University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Nassau County Sheriff's Dept. JC-NY-0010
Docket / Court 2:02-cv-02382-LDW ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On April 19, 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) in New York of its intent to investigate conditions at the jail to determine whether they were unconstitutional. The DOJ conducted this investigation under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 199 ... read more >
On April 19, 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) in New York of its intent to investigate conditions at the jail to determine whether they were unconstitutional. The DOJ conducted this investigation under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 1997, also known as the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). On September 11, 2000, the DOJ issued a findings letter containing evidence that NCCC unconstitutionally physically abused inmates and behaved with deliberate indifference to inmates' serious medical needs.

In April 2002, the DOJ filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the parties' settlement agreement was attached to the complaint. The case was assigned to Arlene Lindsay. The complaint alleged that NCCC violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by subjecting inmates to improper use of force and failing to provide medical care. Under the settlement, the NCCC agreed to develop and implement appropriate policies regarding inmate medical care and mental health services. Specifically, the policies were to address issues in the areas of inmate prescreening, staffing levels, sick call, medication distribution, emergency care, dental care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, disease control, records, training, mortality reviews, inmate education, sanitation, immunization, and medical grievance procedures.

The NCCC also agreed to develop and implement new procedures concerning the use of force against inmates. Specifically, the policies were to address issues in the areas of staff training, reporting and documenting use of force, use of chemical agents, use of restraints, physical contact between staff and inmates.

On May 7, 2002, the court conditionally dismissed the complaint, provided that the defendant had substantially complied with the agreement over the course of three years. In August 2002, the court reassigned the case to Judge Leonard Wexler.

On July 15, 2005, the parties jointly stipulated that NCCC was in substantial compliance with the portion of the settlement agreement about improper use of force and the court accordingly dismissed that portion of the case. However, the parties agreed that NCCC was not in substantial compliance with the portion of the settlement agreement relating to the provision of medical care and the court thus retained jurisdiction until NCCC was in substantial compliance.

On March 14, 2008, the parties stipulated that NCCC was then substantially compliant with settlement agreement related to provision of medical care. Accordingly, Judge Wexler dismissed the case in full. The case is now closed.

Kristen Sagar - 04/24/2006
Hope Brinn - 10/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Nassau County
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2008
Filing Year 2001
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:02-cv-02382-LDW (E.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
JC-NY-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/01/2001
Settlement Agreement
JC-NY-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/01/2002
Stipulation [ECF# 7]
JC-NY-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/15/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal [ECF# 10]
JC-NY-0010-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Wexler, Leonard D. (E.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0010-0003 | JC-NY-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ashcroft, John (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001
Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0003 | JC-NY-0010-0004
Campbell, Benton J (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0003
Chen, Pamela Ki Mai (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0004 | JC-NY-0010-0004 | JC-NY-0010-9000
Chen, Pamela K. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002
Cohen, Sanford M. (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002
Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0003
Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0004
Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002 | JC-NY-0010-9000
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0004
Shoenberg, Dana (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002 | JC-NY-0010-9000
Tepper, Marla (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002 | JC-NY-0010-0004 | JC-NY-0010-9000
Vinegrad, Alan (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0001 | JC-NY-0010-0002
Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0010-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Goodman, Lorna B. (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0003 | JC-NY-0010-0004
Gulotta, Thomas (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0002
Samenga, Alfred (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0002
Wexler, Leonard D. (New York)
JC-NY-0010-0003 | JC-NY-0010-9000

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