University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Anderson v. Williams JC-DC-0008
Docket / Court 2005 CA 005030 B ( State Court )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On June 29, 2005, seven D.C. Jail inmates, represented by the D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project and the private law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding, filed a civil rights lawsuit in the D.C. Superior Court to challenge severe overcrowding at the Jail and to force compliance with the D.C. Jail ... read more >
On June 29, 2005, seven D.C. Jail inmates, represented by the D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project and the private law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding, filed a civil rights lawsuit in the D.C. Superior Court to challenge severe overcrowding at the Jail and to force compliance with the D.C. Jail Improvement Act of 2003. Plaintiffs alleged that the Act, which was passed unanimously by the D.C. Council in July 2003, required the Mayor to establish a population cap at the Jail following a study completed by the consulting firm of Pulitzer/Bogard Associates which recommended a cap of between 1,958 and 2,164 inmates. Plaintiffs alleged that the Mayor refused to comply with the Act, resulting in dangerous conditions at the Jail because of the continued overcrowding. At the time suit was filed, the average daily Jail population was alleged to have risen as high as 2,400 inmates.

According to the Court's docket, the case was set for mediation on several occasions, but the mediation was either cancelled or continued. A briefing schedule was set and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.

On August 24, 2007, the Court (Judge Melvin R. Wright) granted Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and ordered the District of Columbia to establish a jail capacity cap in writing and to provide a copy of such document on or before the October 5, 2007 status hearing. Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied. Defendants moved to amend the Court's judgment, which was subsequently denied by the Court at the October 5, 2007 status hearing. On October 14, 2007, the Court , acting sua sponte, ordered the defendants to submit, within 30 days, a notice of proposed rulemaking establishing a jail capacity cap of 2,164.

At the time of this summary, it is not clear that the defendants had yet complied with the Court's order. The case was set for another status conference to be held on March 28, 2008.

Dan Dalton - 02/05/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Post-PLRA Population Cap
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) D.C. Department of Corrections
District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description Group of D.C. inmates currently being held in the D.C. Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2005 CA 005030 B (State Trial Court) 01/04/2008
JC-DC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 06/29/2005
JC-DC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project Press Release: "D.C. Inmates File Lawsuit Over Mayor’s Refusal to Obey The Law" 06/29/2005
JC-DC-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amatrudo, Vincent A. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-0001
Fornaci, Phillip Jerome (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-0001 | JC-DC-0008-0002 | JC-DC-0008-9000
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-0001
Howard, Theodore Augustus (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-0001 | JC-DC-0008-9000
Whitaker, Joshua G. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-0001 | JC-DC-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, Eugene A. III (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-9000
Amato, Maria-Claudia T. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-9000
Efros, Ellen A. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-9000
Saindon, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-9000
Valentine, George C. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0008-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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