On May 27, 1977, Mary, a resident of the Goodland State Camp (a Wisconsin juvenile correctional institution), brought a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1988 against the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, the Administrator of the ...
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On May 27, 1977, Mary, a resident of the Goodland State Camp (a Wisconsin juvenile correctional institution), brought a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1988 against the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, the Administrator of the Division of Corrections, and the Superintendent of Goodland State Camp. She was joined in her lawsuit by Crystal, another resident, in October, 1977. The plaintiffs, filing in The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief against the defendants for the alleged imposition of cruel and unusual punishment and for violations of due process.
Added to the complaint by amendment (as defendants) were the Superintendent of Wisconsin Correction Camp System, Director of the Bureau of Investigations, the Goodland Camp social worker and Mary's psychologist. The class action was certified on August 9, 1977 by the District Court (Judge James E. Doyle). However, in 1978 Goodland camp was closed, rendering injunctive relief moot.
In March, 1978, the Court (Judge Doyle) submitted a special verdict regarding the plaintiffs' money damage claims. Plaintiffs were awarded over $9,000.00 compensation and $20,000.00 attorney's fees. The Court held that the prolonged solitary confinement of the juveniles without a chance to present evidence on their behalves, the refusal of psychiatric treatment to one juvenile, and the exposure of each plaintiff to dangerous physical conditions constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was in violation of the plaintiffs' due process rights.
The defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claiming several errors in instruction. The plaintiffs appealed the District Court's reduction of fees awarded to their attorneys, and the award of attorney's fees to two defendants, who had been retained in the suit for an unreasonably prolonged period of time by the plaintiffs.
The Court of Appeals (Chief Judge Thomas Edward Fairchild) affirmed and modified the District Court's order on November 21, 1980. Mary & Crystal v. Ramsden, 635 F.2d 590 (7th Cir. 1980). The award of attorney's fees on behalf of the plaintiffs was reversed and remanded.
We have no further information on this case. Stacey Jensen - 05/23/2006