On February 13, 1986, inmates at the Westville Correctional Center in Westville, Indiana, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against prison officials in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. The plaintiffs, represented by the Valparaiso University Clinical Program, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU National Prison Project, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging violations of inmates' Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiff class contested poor heating and ventilation, an insufficient number of showerheads and toilets, inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care, and overcrowding.
On December 30, 1987, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint contesting overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, high amounts of inmate on inmate violence, and inadequate medical and psychiatric care.
On March 31, 1989, the District Court (Judge Allen Sharp) approved a consent decree that provided for, among other things, an expansion project, increased exercise opportunities, and increased medical and psychiatric care. Under the consent decree, the Court would retain active jurisdiction for two years during which the defendants had to provide the Court with written progress reports.
Significant amounts of subsequent litigation followed during which the District Court (Judge Sharp) repeatedly denied the plaintiffs' motions to hold the defendants in contempt for violation of the consent decree. On multiple occasions, the Judge Sharp extended court supervision over the consent decree.
On March 29, 1996, the Magistrate Court (Judge Robin D. Pierce) granted joint motions to enter a settlement agreement with notice to be posted at the Westville Correction Center for a period of 30 days. However, on April 26, 1996, during this 30-day period, Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pursuant to the passage of the PLRA, the defendants opposed entry of the settlement agreement and the plaintiffs alleged that approval was still appropriate, the defendants' interpretation of the PLRA being unconstitutional.
On March 28, 1997, the Magistrate Court (Judge Pierce) filed a report and recommendation. Judge Pierce recommended that the District Court deny the plaintiffs' request for approval of the settlement agreement as well as the plaintiffs' February 26, 1996, motion for attorneys' fees.
On October 9, 1997, the District Court (Judge Sharp) denied the plaintiffs' remaining motion to hold the defendants in contempt.
On September 29, 1998, the Magistrate Court (Judge Pierce) filed a report and recommendation. Judge Pierce recommended that the District Court strike one plaintiff's class action complaint.
On October 22, 1998, the District Court (Judge Sharp) dismissed the one plaintiff's class action complaint.
On February 24, 1999 the District Court (Judge Sharp) granted the plaintiffs' attorney fees and expenses for post-judgment monitoring and enforcement work.
On November 17, 2003, the District Court (Judge Sharp) denied one plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and directed the clerk to direct all future correspondence related to this case to the plaintiffs' attorneys.
Because the PACER docket ends with a December 1, 2003, entry concerning undeliverable mail, we have not more information on this case.Josh Altman - 05/31/2006