On July 27, 2012, plaintiff, a male prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest lawyers, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages on behalf ...
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On July 27, 2012, plaintiff, a male prisoner, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania under Bivens 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 forcing him to share a cell with a hostile prisoner, which caused a threat of violence, and by placing him in painful restraints that caused injury for prolonged periods on multiple occasions for refusing dangerous cell assignments with hostile prisoners; and that defendants violated his right to due process under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by depriving him of any meaningful process prior to and during their use of punitive measures against him. Plaintiff claimed that defendants engaged in a pattern, practice, or policy of placing hostile inmates together and putting those who refuse placement in brutal restraints for long periods of time.
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. Prisoners participate in intake interviews, in part to allow officials to gather information about the prisoners so as to make safe and appropriate placement decisions.
On April 9, 2013, the U.S. District Court (Judge William B. Nealon) granted in part and denied in part defendant's motion to dismiss, declining to certify the class. On October 3, 2014, the U.S. District Court granted an enlargement of time for discover until after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issues a decision on Richardson's appeal of his class certification claims, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that Richardson's appeal will be held pending their decision in Shelton v. Bledsoe. On October 8, 2014, the U.S. District Court issued an order staying the case, pending further order of the court, and ordering the action administratively closed until after the Third Circuit Court of appeals issues a decision on Richardson's appeal of his class certification claims.Julie Singer - 10/15/2014