On November 25, 1991, an inmate detained at Cherokee County Jail filed a civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of jail inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, challenging conditions of confinement at the Jail. Plaintiff sought declaratory and ...
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On November 25, 1991, an inmate detained at Cherokee County Jail filed a civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of jail inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, challenging conditions of confinement at the Jail. Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and immediately moved for class certification.
The District Court (Judge Orinda D. Evans) denied without prejudice the motion to certify class action by order dated May 7, 2002. Shortly thereafter, the parties engaged in settlement negotiations and participated in settlement conferences with the Court. Eventually a deal was struck and the Court formally entered a Consent Order on December 7, 1992. The Order specified agreed reforms on virtually all aspects of confinement, including: population caps; separate female quarters, staffing, restraints, food service, visitation, phone privileges, access to reading materials, recreation, mail, access to attorneys, medical and dental care, disciplinary procedures and improvements to the physical plant. The Court administratively closed the case, but retained jurisdiction to monitor compliance with the Order.
In October 2002, the County constructed a new jail. The old jail was still used, but for the sole purpose of providing sleeping quarters for inmate workers.
Five years later, the County moved to terminate the Consent Order under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(1)(B). In support of its motion, the County asserted that it had rectified all areas addressed in the Consent Order and that the construction of the new jail made the Order moot. The Court directed plaintiffs to respond to the motion by specifying any ongoing constitutional violations which existed at the Jail. Plaintiffs responded that the motion was untimely and requested an evidentiary hearing, without citing any ongoing violations. On July 2, 2007, the Court terminated the Consent Order and dismissed the case.Dan Dalton - 10/04/2007