University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name In re: Texas Prison Litigation PC-MO-0003
Docket / Court 2:99-cv-04021-NKL ( W.D. Mo. )
Additional Docket(s) 98-7330-TX-C-5  [ 98-7330 ]
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA Jail and Prison Private Settlement Agreements
Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
This was a class-action prisoner lawsuit filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs were Missouri prisoners who were transferred from Missouri state-penal institutions to jails in Texas pursuant to the "Texas Cell Lease Program," a ... read more >
This was a class-action prisoner lawsuit filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs were Missouri prisoners who were transferred from Missouri state-penal institutions to jails in Texas pursuant to the "Texas Cell Lease Program," a contract between the Missouri Department of Corrections [DOC] and several Texas counties and a city whereby the Texas entities agreed to house and supervise the Missouri prisoners in exchange for money. The Texas Cell Lease Program was operational in 1995 through 1997.

Plaintiffs alleged violations of their constitutional rights due to a wide range of conduct including beatings, dog attacks, rapes, and poor conditions of confinement.

The litigation began after the public release of a videotape of an incident that occurred on September 18, 1996, at the Brazoria County Jail, Texas. The video showed non-resistant prisoners being subjected to stun guns, tear gas, physical abuse, body cavity searches and an attack by a German Shepherd. See Kesler v. King, 29 F.Supp.2d 356 (S.D.Tex.1998) (describing the occurrence in the Brazoria County Jail). Correctional officers captured on the video were employees of Brazoria County and Capitol Corrections Resources, Inc. ("CCRI"), a private jail company. A federal criminal investigation ensured and was followed by a flood of over 700 inmate lawsuits in state and federal courts in Missouri and Texas.

Eventually, many of the cases were consolidated for purposes of discovery and pre-trial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Judge Scott O. Wright initially presided over the cases, until they were transferred to Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. A large number of plaintiffs were represented by a group of private attorneys in Missouri.

Protracted discovery and litigation followed. Brazoria County moved to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, but the motion was denied by the District Court (Judge Laughrey). In Re Texas Prison Litigation, 41 F.Supp.2d 960 (W.D.Mo. 1999). The DOC initially took a hard-line stance in the litigation, advising the parties and the Court that it intended to depose every prisoner in the case and that it would not pay any monies towards settlement. Despite the DOC position, the parties engaged in mediation and eventually a reached a tentative settlement.

On July 20, 1999, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in one of the consolidated cases and subsequently filed a joint motion for conditional certification of a settlement class and a joint motion for approval of the settlement. The Class Complaint sought equitable relief, actual, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs. The District Court conditionally certified the class to address all claims arising out of the Texas Cell Lease Program on July 29, 1999. A fairness hearing was held on December 3, 1999.

On January 14, 2000, the District Court approved the Settlement Agreement. The Agreement as modified by the Court called for the payment of $2.2 million by the defendants, with $800,000 being allocated to class counsel and $300,000 for expenses. The remainder was to be divided among three groups of class members according to the nature and severity of their claims. The Agreement contained injunctive relief in the form of limitations to when and under what conditions Missouri prisoners could be transferred out of state and a DOC provision for redressing conduct violations unfairly imposed while the class members were in Texas. The DOC was also enjoined from confiscating all of the monetary relief afforded to the inmates as reimbursement for costs of incarceration pursuant to the Missouri Reimbursement Incarceration Act, §§ 217.825, R.S.Mo. In Re Texas Prison Litigation, 191 F.R.D. 164 (W.D.Mo. 2000).

Kristen Sagar - 04/07/2009

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Crowding / caseload
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Excessive force
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Strip search policy
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Brazoria County Jail
Capitol Corrections Resources, Inc. ("CCRI")
Dove Development, Corp.
Gregg County Jail
Missouri Department of Corrections
The Bobby Ross Group, Inc.
Transcor America, Inc.
Plaintiff Description All Missouri inmates transferred to Texas from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1997, pursuant to the Texas Cell Lease Program.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2000 - n/a
Filed 1998
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

99-4021 (E.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/19/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
98-7330 (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order Approving Class Settlement and Ordering Payment of Attorney Fee (191 F.R.D. 164) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/14/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Report and Recommendation (1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11123) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0009.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/09/1999
Source: LexisNexis
Order (41 F.Supp.2d 960) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/12/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11120) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0010.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/17/1999
Source: LexisNexis
Texas Inmate Settlement Fund Agreement
PC-MO-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/23/1999
Texas Inmate Litigation Settlement Agreement
PC-MO-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/23/1999
Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement
PC-MO-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/1999
Memorandum and Order Approving Class settlement and Ordering Payment of Attorney Fee (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/21/2000
Plaintiffs' Motion for an Order Requiring Payment of the Settlement Funds Pur suant to the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement
PC-MO-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/19/2000
Order (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/01/2000
show all people docs
Judges Knox, William A. (W.D. Mo.) show/hide docs
Laughrey, Nanette Kay (E.D. Mo., W.D. Mo.) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0001 | PC-MO-0003-0002 | PC-MO-0003-0007 | PC-MO-0003-0008 | PC-MO-0003-0010 | PC-MO-0003-9000 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bastian, Michael P. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-0006 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Dalton, Daniel T. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Holt, David T. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Kavanaugh, Paul Fred (Missouri) show/hide docs
Kenner, Nancy Elizabeth (Missouri) show/hide docs
Lafferty, George (Missouri) show/hide docs
Owens, Dennis J. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Baker, David S. (Kansas) show/hide docs
Buckley, Robert J. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Carlson, Frank K. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Conkright, James D. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Cooney, John F. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Corley, M. Corinne (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Faddis, Clifford B. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Gray, Richard (Missouri) show/hide docs
Heidemann, Craig R. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
James, Sylvester Jr. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Jester, Robert O. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Klement, Lynn J. (Texas) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005
Knappenberger, James J. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Kurtz, John Wray (Missouri) show/hide docs
McAvoy, Michael (Missouri) show/hide docs
Miller, Amanda K (Texas) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Mingus, Thomas M. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9000
Mollenkamp, John (Missouri) show/hide docs
Nixon, Jeremiah (Jay) W. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Ohlemeyer, Bill (Missouri) show/hide docs
Poland, John P. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Prejean, Henry W. (Texas) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Pritchett, Michael (Missouri) show/hide docs
Protzman, Andrew B. (Kansas) show/hide docs
Purdy, Dan K. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Roberson, Donald (Missouri) show/hide docs
Rohlfing, James (Missouri) show/hide docs
Ryals, Stephen M. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Sarachan, Gary R. (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0003 | PC-MO-0003-0004 | PC-MO-0003-0005 | PC-MO-0003-9001
Schaffer, Tony L. (Texas) show/hide docs
Stevens, Richard (Missouri) show/hide docs
Stout, Myra J. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Thompson, Randall D (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-MO-0003-0009 | PC-MO-0003-0010
Vleiside, Gregory W. (Missouri) show/hide docs
Wolf, Mary K. (Texas) show/hide docs

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -