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Case Name Osterback v. Moore PC-FL-0011
Docket / Court 1:97-cv-02806-DLG ( S.D. Fla. )
Additional Docket(s) 3:04-cv-00210  [ 04-210 ]
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Plaintiffs, prisoners in various Florida state prisons, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officials operating the prisons on October 28, 1997. In the allegations in the second amended complaint, their 42 U ... read more >
Plaintiffs, prisoners in various Florida state prisons, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officials operating the prisons on October 28, 1997. In the allegations in the second amended complaint, their 42 U.S.C. § 1983 case alleged that prisoners housed in "Close Management" (CM) status in these prisons suffered cruel and unusual punishment in violation of their Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs, seeking class action status, also sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys' fees. Their attorneys included counsel from the Florida Justice Institute.

According to the plaintiffs, the thousands of Florida prisoners in CM Units are generally there for disciplinary reasons and live with marked restrictions upon, for example, time outside their cells, visitation and library access, religious and recreation opportunities, and communication with fellow prisoners and the outside world. The cells are small, sparse, and poorly ventilated. Although CM status allows for three level of restrictive conditions, the plaintiffs contend all levels result in physical and, particularly, mental harm. The harsh conditions exacerbate pre-existing mental illness in some prisoners and trigger mental illness in others, according to the plaintiffs, with resultant increases in prison violence and anti-social behavior by persons living in these conditions.

On February 2, 1998, District Judge Federico A. Moreno denied the plaintiffs' request for class action status. However, after amended pleadings were filed, Judge Moreno certified the matter as a class action on July 26, 2000.

At various times during this case, the defendants tendered settlement offers of judgment, without admitting liability. These offers included detailed plans for revised operation of the CM program in the Florida prison system. The revisions included consolidation of facilities, improved staff training and mental health services, and levels of access to reading materials, telephones, and media. New state administrative regulations and requests for legislative funding applicable to CM improvements were also part of the offer. On November 11, 2001, plaintiffs filed their notice of acceptance of one of these offers. The settlement required defendants to pay plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and to make periodic reports to plaintiffs' counsel and the court regarding implementation of the improvements to the CM program.

District Judge Paul C. Huck approved the settlement on December 27, 2001, and sent a February 25, 2002, notice to class members that their time to object to the settlement had passed and that grievances, if any, about the CM program were to be sent to the FDOC.

After nearly two years, on January 8, 2004, plaintiffs asked that the court restore the case to its trial docket, alleging that the state had failed to implement the promised reforms and that the CM program continued to operate to deny plaintiffs their Eighth Amendment protections. In support of their request, the plaintiffs submitted reports by experts they had retained who were familiar with the conditions imposed in the CM program.

On March 10, 2004, District Judge Donald L. Graham issued an order transferring the case to the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The case continued there and resulted in a bench trial before District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr., between September 11 and 21, 2006. The parties submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law on February 27 and 28, 2007, in the case, now styled Osterback v. Secretary, docket number 3:04-cv-00210-HLA-MCR. The case was then reassigned again to Judge James R. Klindt, docket number 3:04-cv-210-J-25JRK. However, shortly thereafter, Judge Adams, terminated the proposed injunctive relief in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act's limitation on the time span of prison reform decrees and the clerk was directed to close the case on March 25, 2008.

Mike Fagan - 04/11/2008

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Law library access
Library (non-law) access
Pepper/OC spray
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : physical
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Florida Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All persons who are currently assigned to Close Management in prisons operated by the Florida Department of Corrections or who in the future will be assigned to Close Management One, Two, or Three (subclasses)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 10/28/1997
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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1:97-cv-02806-DLG (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:04-cv-00210-HLA-MCR (M.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Report of Magistrate Judge [Re: Class Certification] [ECF# 19]
PC-FL-0011-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/24/1997
Order [Accepting Report on Class Certification] [ECF# 27] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/03/1998
Second Amended Complaint - Class Action
PC-FL-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/01/1999
Order Adopting Magistrates's Report and Recommendation and Overruling Defendants' Objections [ECF# 120] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2000
Defendants' Revised Offer of Judgment
PC-FL-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2001
Notice of Class Action Settlement to All Inmates Currently in the Custody of the Florida Department of Corrections [ECF# 243]
PC-FL-0011-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/10/2001
Plaintiffs' Notice of Acceptance of Defendants' Revised Offer of Judgment [ECF# 241]
PC-FL-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2001
Omnibus Order Denying Class Members' Pro Se Motions [ECF# 308] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/16/2001
Omnibus Order Denying Class Members' Pro Se MOtions [ECF# 344] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2001
Order Entering Defendants' Revised Offer of Judgment [ECF# 383] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/27/2001
Order [Regarding Notice to Class Members] [ECF# 428] (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/25/2002
Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Motion to Terminate Revised Offer of Judgment; and Plaintiffs' Motion to Reopen Discovery and Restore Case to Trial Calendar; and Plaintiffs' Motion for a Status Conference
PC-FL-0011-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/24/2003
Second Report of Professor Craig Haney
PC-FL-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/24/2003
Affidavit of Chase Riveland
PC-FL-0011-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/24/2003
Order Granting Motion to Terminate Revised Ofer of Judgment [ECF# 852] (549 F.Supp.2d 1337) (M.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0011-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/25/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Adams, Henry Lee Jr. (M.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0015 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Graham, Donald L. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
Huck, Paul C. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0004 | PC-FL-0011-0012 | PC-FL-0011-0013 | PC-FL-0011-0014
Moreno, Federico A. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0009 | PC-FL-0011-0010
Richardson, Monte C. (M.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
Sorrentino, Charlene H. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0008 | PC-FL-0011-0012
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berg, Randall Challen Jr. (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0001 | PC-FL-0011-0003 | PC-FL-0011-0005 | PC-FL-0011-0010 | PC-FL-0011-0011 | PC-FL-0011-0014 | PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Jones, Christopher Michael (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0001 | PC-FL-0011-0003 | PC-FL-0011-0005 | PC-FL-0011-0010 | PC-FL-0011-0014 | PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Kachergus, Matthew R. (Florida) show/hide docs
O'Brien, Cullin Avram (Florida) show/hide docs
Sheppard, William J. (Florida) show/hide docs
Siegel, Peter Michael (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0001 | PC-FL-0011-0003 | PC-FL-0011-0005 | PC-FL-0011-0010 | PC-FL-0011-0011 | PC-FL-0011-0012 | PC-FL-0011-0013 | PC-FL-0011-0014 | PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Thomas, D. Gray (Florida) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Butterworth, Robert A. (Florida) show/hide docs
Fahlbusch, Charles M. (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0002 | PC-FL-0011-0011 | PC-FL-0011-0012 | PC-FL-0011-0013 | PC-FL-0011-0014 | PC-FL-0011-9000
Kilinski, Caryl (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Maher, Susan Adams (Florida) show/hide docs
Peters, James Aaron (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0002 | PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Savor, Kathleen M. (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-0010 | PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Streeter, Maxine K (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Vail, E. Jason (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001
Von Hoene, Kathleen Marie (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-FL-0011-9000 | PC-FL-0011-9001

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