NOTE: There are two separate cases, in two separate district courts, with the caption Hadix. The first one, in the Eastern District of Michigan, was filed in 1980, under docket number 2:80-cv-73581-JF. (It is in the Clearinghouse as PC-MI-0003.) This summary and documents are for the Western District of Michigan case, 4:92-CV-110, which was initiated in 1992 when the Eastern District Judge, John Feikens, split the earlier Hadix case in two, and sent part of it (the part relating to medical and mental health care) to the Western District.
The first case case started on September 18, 1980, when inmates at the State Prison of Southern Michigan filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Michigan Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, seeking declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief for a catalog of unconstitutional conditions at the prison.
On February 13, 1985, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Judge John Feikens) approved a consent decree in that case, settling the issues of sanitation, safety, medical and mental health care, fire safety, overcrowding, security, food service, management and operations, and mail. For other proceedings in the Eastern District case, see the relevant case summary (PC-MI-3).
On April 21, 1992, the defendants asked the district court to relinquish control and supervision of the mental health provisions of the consent decree; the plaintiffs asked the court to adopt the mental health orders entered in USA v. Michigan (No. 1:84-CV-63) (PC-MI-0007) by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Judge Richard A. Enslen). On May 15, 1992, the district court (Judge Feikens) denied both requests. On further consideration, however, on June 5, 1992, the district court relinquished control and supervision of the provisions governing mental health care and medical care, transferring them to Judge Enslen for further proceedings as he deemed appropriate. 792 F.Supp. 527 (E.D. Mich. 1992).
At this point, the case was consolidated with Knop v. Johnson (PC-MI-0006), another class action lawsuit against the Michigan DOC. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed both cases with regard to the findings regarding access to courts. Knop v. Johnson, 977 F.2d 996 (6th Cir. 1992). The court (Judge David A. Nelson) held that the DOC's duty to provide assistance in gaining access to the courts included assisting with prisoners' challenges to their convictions and conditions of confinement. On March 8, 1993, The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Knop v. McGinnis, 507 U.S. 973 (1993). On June 4, 1993, Judge Enslen ordered defendants to submit a plan for providing access to the courts consistent with this opinion. On December 22, 1994, Judge Enslen rejected defendants' plan. Litigation continued regarding discovery and attorneys fees. On October 1, 1996, the district court adopted the defendants' proposals in both of the consolidated cases for legal writer programs that would provide access to the courts.
On July 3, 1996, the Court (Judge Enslen) denied the defendants' request for termination of the consent decree. Hadix v. Johnson, 933 F.Supp. 1362 (W.D.Mich. 1996).
The plaintiffs asked the district court to grant them attorneys fees for their counsels' unpaid work up to this point in the litigation, and the defendants argued that the PLRA's cap on attorneys fees should apply to any fee award that the judge made. On May 23, 1997, the Western District Court (Judge Enslen) awarded the requested fees, holding that the PLRA's fee cap could not apply to litigation filed before the PLRA's effective date. Hadix v. Johnson, 965 F.Supp. 996 (W.D.Mich. 1997). (Back in the Eastern District, Judge Feikens did the same.) The defendants appealed. On April 17, 1998, the Sixth Circuit (Justice Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy) held that the fee cap imposed by the PLRA did not apply to fee petitions, regardless of whether the work was performed before of after the PLRA's enactment date. The court then partially upheld and partially reversed the fee award, remanding the appeals back to the district courts for further consideration. Hadix v. Johnson, 143 F.3d 246 (6th Cir. 1998). The defendants sought and obtained review by the Supreme Court. On June 21, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court (Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) held that the PLRA limits attorney fees for post-judgment monitoring services performed after the PLRA's effective date, but does not limit fees for monitoring performed before that date. Martin v. Hadix, 527 U.S. 343 (1999).
Sometime in 1994, a class of inmates at five different correctional institutions in Michigan asked the both district courts for injunctive relief against the defendants, alleging that the defendants had violated their constitutional right of access to the courts. The cases were consolidated with the Western District Hadix, and the Western District Court (Judge Enslen) granted injunctive relief to the plaintiffs, ordering the defendants not to cut off funding for prison legal services programs. On April 1, 1999, the Sixth Circuit (Judge Daughtrey) held that the inmates had not shown widespread actual injury necessary for them to have standing to bring the class action lawsuit, and remanded the case back to the Western District Court. Hadix v. Johnson, 173 F.3d 958 (6th Cir. 1999).The defendants asked the Sixth Circuit to rehear the case en banc, and on April 1, 1999, the Sixth Circuit denied that request. Hadix v. Johnson, 182 F.3d 400 (6th Cir. 1999).
On March 18, 1999, the Eastern District transferred several additional components of the original consent decree (regarding water temperatures, housing temperatures and ventilation in the Southern Michigan Correctional Facility, and some issues relating to housing in the Egeler Correctional Facility) to the Western District. The Eastern District explained that the rationale for transfer was that health care was implicated in these provisions.
