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Case Name Five Percenters v. Moore PC-SC-0010
Docket / Court 2:96-cv-05555 ( D.S.C. )
State/Territory South Carolina
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)
Case Summary
This case arose out of numerous individual lawsuits filed by inmates who were members of the Fiver Percent Nation of Islam (Five Percenters), who were incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections from 1995 - 1996. After a series of violent incidents in early 1995, the Five ... read more >
This case arose out of numerous individual lawsuits filed by inmates who were members of the Fiver Percent Nation of Islam (Five Percenters), who were incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections from 1995 - 1996. After a series of violent incidents in early 1995, the Five Percenters were classified as a Security Threat Group (STG). As a result of this classification and SCDC's policy for STGs, members of the Five Percenters were transferred to administrative segregation or maximum custody confinement.

On October 25, 1996, each of the individual cases was consolidated into the current docket, under the name Long Term Administrative Segregation of Inmates Designated as Five Percenters . An amended complaint was filed in the consolidated docket on December 31, 1996. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights and private counsel, sued the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, they alleged violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Equal Protection clause, and the Free Exercise clause. Specifically, they alleged that their higher security classification and segregated custody violated their constitutional rights, as well as the defendants' ban on all literature. The case was assigned to Judge Patrick Michael Duffy.

On February 5, 1997, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which they later amended to contain an argument based on the First Amendment. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on June 4, 1997.

Magistrate Judge Robert S. Carr issued a recommendation that the injunction be denied on July 1, 1997, as the Supreme Court had found RFRA unconstitutional, in City of Boerne v. {CITE}. The Magistrate Judge also recommended that the defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted except as to the claim concerning the ban on the Five Percenters' literature on July 23, 1997.

On December 3, 1997, Judge Patrick Michael Duffy granted the motion for summary judgment in part as to the plaintiffs' Eighth Amendment, Equal Protection, and First Amendment claim regarding their custody in high-security, segregated units. Applying the test from Turner v. Safley, Judge Duffy found that the reclassification of the plaintiffs to a higher custody level did not unconstitutionally impinge on their right to Free Exercise. Additionally, Judge Duffy found that the defendants' classification and segregation of the Five Percenters was "reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest." However, Judge Duffy denied to grant summary judgment as to the defendants' total ban on possession of literature. In this same order, the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction was granted, allowing them to "access properly censored Five Percenters literature."

The plaintiffs appealed to the Fourth Circuit (No. 98-6032), but then voluntarily dismissed that appeal on February 2, 1998.

In the district court, on June 1, 1998, the plaintiffs filed a motion to get access to religious material, as required by the preliminary injunction. On August 21, 1998, the parties entered into a settlement that led to a consent order, where the preliminary injunction became a permanent injunction. The parties stipulated that the plaintiffs were the "prevailing parties" on this issue of injunctive relief.

The plaintiffs again appealed to the Fourth Circuit (No. 98-7337). Following oral argument, on April 21, 1999, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. 174 F.3d 464. The plaintiffs sought review in the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied. 120 S.Ct. 179.

On April 20, 2000, the court approved an attorneys' fees settlement requiring the defendants to pay the Southern Center for Human Rights $5,000, and closed the case without further liability for defendants.

Caitlin Kierum - 07/01/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
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 Members of the Five Percenters of Islam incarcerated in South Carolina Department of Corrections facilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2000 - 2000
Filed 12/31/1996
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:96-cv-5555 (D.S.C.)
PC-SC-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/02/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [ECF# 50] (D.S.C.)
PC-SC-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/1997
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Appellees
PC-SC-0010-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/1998
Source: Westlaw
Brief of Appellees
PC-SC-0010-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/1998
Source: Westlaw
Reply Brief of Appellants
PC-SC-0010-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/28/1998
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (174 F.3d 464)
PC-SC-0010-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/21/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Petition for Writ of Certiorari
PC-SC-0010-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/1999
Source: Westlaw
Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Ceritorari
PC-SC-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/17/1999
Source: Westlaw
Reply to Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari
PC-SC-0010-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/27/1999
Source: Westlaw
Order [ECF# 68] (D.S.C.)
PC-SC-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Carr, Robert S. (D.S.C.) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-9000
Duffy, Patrick Michael (D.S.C.) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0001 | PC-SC-0010-0002
Wilkinson, James Harvie III (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bensing, Robert F. (Georgia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-9000
Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0007 | PC-SC-0010-0009
Brumme, Andre III (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0005 | PC-SC-0010-0008
Forman, Gregory S (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0005 | PC-SC-0010-0007 | PC-SC-0010-0008 | PC-SC-0010-0009 | PC-SC-0010-9000
Huffman, Katharine Aiken (Georgia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0005 | PC-SC-0010-0007 | PC-SC-0010-0009
Toone, Robert E. Jr. (Georgia) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0005 | PC-SC-0010-0007 | PC-SC-0010-0008 | PC-SC-0010-0009 | PC-SC-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Eckstrom, David Clifford (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0004 | PC-SC-0010-0006 | PC-SC-0010-0008 | PC-SC-0010-9000
Lide, Vinton Devane (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0004 | PC-SC-0010-0006 | PC-SC-0010-9000
Lindemann, Andrew F. (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0004 | PC-SC-0010-9000
Morrison, David Leon (South Carolina) show/hide docs
PC-SC-0010-0003 | PC-SC-0010-0004 | PC-SC-0010-0006

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