Case: Bustos v. Herschler

2:76-cv-00143 | U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming

Filed Date: Aug. 13, 1976

Closed Date: 1982

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Prisoners at the Wyoming State Penitentiary filed this class action lawsuit against the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Represented by the ACLU, the plaintiffs alleged that WDOC had violated their due process rights by imprisoning them in poor conditions. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that WDOC’s facilities were overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe; that WDOC provided inadequate medical care; and that WDOC staff behaved unco…

Prisoners at the Wyoming State Penitentiary filed this class action lawsuit against the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Represented by the ACLU, the plaintiffs alleged that WDOC had violated their due process rights by imprisoning them in poor conditions. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that WDOC’s facilities were overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe; that WDOC provided inadequate medical care; and that WDOC staff behaved unconstitutionally. Little information about this case is available, but the Clearinghouse has obtained several orders (see “Case Docs”), and the case has been referenced in some publications (see “Resources”).

On April 5, 1977, the court (Judge Clarence Brimmer) approved a settlement agreement between the parties. On April 14, 1977, the court (Judge Brimmer) dismissed the case with prejudice.

Several years after the case was dismissed, the Wyoming Department of Corrections proposed new rules and regulations for the Wyoming State Penitentiary Rulebook which were not in compliance with the settlement agreement. The plaintiffs asked the court to hold the defendants in contempt of the agreement, and the parties negotiated amendments to the proposed rules. On November 14, 1980, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming (Judge Brimmer) ordered that an amended copy of the proposed rules was in compliance with the settlement agreement and should be entered into the rulebook.

On January 25, 1982, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming (Judge Brimmer) ordered that the complaint be fully and finally dismissed, finding that all terms and conditions of the settlement agreement had been fully performed by all parties concerned.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (4/12/2006)

Timothy Leake (1/17/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Brimmer, Clarence Addison Jr. (Wyoming)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Livingston, Michael K (Hawaii)

Judge(s)

Brimmer, Clarence Addison Jr. (Wyoming)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Livingston, Michael K (Hawaii)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Order of Dismissal

April 5, 1977 Order/Opinion

Order of Dismissal

April 14, 1977 Order/Opinion

Order

Nov. 14, 1980 Order/Opinion

Amended Order of Dismissal

Jan. 25, 1982 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

July 1, 1977

Another Look at the Judicial Power of the Purse: Courts, Corrections, and State Budgets in the 1980s

John Fliter

In measuring the impact of court-ordered prison reforms on state budgets, Taggart (1989) challenged Harriman and Straussman's (1983) conclusion that court decisions have affected state spending for c… Jan. 1, 1996

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Wyoming

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 13, 1976

Closing Date: 1982

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Persons who were incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary during the time period beginning on August 13, 1976 and ending on ending on the date of the order of dismissal

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Wyoming Department of Corrections (Laramie), State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1977 - 1982

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Conditions of confinement

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medical care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run