University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Cole v. Tuttle JC-MS-0020
Docket / Court 73-73 ( N.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1973, Roosevelt Cole, on his own behalf and on behalf of all present and future black inmates in the Panola County jail, sued the individual members of the Board of Supervisors of Panola County, Mississippi and the Sheriff for neglecting to look into the state of the prisons as required by ... read more >
In 1973, Roosevelt Cole, on his own behalf and on behalf of all present and future black inmates in the Panola County jail, sued the individual members of the Board of Supervisors of Panola County, Mississippi and the Sheriff for neglecting to look into the state of the prisons as required by Mississippi statute. The plaintiff complained of the unsanitary and unsafe conditions, the absence of fair procedures, physical abuse, denial of religious and political freedoms, inadequate medical attention, denial of a right to fair trial, lack of educational, recreational, and rehabilitation facilities, denial of essential communication due to poverty, inadequate diet, and racial discrimination against black inmates.

In 1973, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi (Judge Orma Smith) dismissed individual board members as defendants. Cole v. Tuttle, 366 F. Supp. 1252 (N.D. Miss. 1973). The cause of action continued against the Sheriff, and in 1975, after the trial, the District Court granted plaintiff some injunctive relief and denied an award of attorney's fees to plaintiff's counsel, who was from North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and the Mississippi Prisoner's Defense Committee. The court also required the Sheriff to submit a detailed report announcing how he would comply with the judgment.

Over the next several years, litigation continued: the District Court denied plaintiff's objections to the Sheriff's report, and the court found that there was evidence that it was necessary for the Sheriff to segregate the races in the ""bull pens"" of the jail in order to protect the prisoners. Plaintiff appealed, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely.

During an appeal in 1976, the parties apparently settled the case, which was therefore remanded to the District Court for entry of an injunction reflecting the settlement and award of attorney's fees. The court entered the stipulated injunction and prohibited the Sheriff and his successors from engaging in racially discriminatory practices, including the assignment of inmates to cells, cell-blocks, or ""bullpens,"" except where the assignment is necessary for the security of the prison. Cole v. Tuttle, 540 F.2d 206 (5th Cir. 1976).

In 1978 the court approved and entered the resulting consent order submitted by the parties. Cole v. Tuttle, 462 F. Supp. 1016 (N.D. Miss. 1978). There is no docket available for this case on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision in 1978.

Lauren Cutson - 05/17/2005

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Race discrimination
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Disciplinary procedures
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Panola County Jail
Plaintiff Description black inmates of the Panola County Jail in Mississippi
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1973 - n/a
Filed 06/22/1973
Case Closing Year 1978
Case Ongoing No
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum of Decision (366 F.Supp. 1252) (N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/27/1973
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (540 F.2d 206)
JC-MS-0020-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/28/1976
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum of Decision (462 F.Supp. 1016) (N.D. Miss.)
JC-MS-0020-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/31/1978
Source: Google Scholar
show all people docs
Judges Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
Hill, Robert Andrews (N.D. Miss., S.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
Roney, Paul Hitch (FISCR, Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
Smith, Orma Rinehart (N.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bailey, Willie (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Lipman, David M. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
McTeer, Charles Victor (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Myers, Lewis Jr. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Walker, John L. Jr. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002
Walls, Johnnie E. Jr. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Welch, Ronald R. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Bailey, M. Collins (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Belleperche, Thomas W. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
Finch, Charles C. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Hickman, Will A. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0001 | JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0003
Jackson, John E. Jr. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
JC-MS-0020-0002 | JC-MS-0020-0002

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -