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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Dockery v. Epps PC-MS-0007
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-00326 ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On May 30, 2013, prisoners in the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief medical ... read more >
On May 30, 2013, prisoners in the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief medical officer in their official capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the ACLU National Prison Project and the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as monetary relief, claiming that conditions in the EMCF violated their Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the living conditions at EMCF, designed to house and treat Mississippi's most seriously mentally ill prisoners, were so inhumane as to cause harm to the inmates through known problems with healthcare, mental healthcare, isolation, excessive force, protection from harm, nutrition, and food safety.

In September 2014, the plaintiffs moved for class certification. While this motion was pending, on October 9, 2014, District Judge Tom S. Lee recused himself and the case was reassigned to District Judge William H. Barbour, Jr. On September 29, 2015, the Judge Barbour granted class certification, and the defendants attempted to appeal this order, but the Fifth Circuit denied the defendants' motion to file an appeal on November 2, 2015.

After engaging in discovery, a bench trial began on March 5, 2018 and concluded on April 9, 2018. On August 24, 2018, Judge Barbour stayed the proceedings in the case pending the receipt of supplemental expert reports, which were to be filed by November 16, 2018. Judge Barbour found that during the bench trial, it had become apparent that conditions at the prison had changed, in part, due to the appointing and hiring of new administrators and implementation of new policies and procedures. Therefore, he found the stay necessary in order ensure that any award of injunctive relief in this case would not run afoul of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).

After the parties submitted their supplemental expert reports, the parties attempted to settle. However, on January 24, 2019, the parties notified Magistrate Judge John C. Gargiulo, who oversaw the settlement conferences, that the parties were unable to settle and that future settlement conferences would not be productive. As of March 25, 2019, the case is ongoing.

Jessica Kincaid - 10/14/2013
Jessica Kincaid - 02/26/2016
Abigail DeHart - 10/02/2017
Lisa Limb - 03/25/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Grievance Procedures
Sanitation / living conditions
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Vision care
Wound care
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Mississippi Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Mentally ill prisoners in Mississippi state prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2013
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:13-cv-00326-TSL-JMR (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/28/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-MS-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 257] (2015 WL 5737608) (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/29/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 767] (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/24/2018
show all people docs
Judges Barbour, William Henry Jr. (S.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-0002 | PC-MS-0007-0003 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Gargiulo, John C. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Lee, Tom Stewart (S.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Roper, John M. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, Elizabeth R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Arulanantham, Rekha (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Balaban, Eric G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Bardwell, William B. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Bidinger, Sarah D (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Bonthuis, Mari (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Caveny, Chelsea K. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Doshi, Ravi (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Eber, Gabriel B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Gimbel, Mark P. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Han, Anna Q. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Hoff Varner, Gretchen Ann (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Johnson, Elissa F (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Monju, Erin K. (New York) show/hide docs
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Morgan, Jamelia N. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-0001 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Parets, Brendan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Prakash, Swati (New York) show/hide docs
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Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Salk, Benjamin R. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Takei, Carl (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Wedekind, Jennifer A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Winter, Margaret (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Zhu, Xinping (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bentley, Michael J. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Conner, Megan B. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
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Friedman, Gary E. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Harvey, William Brett (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Johnson, Walter T. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Manuel, J. William (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Morisani, Nicholas F. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Nobile, Krissy Casey (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Pedersen, Robert H. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Pizzetta, Harold Edward III (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Saltaformaggio, Erin D. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Stephens, John Morgan IV (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Thaggard, Lee (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000 | PC-MS-0007-9000
Walker, Molly Mitchell (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Williams, Michael C. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Case, Jason Robert (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000
Hill, Merlin (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PC-MS-0007-9000

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