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Case Name Northcutt v. South Carolina Department of Corrections PC-SC-0009
Docket / Court 4:17-cv-03301-BHH-TER ( D.S.C. )
State/Territory South Carolina
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On December 7, 2017, eighteen death row prisoners in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) alleged they have been kept in solitary confinement at the Broad River Correctional Institution (BRCI) for between nine and twenty years. Plaintiffs sued SCDC, its Director, and Wardens of ... read more >
On December 7, 2017, eighteen death row prisoners in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) alleged they have been kept in solitary confinement at the Broad River Correctional Institution (BRCI) for between nine and twenty years. Plaintiffs sued SCDC, its Director, and Wardens of prisons within the SCDC under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments rights by being denied any meaningful opportunity to challenge their conditions of confinement. The prisoners alleged that they were placed in solitary confinement regardless of behavioral history or individual status. The case was referred to Magistrate Judge Thomas E Rogers, III.

On December 22, 2017, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction asserting that they were transferred from Lieber Correctional Institution to the Maximum Security Unit at Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center, which provided even harsher conditions than those previously experienced in their solitary confinement at Lieber. On June 26, 2018, Magistrate Judge Rogers issued a Report and Recommendation that the plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction be denied. Judge Rogers found that the plaintiffs failed to make a showing that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their due process claim. The court adopted this recommendation and subsequently denied the motion on August 9, 2018. One of the plaintiffs then filed a motion for protective order on August 21, 2018 which was granted on August 23, 2018. On April 16, 2018, the plaintiffs amended their complaint.

The plaintiffs filed a second motion for preliminary injunction on May 21, 2019, along with a motion for temporary restraining order. On June 5, 2019 however, plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew both motions. They explain in the supporting documentation that defendants had worked with plaintiffs counsel to voluntarily make some changes to the facility that made the preliminary relief no longer necessary. They maintained that the ultimate question regarding conditions at BRCI remain valid and that they intended to continue pursuing the lawsuit.

The court issued a scheduling order on December 2, 2019 regarding discovery and hearing preparation. As of April 10, 2020, there have been no other entries in the docket. This case is ongoing.

Abigail DeHart - 08/08/2018
Alex Moody - 04/10/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) South Carolina Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Eighteen death row prisoners in the South Carolina Department of Corrections
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/07/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
4:17-cv-3301 (D.S.C.)
PC-SC-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/02/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-SC-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion and Memorandum of Law for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 6]
PC-SC-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 30]
PC-SC-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 42] (2016 WL 3802100)
PC-SC-0009-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion and Memorandum of Law for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 99]
PC-SC-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Withdrawal of Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction without Prejudice [ECF# 102]
PC-SC-0009-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/05/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Hendricks, Bruce Howe (D.S.C.) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Rogers, Thomas E. III (D.S.C.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0004 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Druding, Kyle M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Ferguson, Laura N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Goldman, Emily (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Hansen, Darcy N. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Jophlin, Aaron Seth (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0001 | PC-SC-0009-0002 | PC-SC-0009-0003 | PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-0006 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Lenok, Marisa H. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Richichi, Brian R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0001 | PC-SC-0009-0002 | PC-SC-0009-0003 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Schiavo, Nicole E. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Van Tol, Pieter (New York) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0001 | PC-SC-0009-0002 | PC-SC-0009-0003 | PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Wuertz, Allison M (New York) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-0005 | PC-SC-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Arnold, Melissa J. (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Frawley, Patrick John (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Gessner, Evan Markus (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Holmes, Janet Brooks (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Settana, Daniel R. Jr. (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000
Trask, Lauren Glazer (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0009-9000

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