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Case Name Woodson v. Sully JC-KS-0004
Docket / Court 3:85-cv-03049-JPO ( D. Kan. )
State/Territory Kansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On February 27, 1985, prisoners of the Wyandotte County Jail filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private attorneys, sued the Board of County Commissioners of ... read more >
On February 27, 1985, prisoners of the Wyandotte County Jail filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private attorneys, sued the Board of County Commissioners of Wyandotte County, three individual commissioners, and the Sheriff of Wyandotte County. The inmates challenged the conditions of their confinement.

In 1987, the parties negotiated a stipulated consent decree under which a new county jail facility was to be constructed. The decree also created a Jail Population Control Committee to oversee operations of the new jail. The decree was approved by the United States District Court for the District of Kansas (Judge Dale Emerson Saffels) and the jail became operational in 1989. In September of 1992, the Court found that the jail was not operating in compliance with the consent order. Woodson v. Sully, 801 F.Supp. 466 (D.Kan. 1992). It denied the parties' request to remove operational control of the jail from the Sheriff and place it in the hands of an entity called the Jail Control Authority. In October of 1992, the Court appointed a Special Master (the opinion does not mention the name of the Special Master) to oversee the defendants' compliance with the original consent order. Finally, on August 1994, the Court issued its final order, finding the defendants in compliance with the original consent order and also creating the position of Jail Administrator (named J.B. Hopkins).

In December of 2000, the defendants filed Motion to Reopen the case for the limited purposes of seeking temporary orders to require the Sheriff to comply with the original consent order and the authority of the Jail Population Control Committee. The defendants sought two remedies: they wanted to close two of the jail's internal facilities to alleviate staffing issues, and second, they renewed their request to remove the Sheriff from operational control of the jail. Before the court could rule on the motion, the parties settled. They submitted an agreement in 2001 that resolved the closure issue but left outstanding the request to find the Sheriff in contempt and remove him from operation of the Jail. In 2002, the Court heard that issue and denied the motion, finding that nobody other than the Sheriff had the authority over the operations of the County Jail. Woodson v. Green, 191 F.Supp.2d 1231 (D.Kan. 2002).

The docket goes on to describe subsequent procedural motions through 2003, when Magistrate Judge (James P. O'Hara) denied a motion to reopen the case and a motion for a hearing. The government appealed this decision, but on July 25, 2003, the government voluntarily dismissed the appeal.

On July 15, 2011, the government moved to terminate the consent decree. After hearing from the plaintiffs and other defendants, Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara terminated the consent decree on September 13, 2011.

Rebecca Bloch - 04/18/2006
Jessica Kincaid - 04/02/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Wyandotte County Jail
Plaintiff Description prisoners of the Wyandotte County Jail
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1987 - 2011
Filing Year 1985
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
85-3049 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Defendants' Fourth Quarterly Report [ECF# 113]
JC-KS-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/1988
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order (801 F.Supp. 466) (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0004-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/08/1992
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order (191 F.Supp.2d 1231) (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0004-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/26/2002
Source: Google Scholar
Order [Terminating Consent Decree] [ECF# 339] (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges O'Hara, James P. (D. Kan.) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0004 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Saffels, Dale Emerson (D. Kan.) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002 | JC-KS-0004-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Morgan, Amy E. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Morris, David R. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
Rupp, Anthony F. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Rute, Larry R. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
Waxse, David J. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
York, Claudia J. (Missouri) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bukaty, Steven A.J. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Bullins, Jeffrey A. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-9000
Denk, Daniel B. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Goheen, James R. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0001 | JC-KS-0004-0002
Goheen, Gregory P. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Golden, Gerald (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
Logback, Lawrence J. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-9000
Long, Donald C. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0002
McCauley, Sean P. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Nero, Mary M. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-9000
Rau, Jeanne Gorman (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0001 | JC-KS-0004-0002
Serrano, Paul E. Jr. (Missouri) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-0003 | JC-KS-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Duma, John M. (Kansas) show/hide docs
JC-KS-0004-9000

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