University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Wright v. Ducharme PC-WA-0006
Docket / Court 90-396 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1986, a consent decree was implemented in which Washington State agreed to single-bunk the prisoners of the Washington State Reformatory (WSR). The consent decree arose out of a class action lawsuit by an inmate of the WSR who complained about the prison's policy of double-bunking the inmates. ... read more >
In 1986, a consent decree was implemented in which Washington State agreed to single-bunk the prisoners of the Washington State Reformatory (WSR). The consent decree arose out of a class action lawsuit by an inmate of the WSR who complained about the prison's policy of double-bunking the inmates. In 1988, WSR renovated the prison and began double-bunking the inmates during the renovation. On March 20, 1989, the same inmate spoke out publicly against double-bunking and persuaded numerous inmates to join him in demanding the enforcement of the consent decree. The next day he was placed in administrative segregation, and on March 30, 1989, he was transferred to another State facility.

On March 19, 1990, the inmate, represented by private attorneys, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against the prison officials for four alleged violations: 1) the administrative segregation was retaliation for exercising his constitutional rights; 2) his transfer to another facility violated his due process rights; 3) one of the reasons for his being administratively segregated was to punish him for trying to publish a dissenting newsletter; and 4) his equal protection rights were violated when the collaborator of the newsletter was not similarly placed in administrative segregation. The Court (Judge Barbara J. Rothstein) granted summary judgment to the defendants and plaintiff appealed.

In the appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Thomas Tang, Alexander Kozinski, and Ferdinand Francis Fernandez) remanded plaintiff's retaliation claim against defendants for further proceedings, affirmed the lower court's holdings on the due process and equal protection claims; and reversed the court's finding of summary judgment for defendant. Wright v. Rebeiro, 988 F.2d 127 (Table), 1993 WL 51196 (9th Cir.(Wash.)). The Court also upheld the dismissal of several named defendants. Subsequently, both parties filed numerous motions, postponing the trial date several times, and on February 28, 1997, the Court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief and terminated the case. However, it appears from the docket that it was not until May of that year that both parties agreed to a stipulated order of dismissal. In March of 1998, the Court ordered the return of sealed documents to counsel of record.

Rebecca Bloch - 03/18/2006


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
General
Administrative segregation
Disciplinary procedures
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Washington State Reformatory
Plaintiff Description prisoners of the Washington State Reformatory
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1986 - 1997
Case Closing Year 1997
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)
90-396 (W.D. Wash.) 03/04/1998
PC-WA-0006-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum 02/26/1993 (988 F.2d 127)
PC-WA-0006-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Fernandez, Ferdinand Francis (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
PC-WA-0006-0001
Kozinski, Alex (Ninth Circuit)
PC-WA-0006-0001
Rothstein, Barbara Jacobs (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Tang, Thomas (Ninth Circuit)
PC-WA-0006-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cornell, Cheri Yvonne (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Gendler, Michael W. (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Gordon, Patricia (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Newman, Claudia (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Judge, Daniel J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Nerup, Penelope (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Wheaton, Therese M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -