University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Baraldini v. Meese PC-DC-0020
Docket / Court 1:88-cv-00764-AER ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On March 22, 1988, three female inmates brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia requesting declaratory and injunctive relief on grounds that the Federal Bureau of Prisons and various Federal Correctional Institutions violated their First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment ... read more >
On March 22, 1988, three female inmates brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia requesting declaratory and injunctive relief on grounds that the Federal Bureau of Prisons and various Federal Correctional Institutions violated their First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights by placing them in the Female High Security Unit, the Bureau's highest security confinement institution for women.

A trial proceeding was held on the merits in order to consider Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and Defendants' motion to dismiss. The District Court (Judge Barrington D. Parker) thereafter denied Plaintiffs' Eighth and Fifth Amendment claims but concluded that the Bureau's criteria for assigning women to the high security unit violated two of the three plaintiffs' First Amendment rights. Baraldini v. Meese, 691 F. Supp. 432 (D.D.C. 1988). Specifically, the court concluded that the Bureau policy of considering inmates' present and past affiliations was unconstitutionally overbroad and vague and that the policy was not reasonably related to legitimate penalogical interests. On this ground, the District Court granted two of the plaintiffs' requests for injunctive relief.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Judge Frank A. Kaufman) reversed and remanded, instructing the District Court to enter judgment for the Defendants. Baraldini v. Thornburgh, 884 F.2d 615 (D.C. Cir. 1989). The D.C. Circuit reasoned that, while the Bureau policies at issue were general, they were rationally related to a legitimate penalogical purpose and were not overly restrictive of First Amendment rights. Specifically, the court concluded that the Bureau's consideration of inmates' affiliations focused on whether the organizations with which the inmates associated had policies and practices of attempting to facilitate prison escapes of their members. The consideration was thus closely tied to security concerns.

On March 21, 1990, pursuant to the instructions of the D.C. Circuit, the District Court (Judge Aubrey E. Robinson) vacated the final judgment and entered judgment in favor of Defendants. The case appears to have been closed thereafter.

Vidhya Reddy - 03/04/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Disciplinary segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Correctional Institution (Dublin, CA)
Federal Correctional Institution (Lexington,KY)
Federal Correctional Institution (Tuscon, AZ)
Plaintiff Description Women prisoners with ties to radical leftist political groups transferred to maximum security facilities, allegedly to punish them for their beliefs.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1990
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)
1:88-cv-00764-AER (D.D.C.) 07/27/1990
PC-DC-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Superseding Memorandum Opinion [Finding Violation of First Amendment Rights] 07/19/1988 (691 F.Supp. 432) (D.D.C.)
PC-DC-0020-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [Reverse and Remand] 09/08/1989 (884 F.2d 615)
PC-DC-0020-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Edwards, Harry Thomas (D.C. Circuit)
PC-DC-0020-0001
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
PC-DC-0020-0001
Kaufman, Frank Albert (D. Md.)
PC-DC-0020-0001
Parker, Barrington Daniels Sr. (D.D.C.)
PC-DC-0020-0002
Robinson, Aubrey Eugene Jr. (D.D.C.)
PC-DC-0020-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aiyetoro, Adjoa A. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002 | PC-DC-0020-9000
Cole, David D. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0002
Deutsch, Michael (Illinois)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002
Fink, Elizabeth (New York)
PC-DC-0020-0002
Freeman, Alexa P. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002 | PC-DC-0020-9000
Gibbs, Joan (New York)
PC-DC-0020-0002
O'Melveny, Mary K. (New York)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002
Ratner, Margaret (New York)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002
Susler, Janis M. (Illinois)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bates, John D. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002
Cleary, John Charles (New York)
PC-DC-0020-0001 | PC-DC-0020-0002 | PC-DC-0020-9000
Lawrence, R. Craig (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0001
Stephens, Jay B. (District of Columbia)
PC-DC-0020-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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