On December 2-3, 1999, the court (Judge Enslen) conducted hearings on the medical health care provisions of the consent decree and other issues transferred by the Eastern District. The court found some remaining constitutional violations, relating to medical and mental health care, and to temperature, ventilation and fire safety conditions at several facilities, but agreed with the defendants to terminate some of the Consent Decree provisions as no longer necessary. On November 15, 2000, the Eastern District transferred to this court some additional fire safety issues.
On January 8, 2001, the district court granted defendants' request to terminate enforcement of the mental health provisions of the Consent Decree; the termination became effective in early February 2001. (On June 27, 2001, the Eastern District issued its Order of Termination, terminating its jurisdiction over all sections of the Consent Decree remaining in the Eastern District.)
In June 2002, the Western District held yet another hearing, and found continuing constitutional violations with respect to medical care and fire safety. The defendants were required to submit a remedial plan, which in February 2003 the court ordered as an injunction. The defendants appealed. The 6th Circuit Hadix v. Johnson, affirmed in part and reversed in part, 367 F.3d 513 (6th Cir. 2004), remanding the fire safety provisions of the injunction for further factual development. After an additional hearing, and in a very extensive opinion, the District Court (Judge Enslen) again found the existence of constitutional violations with respect to fire safety, and ordered a revised version of the prior remedial plan implemented. 2005 WL 2243091 (W.D. Mich., Sept. 14, 2005).
Although the mental health care provisions of the consent decree had been terminated in 2001, plaintiffs moved on September 8, 2006 to reopen the terminated provisions and for a preliminary injunction pertaining to mental health care. The cause for the motion was the death of a restrained Michigan prisoner, T.S., and other fatal cases in which, plaintiffs alleged, inmates' deaths were attributable to delays or malfeasance in the provision of mental health care.
Following an evidentiary hearing, the court granted a preliminary injunction. Hadix v. Caruso, 461 F. Supp. 2d 574, 2006 WL 3275865 (W.D. Mich. Nov. 13, 2006). The Court lifted the prior termination under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), explaining that jurisdiction has been retained because enforcement of the medical health and fire safety provisions of the consent decree was ongoing. In granting relief, the Court found numerous constitutional violations. It held that the punitive use of in-cell restraints "constitutes torture and violates the Eighth Amendment," and enjoined the practice. It also held that psychiatric and psychological staffing levels were constitutionally inadequate, and ordered defendants to file a staffing plan. The Court also required daily psychologist rounds in the segregation unit and required protocols for medical/mental health staff and interdisciplinary meetings after finding that patients with medical and mental health problems fall into "the black hole between the disciplines."
On December 5, 2006, the defendants appealed the court's decision to grant the injunction. Two days later, the court issued a permanent injunction holding the defendants in contempt for their failure to comply with the consent decree's hiring requirements. The court ordered the defendants to provide additional staffing throughout the Hadix facilities - particularly nursing staff. On April 30, 2007, the Court of Appeals denied the defendants' request to overturn the injunction.
On February 22, 2007, the district court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendants from transferring prisoners from Hadix facilities other than routine transfers not intended to reduce prison population. On May 14, 2007, the district court granted the defendants' motion to terminate the court's jurisdiction over the 8-Block of the Parnall Correctional Facility.
Ultimately the case went to trial, and on August 8, 2008, the parties made their closing arguments before district judge Robert J. Jonker. On March 31, 2009, the court concluded that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that the defendants failed to comply with the November 2006 preliminary injunction, or that the defendants failed to comply with the mental health provisions of the consent decree. They also noted that it seemed as though the Hadix class had all but disappeared with the closing of multiple correctional facilities. Hadix v. Caruso, 2009 WL 891709 (W.D. Mich. 2009). The plaintiffs then appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the District Court's opinion was affirmed. Hadix v. Caruso, 420 Fed.Appx. 480 (6th Cir. 2011). (In the meantime, on August 14, 2008, the parties filed a stipulated order to terminate Section III of the 1985 Hadix consent decree concerning fire safety.)
On January 17, 2012, the plaintiffs' motion to add new parties to the Hadix class was granted, enabling them to continue with the litigation. Most recently, on June 22, 2012, the parties agreed to a stipulation of dismissal of the heat abatement portion of the consent decree.
On September 29, 2015, district judge Robert J. Jonker wrote an opinion on this case. He ordered the consent decrees sections II.A.3.b; II.A.4.a; II.A.5.a; II.A.7; and II.A.11 as closed, denied the plaintiff’s request for ongoing prospective injunctive relief, and terminated federal supervision over the Hadix facilities and the Hadix class. This case is now closed. Joshua Arocho - 07/03/2012
Susie Choi - 03/11/2017