Case: Jones v. Hayman

07-00123 | New Jersey state trial court

Filed Date: Dec. 12, 2007

Closed Date: 2011

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 12, 2007, more than 40 women prisoners filed a class action suit against the New Jersey Department of Corrections in the Superior Court of New Jersey, under various provisions of state law. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the ACLU of New Jersey and the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, sought injunctive and declaratory relief, challenging their transfer and subsequent treatment as violative of their due process and equal protection rights, their right to be free from cruel and unus…

On December 12, 2007, more than 40 women prisoners filed a class action suit against the New Jersey Department of Corrections in the Superior Court of New Jersey, under various provisions of state law. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the ACLU of New Jersey and the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, sought injunctive and declaratory relief, challenging their transfer and subsequent treatment as violative of their due process and equal protection rights, their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and their right to privacy.

In March 2007, the DOC arbitrarily transferred plaintiffs from a women's prison to a maximum-security men's prison. There, the women prisoners were allegedly confined to their cells for up to 22 hours a day. Plaintiffs alleged that they were also deprived of access to the prison law library, school, medical facilities, and main recreational yard. The complaint also states that the women prisoners were subject to catcalls and harassment and were denied access to basic hygiene.

On January 10, 2008, plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting any further transfer of women prisoners to the men's prison. Shortly thereafter, the parties entered into a consent order that, with limited exception for women inmates transferred to administrative segregation or stabilization units, prohibited any further transfers pending future actions by the court.

Defendants continued to actively oppose plaintiff's motions for class certification and preliminary injunctive relief. On July 21, 2008, the court (Judge Maria M. Spyek) granted plaintiff's motion for class certification and for an injunction prohibiting DOC from transferring more women to the men's prison while the case proceeded in court.

On September 3, 2008, the DOC transferred all women at the men's prison back to the women's prison. In May 2009, the court (Judge Spyek) granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, dismissing the case as moot. The court also denied plaintiffs' request for attorney's costs, finding that they were not a "prevailing party" because they did not obtain a judgment on the merits, their suit did not have a basis in law, and the legal action "did not play a role" in the DOC's decision to transfer women prisoners back to the women's prison.

Plaintiffs subsequently appealed the trial court's decision denying attorney's fees. The New Jersey Appellate Division court (Judge Jose Fuentes) reversed and remanded, holding that (1) the trial court should have held a hearing to determine whether DOC's actions were causally related to the lawsuit, and (2) the relief obtained by the prisoners had a basis in law.

The case was settled at the beginning of July 2011.

Summary Authors

Priyah Kaul (3/16/2015)

People


Judge(s)

Fuentes, Jose (New Jersey)

Spyek, Maria M. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Lapidus, Lenora M. (New Jersey)

Lewis, Mie (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Moratti, Dianne M. (New Jersey)

Judge(s)

Fuentes, Jose (New Jersey)

Spyek, Maria M. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Lapidus, Lenora M. (New Jersey)

Lewis, Mie (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Moratti, Dianne M. (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

07-00123

Civil Action Class Action Complaint

Dec. 1, 2007

Dec. 1, 2007

Complaint

07-00123

Plaintiffs' Brief in Support of Motion for Sanctions

March 25, 2008

March 25, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief

07-00123

Motion to Dismiss Complaint

New Jersey state supreme court

July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief

07-00123

Motion for Class Certification

New Jersey state supreme court

July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief

07-00123

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

New Jersey state supreme court

July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief

07-00123

Opinion (State Appellate Court)

New Jersey state appellate court

Feb. 25, 2011

Feb. 25, 2011

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 12, 2007

Closing Date: 2011

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

New Jersey women prisoners transferred to men's prison.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

New Jersey Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Attorneys fees

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Classification / placement

Conditions of confinement

Law library access

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run