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Case Name Copeland v. Jones PC-FL-0024
Docket / Court 4:15-cv-00452 ( N.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Case Summary
On September 16, 2015, the Florida Justice Institute filed this class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of 2,000 inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The complaint alleged that the Florida Department of Corrections and their medical services ... read more >
On September 16, 2015, the Florida Justice Institute filed this class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of 2,000 inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The complaint alleged that the Florida Department of Corrections and their medical services contractor Corizon denied hernia surgeries to prisoners to save money, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiffs sought both a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring defendants to immediately provide hernia surgery to all FDOC prisoners recommended for surgery. For prisoners who have not seen a surgeon, the plaintiffs requested that they be seen by a surgeon. The plaintiffs also requested monetary damages.

On December 24, 2015, the plaintiffs moved to certify a class and on January 6, 2016, the plaintiffs moved for preliminary injunction.

On May 2, 2016, the plaintiffs and the defendants participated in settlement mediation and reached a settlement. On September 19, 2016, the plaintiffs and the defendants filed a joint motion asking the court to certify a class and preliminarily approve class settlement.

On September 23, 2016, Judge Robert L. Hinkl preliminarily approved the consent order. In the order, the defendants agreed to pay about $2.1 million to settle this lawsuit: FDOC would pay $150,000 and Corizon would pay $1,950,000.

The consent order also required FDOC to amend its health care policy on hernias to ensure that prisoners are referred to doctors for consultations and receive the recommended care. The FDOC will adopt a new Health Service Bulletin dealing with hernias, provide notice to medical staff and comply with the new policy.

In order to enter the settlement as an enforceable court order, the Court found that the injunctive relief was "narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of Plaintiffs’ and the class members’ constitutional rights, and is the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation."

This case is ongoing for monitoring and enforcement purposes until 2018.

Susie Choi - 01/26/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Julie Jones, Secretary of the Florida Department Corrections and Corizon, LLC
Plaintiff Description All current and future Florida state prisoners diagnosed with a hernia.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2016 - 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
4:15−cv−00452−RH−CAS (N.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0024-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PC-FL-0024-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order [ECF# 78] (N.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0024-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/23/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hinkle, Robert Lewis (N.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berg, Randall Challen Jr. (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0001 | PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Hartmann, Kenneth Ralph (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
McNulty, Monica (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002
Selig, Erica (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-9000
Trevisani, Dante Pasquale (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0001 | PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Tucker Ronzetti, Thomas A. (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002
Wolfe, Douglas (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dunbar, Marc Wesley (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Gwaltney, William Warren (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-9000
Lunsford, William R. (Alabama)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Meros, George N Jr. (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Moore, James Timothy Jr. (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Reeves, Matthew (Alabama)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Reid, Kirkland Edward (Alabama)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Rogers, Stephen C. (Alabama)
PC-FL-0024-9000
Russell, Daniel Ryan (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-0002 | PC-FL-0024-9000
Tietig, Lisa Kuhlman (Florida)
PC-FL-0024-9000

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