Case: Benkahla v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

2:09-cv-00025 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Filed Date: Jan. 21, 2009

Closed Date: 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 21, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The complaint challenged the creation of housing units inside federal prisons in which prisoners lived in isolation from the outside world. Plaintiffs alleged that these cells, called Communication Management Units (CMUs) and designed to house prisoners viewed by the governme…

On January 21, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The complaint challenged the creation of housing units inside federal prisons in which prisoners lived in isolation from the outside world. Plaintiffs alleged that these cells, called Communication Management Units (CMUs) and designed to house prisoners viewed by the government as terrorists, were established in violation of federal laws requiring public notice and opportunity to comment on policy, and were disproportionately used to house Muslim prisoners.

The plaintiff Sabri Benkahla was abducted at gunpoint by Saudi Arabian police and transferred to America in custody of the FBI the night before his wedding. Benkahla was charged with supplying services to the Taliban and further using a firearm in violent crime. The U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema found him not guilty, but the government forced him to testify in front of a grand jury a month later. Benkahla was convicted of perjury and sentenced to 121 months in prison in a CMU.

Following this, a motion on July 27, 2009 to add parties was filed, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Harley G. Lappin and Joyce K. Conley were added in their official capacities. In the same motion, all pending claims against defendants B.R. Jett, Paul McNulty, Unknown Employees of Correctional Programs Divisions of the Federal Bureau of Prison, Les Smith, T.R. Henry, S Julian T. Coleman, and Agent Grass were dismissed. Further on July 27, 2009, an amended complaint was filed that declared the Defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act by establishing the Terre Haute CMU and issuing the Terre Haute CMU Institution Supplement and Institution Supplement - Visiting Regulations without notice and comment rulemaking. Subsequently on September 14, 2009, all defendants were dismissed aside from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

On July 28, 2010, plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss. This case was dismissed on July 29, 2010 without prejudice in the Southern District of Indiana. On August 9, 2010 a Third Party Continuing Petition to Intervene was filed on behalf of similarly situated prison inmates, and this was denied on October 20, 2010 because it was untimely and the court found that their interests are not in common with plaintiff. There is no reason to conclude this case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (6/23/2009)

Christina Bonanni (11/18/2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4266405/parties/benkahla-v-federal-bureau-of-prisons/


Judge(s)

Lawrence, William T. (Indiana)

Lynch, Debra McVicker (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)

Shapiro, David M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kieper, Thomas E (Indiana)

McCoskey, William Lance (Indiana)

Judge(s)

Lawrence, William T. (Indiana)

Lynch, Debra McVicker (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)

Shapiro, David M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kieper, Thomas E (Indiana)

McCoskey, William Lance (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Benkahla v. Jett

Dec. 13, 2010 Docket
1

CIVIL COMPLAINT AND PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

Jan. 8, 2009 Complaint
20

Amended Complaint

Benkahla v. Jett

July 27, 2009 Complaint
67

Order (Dismissing Case Without Prejudice)

Benkahla v. Jett

July 29, 2010 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Benkahla v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, et al.

ACLU

The government says it created CMUs to house prisoners it views as terrorists, but today they are disproportionately inhabited by Muslim prisoners – many of whom have never been convicted of terroris… June 2, 2010 https://www.aclu.org/...

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4266405/benkahla-v-federal-bureau-of-prisons/

Last updated May 20, 2022, 1:58 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

Jan. 21, 2009 RECAP
2

Entry

Jan. 21, 2009 PACER
3

Entry

Feb. 12, 2009 PACER
4

Letter

Feb. 25, 2009 PACER
5

Entry

May 1, 2009 PACER
6

Receipt

May 1, 2009 PACER
7

Entry

May 7, 2009 PACER
8

Motion for Extension of Time

May 7, 2009 PACER
9

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

May 12, 2009 PACER
10

Motion to Appear pro hac vice

May 13, 2009 PACER
11

Receipt

May 13, 2009 PACER
12

Motion for Extension of Time

May 13, 2009 PACER
13

Brief/Memorandum in Support of Motion

May 13, 2009 PACER
14

Order on Motion to Appear pro hac vice

May 15, 2009 PACER
15

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

June 5, 2009 PACER
16

Notice of Appearance

June 17, 2009 PACER
17

Motion (Other)

June 18, 2009 PACER
18

Brief/Memorandum in Support of Motion

June 18, 2009 PACER
19

Order on Motion

July 27, 2009 PACER
20

Amended Complaint

July 27, 2009 RECAP
21

Entry

July 31, 2009 PACER
24

Summons Issued as to USA

Aug. 6, 2009 PACER
22

Motion to Amend/Correct

Aug. 11, 2009 PACER
23

Summons Issued as to USA

Aug. 11, 2009 PACER
25

Entry

Aug. 13, 2009 PACER
26

Order on Motion to Amend/Correct

Aug. 13, 2009 PACER
27

Notice (Other)

Aug. 21, 2009 PACER
28

Summons Returned Executed as to USA

Aug. 24, 2009 PACER
29

Entry

Aug. 26, 2009 PACER
30

Entry

Sept. 14, 2009 PACER
31

Letter

Sept. 16, 2009 PACER
32

Notice of Appearance

Sept. 23, 2009 PACER
33

NOTICE of Parties' First Extension of Time

Sept. 23, 2009 PACER
34

Motion to Dismiss

Nov. 17, 2009 RECAP
35

Brief/Memorandum in Support of Motion

Nov. 17, 2009 RECAP
36

Notice (Other)

