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Case Name In Re: Southern Ohio Correctional Facility PC-OH-0010
Docket / Court 93-436 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In June 1993, inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials in Youngstown, Ohio of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Plaintiffs' claims were related to the treatment of ... read more >
In June 1993, inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials in Youngstown, Ohio of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Plaintiffs' claims were related to the treatment of prisoners during the prison riot that occurred in April 1993. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants locked as many as ten inmates in a cell, failed to protect them from violence, did not provide them with water or working toilets, used excessive force, destroyed personal property, and denied medical care.

In December 1993, Magistrate Judge Robert A. Steinberg appointed several private lawyers and certified the class. By the summer of 1994, counsel, along with their expert Steven Martin, negotiated an end to the post-riot lockdown of general population inmates. By February 1995, counsel negotiated with Defendants for a special Rules Infraction Board to handle the cases of inmates against whom administrative charges for riot-related, violent misconduct were filed.

Following extensive discovery, the parties reached an agreement and signed the Class Action Memorandum of Understanding in January 1997. The settlement included two major parts. First, the settlement established terms to improve the ""quality of life"" including: single-celling maximum security inmates; modifying the inmate classification system; improving racial and cultural relations; securing at least forty hours of out-of-cell time per week; and instituting new state-wide directives on religious practices. Second, the settlement established a $4.1 million fund, from which inmate damage claims, attorneys' fees and expenses would be paid. The case was dismissed conditional on completion of the reforms specified in the settlement agreement. Following a fairness hearing, the District Court (Judge S. Arthur Spiegel) approved the settlement in April 1997.

Michael R. Barrett was named Special Master and has filed several status reports regarding the distribution of the fund. However, extensive litigation continued regarding the distribution of the fund and attorneys' fees.

On December 12, 1999, the District Court (Judge Spiegel) approved a recommendation by the claims administrator that the two class representatives be paid $7,500 apiece.
The stated basis for these awards was that "the class representatives performed important work on behalf of the other members of class and class counsel," serving as a "crucial link for class members and counsel throughout the proceedings" and keeping the "class members generally informed in the progress of the case and relay[ing] information back to
class counsel." In a subsequent order, the district court stayed its grant of incentive awards pending appeal.

In 2001, the Sixth Circuit (Judge David A. Nelson) reversed the district court's decision to grant incentive awards to the two named plaintiffs and place all inmates' claim determinations under protective order. In re Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, 2001 WL 1667267 (6th Cir. 2001).

On November 4, 2002, Judge Spiegel entered an order granting class counsel's request for an order increasing the awards to class members pro rata and ordering the settlement master/trustee to distribute $500,000 to be awarded on a pro rata basis on each claimant's previous award totals. In 2004, the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court's disbursement of unassigned funds to certain prisoner-class members. The court held that the settlement agreement did not authorize the district court to make a pro rata distribution of the remaining settlement funds. Morris v. Voinovich, 2004 WL 1745781 (6th Cir. 2004).

On January 20, 2005, Judge Spiegel approved the joint motion of the parties to distribute the remainder of the settlement fund. The remaining funds are to be used to support two re-entry caseworkers who will work with the class members to help them succeed on release. The court also acknowledged that sufficient effort had been made to attempt to track down all members of the class, and that the funds allocated to the former inmates who could not be traced were returned to the general pool. A second order on the same day awarded attorney’s fees to counsel representing the class. Funds were distributed between 2005 and 2007. The case is now closed.

Kristen Sagar - 08/19/2007
Anna Dimon - 02/02/2015
Rachel Carpman - 11/08/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Crowding / caseload
Administrative segregation
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Loss or damage to property
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Plaintiff Description Prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1997 - 2000
Filed 1993
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

1:93-cv-00436-SAS-TSB (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order (166 F.R.D. 391) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/24/1996
Source: Google Scholar
Second Amended Class Action Complaint (1993 WL 13547951)
PC-OH-0010-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/19/1996
Source: Westlaw
Class Action Memorandum of Understanding
PC-OH-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/1997
Order (173 F.R.D. 205) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/22/1997
Source: Google Scholar
Order (175 F.R.D. 270) (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/24/1997
Source: Google Scholar
Unpublished Opinion (191 F.3d 453)
PC-OH-0010-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/24/1999
Reported Opinion (24 Fed.Appx. 520)
PC-OH-0010-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/26/2001
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (106 Fed.Appx. 962)
PC-OH-0010-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/29/2004
Source: Google Scholar
Order [ECF# 1171] (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0010-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/18/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Batchelder, Alice Moore (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
Carr, James G. (N.D. Ohio, FISC) show/hide docs
Clay, Eric L. (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
Merritt, Frank S. Court not on record show/hide docs
Nelson, David Aldrich (Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
Spiegel, S. Arthur (S.D. Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0005 | PC-OH-0010-0006 | PC-OH-0010-0009 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Suhrheinrich, Richard Fred (E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0003 | PC-OH-0010-0007
Monitors/Masters Barrett, Michael Ryan (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-9000 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baker, Neal David (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Chesley, Stanley Morris (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
DeMarco, Paul M. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Mezibov, Marc David (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-0008 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Stilz, Fay Elizabeth (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0002 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Wolpert, Michael (Ohio) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Berry, John Franklin (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Boyle, Sean OReilly (Ohio) show/hide docs
Carney, Stephen P. (Ohio) show/hide docs
Clark, Jeffery William (Ohio) show/hide docs
Cox, Joshua T. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Criss, M. Scott (Ohio) show/hide docs
Duvin, Robert Philip (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Mancini, Joseph Matthew (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Marti, Todd Robert (Ohio) show/hide docs
Messerman, Gerald Arthur (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0001 | PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Montgomery, Betty D. (Ohio) show/hide docs
Myers, Robert Warren (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Norchi, Kevin Michael (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Whiteley, Daniel Edward Jr. (Ohio) show/hide docs
Wolff, Robert M. (Ohio) show/hide docs
PC-OH-0010-0004 | PC-OH-0010-9000
Other Lawyers Schaefer, Christian Joseph (Ohio) show/hide docs
Zorn, Philip Lewis Jr. (Ohio) show/hide docs

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