Case: Bumgarner v. North Carolina Department of Corrections

5:10-ct-03166 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Filed Date: Sept. 17, 2010

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 17, 2010, prisoners with physical disabilities under the custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections ("DOC") filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The plaintiffs, represented by North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, brought the suit against the state of North Carolina. They asked the …

On September 17, 2010, prisoners with physical disabilities under the custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections ("DOC") filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The plaintiffs, represented by North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, brought the suit against the state of North Carolina. They asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that defendants discriminated against them. Specifically, they alleged that by reason of their disabilities, defendants denied them the benefits of the DOC's sentence reduction credit programs.

Prisoners within the DOC can earn credits that shorten their terms of incarceration if they work or participate in certain programs. Pursuant to the medical gain time policy, the DOC grants disabled inmates sentence reduction credits only if it determines that they are medically unfit to participate in the traditional sentence reduction credit programs. The plaintiffs alleged that the DOC's definition of "medically unfit" misclassified numerous prisoners with disabilities and excluded them from participation in the medical gain time program even when they were physically unable to participate in traditional sentence reduction credit programs. Furthermore, even when prisoners with disabilities were given the opportunity to earn sentence reduction credits through the medical gain time policy, the DOC discriminated against them by providing the opportunity to earn credits at two-thirds the rate available to prisoners without disabilities.

On September 19, 2011, Judge Terrence Boyle granted class certification. The class was defined as all present and future prisoners of the DOC with disabilities "who have been, and may in the future be, discriminated against, excluded from participation in, and denied the benefits of the DOC's sentence reduction credit programs by reason of their disabilities." 276 F.R.D. 452.

On August 15, 2013, Judge Boyle approved the parties' stipulated consent decree. The agreement mandated that the DOC establish, implement, and modify its policies to provide access to sentence reduction credits to qualified prisoners with disabilities. The plaintiffs' attorneys must have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed policy changes. Additionally, the DOC must create various new full-time positions, including a position dedicated to monitoring the implementation of the new policies and the consent decree. The DOC was required to pay $56,199.02 to Prisoners Legal Services for expenses associated with the implementation of the consent decree. The requirements of the agreement were set to terminate two years following the date of entry, and the agreement allowed for judicial enforcement.

On November 1, 2013, Judge Boyle denied hearing any further action in the case from individuals other than through counsel in the suit. Judge Boyle’s decision did not prohibit individuals from filing separate and distinct suits.

This case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Nate West (11/11/2014)

Mary Kate Sickel (3/26/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5563660/parties/bumgarner-v-north-carolina-department-of-correction/


Judge(s)

Boyle, Terrence William (North Carolina)

Gates, James E. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Coward, Emily S. (North Carolina)

Ferrari, Ann Marie (North Carolina)

Griffin, J. Phillip (North Carolina)

Leaven, Tod Michael (North Carolina)

Solms, Julie (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Harrell, Norma Smithwick (North Carolina)

Ricci, Yvonne Bulluck (North Carolina)

White, Cassandra (Texas)

Judge(s)

Boyle, Terrence William (North Carolina)

Gates, James E. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Coward, Emily S. (North Carolina)

Ferrari, Ann Marie (North Carolina)

Griffin, J. Phillip (North Carolina)

Leaven, Tod Michael (North Carolina)

Solms, Julie (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Harrell, Norma Smithwick (North Carolina)

Ricci, Yvonne Bulluck (North Carolina)

White, Cassandra (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

5:10-ct-03166

Docket [PACER]

April 10, 2014

April 10, 2014

Docket
1

5:10-ct-03166

Class Action Complaint

Sept. 17, 2010

Sept. 17, 2010

Complaint
29

5:10-ct-03166

Order [Granting Class Certification]

276 F.R.D. 452

Sept. 19, 2011

Sept. 19, 2011

Order/Opinion
52

5:10-ct-03166

Order [Denying Motion to Amend Class Certification]

Oct. 29, 2012

Oct. 29, 2012

Order/Opinion
61

5:10-ct-03166

Stipulated Consent Decree

Feb. 13, 2013

Feb. 13, 2013

Order/Opinion
213

5:10-ct-03166

Stipulated Consent Decree

Aug. 15, 2013

Aug. 15, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5563660/bumgarner-v-north-carolina-department-of-correction/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:23 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
29

ORDER - GRANTING 3 Motion to Certify Class. Signed by District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 9/19/2011. (Indig, A.)

Sept. 20, 2011

Sept. 20, 2011

RECAP
33

CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER. Signed by US Magistrate Judge William A. Webb on 09/22/2011. (McDowell, G.)

Sept. 22, 2011

Sept. 22, 2011

RECAP
220

ORDER - denying 219 Motion to be Heard regarding case. Individuals shall not be barred from filing separate and distinct suits. The Clerk is DIRECTED not to accept additional filings in this action from individuals, other than through counsel in this suit, given the posture of the matter and the entry of the joint decree. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 11/1/2013. Copy mailed to movant. (McDowell, G.)

Nov. 1, 2013

Nov. 1, 2013

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 17, 2010

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoners with physical disabilities detained by the North Carolina Department of Corrections

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State of North Carolina, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $56,199.02

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Hire

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Good time

Over/Unlawful Detention

Work release or work assignments

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mobility impairment

Type of Facility:

Government-run