Nov. 19, 2009 PACER
37

Motion for Extension of Time to File Response

Nov. 30, 2009 PACER
38

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response

Dec. 1, 2009 PACER
39

Response in Opposition to Motion

Dec. 15, 2009 PACER
40

Motion for Extension of Time

Dec. 21, 2009 PACER
41

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Dec. 28, 2009 PACER
42

Motion for Extension of Time

Jan. 15, 2010 PACER
43

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Jan. 20, 2010 PACER
44

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 8, 2010 PACER
45

Reply in Support of Motion

Feb. 8, 2010 RECAP
49

MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint , filed by Defendant FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS. (McCoskey, William) (Entered: 04/14/2010)

April 14, 2010
46

Motion to Substitute Attorney

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Feb. 16, 2010 RECAP
50

BRIEF/MEMORANDUM in Support re 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint , filed by Defendant FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment 1)(McCoskey, William) (Entered: 04/14/2010)

April 14, 2010
47

Order on Motion to Substitute Attorney

Feb. 25, 2010 PACER
51

MOTION for Extension of Time to June 17, 2010 to file response to 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint , filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 04/28/2010)

April 28, 2010
52

ORDER granting plaintiff's 51 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to 6/17/2010 re 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint . Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 4/29/2010. (NKD) (Entered: 04/30/2010)

April 29, 2010
48

Notice of Appearance

March 2, 2010 PACER
53

Second MOTION for Extension of Time to July 19, 2010 to file response to 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint (Uncontested) , filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 06/16/2010)

June 16, 2010
54

ORDER granting 53 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to 7/19/2010 re 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint . Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 6/17/2010. (LH) (Entered: 06/17/2010)

June 17, 2010
56

RESPONSE in Opposition re 55 MOTION to Intervene, filed by Defendant FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment 1)(Kieper, Thomas) (Entered: 06/29/2010)

June 29, 2010
57

RESPONSE to Motion re 55 MOTION to Intervene, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 07/02/2010)

July 2, 2010
58

NOTICE of Amendment of Certificate of Service , filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA (Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 07/02/2010)

July 2, 2010
59

***SEE DOCKET #60 FOR COMPLETE DOCUMENT*** Judicial NOTICE by affidavit, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA (Attachments: # 1 letter) (VS) Modified on 7/2/2010 (VS). (Entered: 07/02/2010)

July 2, 2010
60

CORRECTED DOCUMENT − Please disregard document re 59 Notice (Other) which was Docketed in Error. Corrected document has been attached to this entry. (Attachments: # 1 letter) (VS) (Entered: 07/02/2010)

July 2, 2010
61

Submission of 3rd party intervenor's claim to strike response, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (NKD) (Entered: 07/13/2010)

July 12, 2010
62

Submission of 3rd party intervenor's claim to strike response, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (NKD) (Entered: 07/13/2010)

July 12, 2010
63

REPLY in Support of Motion re 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint , filed by Defendant FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS. (Attachments: # 1 Attachment 1)(Kieper, Thomas) (Entered: 07/14/2010)

July 14, 2010
64

Third MOTION for Extension of Time to August 3, 2010 to file response to 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint , filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 07/17/2010)

July 17, 2010
65

ORDER granting 64 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to 8/3/2010 re 49 MOTION to Dismiss Sabri Benkahla's Complaint . Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 7/21/2010. cm(NKD) (Entered: 07/21/2010)

July 21, 2010
66

MOTION to Dismiss or, Alternatively, Notice of Dismissal , filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Falk, Kenneth) (Entered: 07/28/2010)

July 28, 2010
67

CLOSED DISMISSED without prejudice; plaintiff, having filed his Motion to Dismiss, and the Court having read the filing, and being duly advised, finds that this cause should be dismissed. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 7/29/2010.(VS) (Entered: 07/29/2010)

July 29, 2010
68

Mail Returned as undeliverable. 67 Closed Dismissed sent to Ralph william Taylor. (NKD) (Entered: 08/03/2010)

Aug. 3, 2010
69

Petition to intervene, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA. (VS) (Entered: 08/10/2010)

Aug. 9, 2010
70

ENTRY − William Oscar Harris, Rex Russel Dean Landers, and Ralph William Taylor renew their motion to intervene. The previous motion to intervene was pending at the time of judgment and was denied by operation of law when final judgment was entered; The renewed motion to intervene (dkt 69) is likewise denied. The potential intervenors have not shown that their motion is timely or that they share common interests with the plaintiff in this case. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 10/20/2010.(served by U. S. mail)(VS) (Entered: 10/22/2010)

Oct. 20, 2010
71

NOTICE &Demand for immediate remedy, filed by Plaintiff SABRI BENKAHLA (NKD) (Additional attachment(s) added on 11/8/2010: # 1 Notice with Entry) (NKD). (Entered: 11/08/2010)

Nov. 8, 2010

State / Territory: Indiana

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 21, 2009

Closing Date: 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners being held in secret housing units inside federal prisons

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National Prison Project

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal

Department of Justice, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Conditions of confinement

Phone

Visiting

Type of Facility:

Government-run