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Case Name Washington v. Tinney PC-MD-0005
Docket / Court 78-1730 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In September of 1978, two inmates of the Maryland Correctional Institution (MCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Maryland Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiffs asked the court for ... read more >
In September of 1978, two inmates of the Maryland Correctional Institution (MCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Maryland Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the conditions of their confinement violated their constitutional rights. Specifically, they complained of overcrowding, inadequate medical conditions, and inadequate food service.

A few months later, the court (Judge Roszel Cathcart Thomsen) appointed counsel for the plaintiffs, and the new counsel asked the court to certify the case as a class action on behalf of all inmates at the prison. The defendants did not object, and the court granted class certification.

On September 21, 1979, the parties entered into a Consent Decree, which was adopted by the court on November 14, 1979. Washington v. Keller, 479 F.Supp. 569 (D.Md. 1979). The Consent Decree provided for improvement of the housing areas, lowering of population levels, limiting double-bunking of inmates, programming, staffing levels, and services of the prison. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 02/14/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Maryland Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description Inmates of the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1979 - n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Links Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Written: Jun. 04, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion (479 F.Supp. 569) (D. Md.)
PC-MD-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/14/1979
Source: Google Scholar
Order Directing notice of Submission of Proposed Stipulation (D. Md.)
PC-MD-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/15/1983
Judges Harvey, Alexander II Court not on record
PC-MD-0005-0001
Thomsen, Roszel Cathcart Court not on record
PC-MD-0005-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adkins, E. Dale III (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0005
Bekman, Paul D. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001 | PC-MD-0005-0005
Pierson, W. Michel (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001 | PC-MD-0005-0005
Steele, Nevett Jr. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Andrews, Phillip M. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001
Caplis, Stephen B. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0005 | PC-MD-0005-0005
Cuzmanes, Paul (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0005 | PC-MD-0005-0005
Plitt, Emory A. Jr. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001
Sachs, Stephen H. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0005-0001 | PC-MD-0005-0005 | PC-MD-0005-0005

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