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Case Name Hill v. County of Montgomery JC-NY-0070
Docket / Court 9:14-cv-00933 ( N.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On July 25, 2014, a former pre-trial detainee of the Montgomery County Jail filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. The plaintiff sued Montgomery County, its sheriff, and its jail administrator under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, ... read more >
On July 25, 2014, a former pre-trial detainee of the Montgomery County Jail filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. The plaintiff sued Montgomery County, its sheriff, and its jail administrator under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief, claiming violations of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The plaintiff alleged that the jail did not provide adequate food and nutrition, which caused him and other inmates to experience dramatic weight loss, hair loss, skin conditions, and other medical conditions, including scurvy.

The plaintiff sought to represent a class of inmates who, like himself, had been denied proper nutrition at the Montgomery County Jail. On September 29, 2017, District Judge Brenda K. Sannes denied the motion for class certification, without prejudice, ruling that the plaintiff failed to satisfy the typicality and adequacy requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a).

On May 29, 2018, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for injunctive and declaratory relief. Those claims were moot because he had filed his complaint four months after he was released from the jail. He filed an amended complaint on August 9, 2018. A second former inmate of the jail joined as plaintiff in this amended complaint. The new plaintiff had been detained at the jail for several months both before and after conviction.

In the amended complaint, the plaintiffs sought again to represent a class. The court granted class certification on August 20, 2018, defining the class as all detainees, from July 24, 2011 onward, who had been detained at the jail for at least two consecutive weeks. The class was divided into two sub-classes: pre-trial detainees and post-trial detainees.

On November 7, 2019, the court denied the county’s motion for summary judgment. However, the court did strike the demand for declaratory and injunctive relief, as those claims had been dismissed on May 29, 2018, before the plaintiffs re-asserted them in the amended complaint. 2019 WL 5842822.

The parties set three different trial dates before agreeing to a settlement in late February. On July 8, 2020, the plaintiffs informed the court that they were ready to finalize the settlement agreement, except for one detail: the county was insisting that the plaintiffs’ attorneys agree not to publicly share information about the settlement, though the settlement would be a matter of public record. On July 15, 2020, the county informed the court that the parties had resolved the issue, and the settlement is pending.

Marcella Pereira Ferraro - 02/08/2019
Ashton Dubey - 10/03/2019
Gregory Marsh - 07/15/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Defendant(s) County of Montgomery
Plaintiff Description All inmates who were detained at the Montgomery Count Jail (New York) for at least two consecutive weeks, on or after July 24, 2011. The class includes both pre-trial and post-trial detainees.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/25/2014
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
9:14-cv-00933 (N.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0070-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-NY-0070-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum-Decision and Order [ECF# 100] (2017 WL 9249663) (N.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0070-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum-Decision and Order [ECF# 128] (2018 WL 2417839) (N.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0070-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 136]
JC-NY-0070-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum-Decision and Order [ECF# 139] (2018 WL 3979590) (N.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0070-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum-Decision and Order [ECF# 192] (2019 WL 5842822) (N.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0070-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/07/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sannes, Brenda Kay (N.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-0002 | JC-NY-0070-0003 | JC-NY-0070-0005 | JC-NY-0070-0006 | JC-NY-0070-9000
Stewart, Daniel J. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dyson, Maria K (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-0004 | JC-NY-0070-9000
Keach, Elmer Robert III (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-0001 | JC-NY-0070-0004 | JC-NY-0070-9000
Migliaccio, Nicholas A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-0001 | JC-NY-0070-0004 | JC-NY-0070-9000
Rathod, Jason S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-0004 | JC-NY-0070-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bernstein, Jonathan M (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-9000
Lambrecht, Timothy J (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-9000
Manocchi, Chelsea E (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-9000
Mergner, William H (New Jersey) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0070-9000

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