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Case Name Diamond v. Thompson PC-AL-0027
Docket / Court 3828-N ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1972, inmates confined at Mt. Meigs Medical and Diagnostic Center brought a class action lawsuit in the Middle District of Northern Alabama alleging that Mt. Meigs and the state Board of Corrections violated their First, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs requested ... read more >
In 1972, inmates confined at Mt. Meigs Medical and Diagnostic Center brought a class action lawsuit in the Middle District of Northern Alabama alleging that Mt. Meigs and the state Board of Corrections violated their First, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs requested various forms of injunctive relief including the return of certain personal property which they claimed had been confiscated without cause or compensation.

On July 30, 1973, the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (Judge Frank Minis Johnson, Jr.) found that, when plaintiffs were moved from the general population to administrative segregation, corrections officials improperly confiscated from them certain property to which they were entitled under prison rules governing administrative segregation. Because this property was never returned to the prisoners, the District Court issued an injunctive order requiring that the corrections officials either return the property to the inmates or replace it. Diamond v. Thompson, 364 F.Supp. 659 (M.D. Ala. 1973).

Both Plaintiffs and Defendants initially appealed from the District Court decree, but the appeal was eventually dismissed on joint motion of the parties.

A few months after the order was entered, three inmates filed motions in the District Court alleging that they were members of the class covered by the injunction and that defendants had failed to return to them all of their property. After holding hearings, the District Court entered judgment against defendants for the market value of the unreturned property.

On November 28, 1975, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judges John Cooper Godbold, John Milton Bryan Simpson, and Charles Clark) affirmed the District Court decision. Diamond v. Thompson, 523 F.2d 1201 (5th Cir. 1975). The Fifth Circuit concluded that the defendants improperly sought to attack the factual basis of the July 30, 2003 District Court decree in the present appeal; such an attack should have been launched in the appeal from that decree (which was dismissed on joint motion of the parties), not in the present enforcement proceedings for such decree.

We have no further information on this case.

Vidhya Reddy - 02/19/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Classification / placement
Loss or damage to property
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Alabama Penal System
Mt. Meigs Medical and Diagnostic Center
Plaintiff Description Inmates confined at the Mt. Meigs Medical and Diagnostic Center of the Alabama Department of Corrections.
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 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
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 07/30/1973 (364 F.Supp. 659) (M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0027-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Per Curiam 11/28/1975 (523 F.2d 1201)
PC-AL-0027-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Clark, Charles (Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0027-0002
Godbold, John Cooper (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0027-0002
Johnson, Frank Minis Jr. (M.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0027-0001
Simpson, John Milton Bryan (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
PC-AL-0027-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Morgan, Wendell R. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001 | PC-AL-0027-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Baxley, William J. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001 | PC-AL-0027-0002
Bowen, William M. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0002
Calhoun, Richard F. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001
Hall, Leslie (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001
Sorrells, Thomas W. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001
Teague, Barry E. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0027-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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