On July 19, 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The plaintiffs ...
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On July 19, 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The plaintiffs alleged that prisoners in the Jail were subjected to a pervasive pattern of excessive force by Sheriff Deputies, including the misuse and abuse of pepperball guns, restraint chairs, tasers, electroshock belts, and pepper spray. The plaintiffs also alleged that the Sheriff failed to have proper written policies in place regarding the use of force and failed to enforce the policies that did exist. To remedy the alleged violations, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.
An amended complaint was filed on August 1, 2006, adding claims that inmates were often subjected to harsh discipline without being afforded due process and that the Sheriff denied mentally ill prisoners mental health care. That same day, the plaintiffs also filed an amended motion to certify the case as a class action.
The case was originally assigned to District Court Judge Phillip S. Figa. Judge Figa referred the handling of scheduling and discovery issues to Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe. On January 8, 2008, the case was reassigned to Judge Wiley Y. Daniel, in light of the death of Judge Figa.
On March 13, 2008, the District Court partially granted and partially denied the motion to certify a plaintiff class. This decision was appealed, and on February 4, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ordered the District Court to reconsider its class certification order. The case is ongoing.
On March 18, 2011, counsel for both parties filed a joint status report, indicating that they had reached a settlement subject to the approval of the four named plaintiffs, the terms of which are unknown.
On April 28, 2011, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for voluntary dismissal with prejudice, with each party bearing its own attorney fees, costs, and expenses. This case is closed. Kristen Sagar - 03/23/2009