University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Gumm v. Jacobs PC-GA-0020
Docket / Court 5:15-cv-00041-MTT-CHW ( M.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed pro se in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Georgia on February 12, 2015 against Georgia prison officials. The plaintiff, an inmate in Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison (GDCP), brought this case under 42 U.S.C. §1983, claiming that the defendants ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed pro se in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Georgia on February 12, 2015 against Georgia prison officials. The plaintiff, an inmate in Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison (GDCP), brought this case under 42 U.S.C. §1983, claiming that the defendants had violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights to procedural and substantive due process and had violated state regulations.

In 2010, while incarcerated, Plaintiff was charged with attempting to escape and destruction of state property. Investigating officers recommended that the charges be dropped, but Plaintiff was nonetheless brought to disciplinary court and was found guilty of both charges. On administrative appeal, the convictions were expunged from Plaintiff's record. For the next five years, however, he was kept in a Special Management Unit (solitary confinement) and segregated from the general prison population. Despite a prison policy enacted in 2013 stating that inmates in the Special Management Unit should be returned to the general population after four consecutive status reviews showing good behavior, after eight status reviews recommending and approving of transfer out of the Special Management Unit, plaintiff remained in solitary confinement without explanation. The grievances he submitted to prison officials regarding his placement were not addressed. The complaint also detailed substandard conditions and mistreatment in the Unit, including inadequate food and medical care and a total lack of recreational or educational opportunities. At the time plaintiff filed his complaint, he remained in the Special Management Unit with his status there marked "indefinite."

Plaintiff sought injunctive relief enjoining Defendants from keeping him in GDCP's Tier 3 program or assigning him to an equivalent program elsewhere; declaratory relief; damages for physical, mental, and emotional consequences stemming from his confinement; and court fees.

On May 18, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The motion indicated that prison officials had temporarily eliminated access to legal services for his unit due to budget restrictions and asked that defendants be compelled to allow him the same access to legal research services that the general prison population received. On June 20, U.S. District Judge Marc T. Treadwell denied the motion.

In the meantime, on June 4, defendants moved to dismiss plaintiffs' Complaint, arguing that the statute of limitations had passed, that plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative procedures, that he failed to state a claim, and that defendants were immune from liability. The court stayed discovery while it considered the motion. On March 31, 2016, Judge Treadwell denied the motion to dismiss with respect to all claims regarding plaintiffs' confinement in the period after August 2013, when GDCP made policy changes requiring inmates to be removed from the Special Management Unit after four positive status hearings. However, Judge Treadwell granted the motion to dismiss with respect to all claims regarding plaintiffs' confinement prior to that period. Judge Treadwell also granted plaintiff leave to amend his Complaint to include additional due process and Eighth Amendment claims.

The court appointed plaintiff counsel on October 17, 2016, and discovery commenced in December 2016. On March 11, 2017, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. The Amended Complaint contained more in-depth detail about the extremely restrictive and isolating nature of GDCP's Special Mangement Unit. It alleged not only that the prison had failed to meaningfully assess plaintiff's status there in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, but also that the conditions of confinement in the unit violated the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, the Complaint claimed that the use of solitary confinement, grossly disproportionate punishment, and inadequate food constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The Complaint also added damages to the list of relief requested. Two days later, plaintiff moved to certify as a class all inmates who are or will be placed in GDCP's Special Management Unit.

On March 20, 2017 another inmate, W. Daker, moved to intervene in the case. This inmate had been in solitary confinement at GDCP and was then moved to a similar unit at Georgia State Prison ("GSP"). Judge Treadwell denied the motion to intervene on September 15, 2017. On October 2, Daker appealed the denial to the U.S. Court of Appeals, but his appeal was dismissed for failure to pay filing fees.

On November 21, 2017, the court ordered defendants to disclose medical, mental-health, and institutional file records for eleven inmates.

As of January, 6, 2018, this case is still in discovery.

Lauren Latterell Powell - 01/06/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Law library access
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Strip search policy
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Corrections
Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is an inmate at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison who alleges he has been wrongfully kept in solitary confinement.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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)
5:15−cv−00041−MTT−CHW (M.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/14/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-GA-0020-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 35] (M.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0020-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 73]
PC-GA-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/11/2017
Source: ACLU National Prison Project
Notice of Appeal [ECF# 104]
PC-GA-0020-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 121] (M.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0020-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Treadwell, Marc Thomas (M.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0020-0003 | PC-GA-0020-9000
Weigle, Charles H. Court not on record [Magistrate]
PC-GA-0020-0005 | PC-GA-0020-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bogan, James F III (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Caldas, Tamara S. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Garrett, C Allen Jr (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-0001 | PC-GA-0020-9000
Haaf, Chris William (North Carolina)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Littman, Aaron Michael (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Primerano, Ryan (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-0001 | PC-GA-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crowder, Elizabeth McRary (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Demoulpied, John (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Lones, Laura Louise (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000
Teaster, Susan Elizabeth (Georgia)
PC-GA-0020-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -