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Case Name Shelton v. Kane PC-PA-0034
Docket / Court 3:11-cv-01618-WJN-DB ( M.D. Pa. )
Additional Docket(s) 12-4226  [ 12-4226 ]
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On August 29, 2011, plaintiff, a male Muslim prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest lawyers, asked the court ... read more >
On August 29, 2011, plaintiff, a male Muslim prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest lawyers, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of himself and an injunction preventing defendants from continuing their unconstitutional housing, recreation, and restraint patterns, practices and policies on behalf of all current and future United States Penitentiary (USP) Lewisburg prisoners. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants violated plaintiff's right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution by placing him with cellmates with whom he had a documented hostile relationship, placing him in restraints on multiple occasions as punishment for refusing dangerous cell assignments, and failing to react in a timely manner to stop assaults. Plaintiff claimed that defendants engaged in a pattern, practice, or policy of carrying out these actions.

In 2008, the Bureau of Prisons created the Special Management Unit (SMU) at USP Lewisburg to serve prisoners who present unique security and management concerns including prisoners who participated in or led group/gang-related activity. Plaintiff was incarcerated at USP Lewisburg in 2005 and 2006, and returned to join to the SMU in 2009, at which time he had an intake review and expressed his separation needs.

On October 24, 2012, the U.S. District Court (Judge William B. Nealon) issued an order denying the plaintiff's motion to certify the class and an order granting defendants' motion to dismiss and for summary judgment, directing the Clerk of Court to enter judgment in favor of defendants and against plaintiff on all claims. On November 20, 2012, plaintiff submitted a notice of appeal. On March 2, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the district court's order denying class certification and grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the Eighth Amendment claim. The Court of Appeals upheld the district court's judgment dismissing the plaintiff's FTCA claim. The case was reopened in the district court on March 5, 2015.

The parties reached a settlement and the case was dismissed without prejudice to either party on July 20, 2017. Judge Nealon left open the possibility that the case could be reopened if the terms of the settlement agreement were not consummated within 60 days. The exact terms of the settlement agreement are not available. Since the case has not been reopened, it is presumably closed.

Julie Singer - 10/01/2014
Elizabeth Heise - 10/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Conditions of confinement
Failure to supervise
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. ยง 2674
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Male Muslim Prisoner.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2011
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-PA-0035 : Richardson v. Kane (M.D. Pa.)
Additional Resources
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  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)
3:11−cv−01618 (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0034-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
PC-PA-0034-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/29/2011
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Opinion [Dismissal] [ECF# 54] (2012 WL 5267034) (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0034-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/24/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Denying motion to certify class] [ECF# 56] (2012 WL 5250401)
PC-PA-0034-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/24/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Dismissal] [ECF# 57] (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0034-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/24/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment and Opinion of the Court [Ct. of App. ECF# 37] (775 F.3d 554)
PC-PA-0034-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/02/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McKee, Theodore Alexander (Third Circuit)
PC-PA-0034-0007
Nealon, William Joseph Jr. (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0034-0002 | PC-PA-0034-0003 | PC-PA-0034-0006 | PC-PA-0034-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burdick, Jennifer L. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Dermody, Francis J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Engsell, Tiffany E. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Finkenstadt, Ivy (Virginia)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Levin, Christine C. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
MacConnell, Ross A. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Mackie, Eric L. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
McConnell, Sean Patrick (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Stanoch, David J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-0001 | PC-PA-0034-9000
Tobin, Jennifer J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Walsh, Marybeth (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Wong, Rose Marie C (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Yeh, Su Ming (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Butler, Michael J. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000
Scicchitano, Anthony (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0034-9000

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