facilities were not unconstitutional, that officials did not violate the Constitution with respect to lead in the prison water system, and that the officials were entitled to qualified immunity. Gholson v. Murry, 953 F.Supp. 709 (E.D.Va. 1977). The plaintiffs appealed.

On June 4, 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed the plaintiffs' appeals.

Kristen Sagar - 05/04/2006


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
General
Education
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Personal injury
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Virginia Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates alleging violations of their constitutional rights
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1997 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
95-442 (E.D. Va.) 10/01/1999
PC-VA-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Final Order 01/07/1997 (953 F.Supp. 709) (E.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0008-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Smith, Rebecca Beach (E.D. Va.) [Magistrate]
PC-VA-0008-0001 | PC-VA-0008-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers Sargent, Pamela Anne (Virginia)
PC-VA-0008-0001 | PC-VA-0008-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -