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Case Name Ralph v. Adams PC-GA-0013
Docket / Court 1:04-cv-00257-JEC ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
In 2004, a Mental Health Unit (MHU) prisoner at Georgia's Phillips State Prison brought this §1983 suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights, plaintiff contended that the defendant prison administrators denied Eighth ... read more >
In 2004, a Mental Health Unit (MHU) prisoner at Georgia's Phillips State Prison brought this §1983 suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights, plaintiff contended that the defendant prison administrators denied Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment by understaffing the MHU, as well as by staffing it with correctional officers without adequate mental health training. The plaintiff noted that the lack of trained staff led to overworked and overstressed staff, such as there were, who consequently took actions resulting in danger, violence, and death to prisoners. Such actions included correctional officers' excessive use of force against MHU residents and double-bunking prisoners without adequate screening or consideration of risks one presented to another. Class action certification was sought but not granted.

The case's PACER docket reflects that discovery proceedings subsequently occurred, as did settlement negotiations. The latter led to the filing by the parties, on January 31, 2005 (the day before dispositive motions were due to be filed), of a joint stipulation of dismissal, which was approved by Judge Carnes on the same day. Court documents do not provide any details on settlement terms.

Mike Fagan - 04/14/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Failure to train
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now or will be in the future housed in the mental health unit at Phillips State Prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-GA-0011 : Fluellen v. Wetherington (N.D. Ga.)
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)
1:04-cv-00257-JEC (N.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/31/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss] (N.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2004
Amended Complaint
PC-GA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2004
Minute Sheet [Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss] (N.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0013-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/15/2004
Order [Approving Stipulation for Dismissal] (N.D. Ga.)
PC-GA-0013-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/31/2005
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal
PC-GA-0013-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/31/2005
Judges Carnes, Julie E. Court not on record
PC-GA-0013-0001 | PC-GA-0013-0003 | PC-GA-0013-0004 | PC-GA-0013-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0003 | PC-GA-0013-0005 | PC-GA-0013-9000
Daniel, Harold T. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0005
Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0003 | PC-GA-0013-0005 | PC-GA-0013-9000
Rohr, Gretchen Naomi (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0005
Serwer, Tamara H. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0002 | PC-GA-0013-0003 | PC-GA-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Amideo, William F. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0003
Baker, Thurbert E. (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-9000
Hennkel, Craig (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0003
Jones, John Custer (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-0002 | PC-GA-0013-0003 | PC-GA-0013-0005 | PC-GA-0013-9000
Pacious, Kathleen Mary (Georgia)
PC-GA-0013-9000

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