Case: United States v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

3:13-cv-00646 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Filed Date: Sept. 20, 2013

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 20, 2013, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, Virginia, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C § 1997. The plaintiffs, represented by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorneys, asked the court for permanent injunctive relief, alleging that the Jail's conditions of confinement deprived them of their rights, p…

On September 20, 2013, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, Virginia, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C § 1997. The plaintiffs, represented by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorneys, asked the court for permanent injunctive relief, alleging that the Jail's conditions of confinement deprived them of their rights, privileges and immunities afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that, among other things, the defendant permitted unqualified personnel to evaluate and manage serious medical conditions, inadequately screened incoming prisoners for medical issues, inadequately trained its staff on suicide prevention, mental health care and first-responder health care, charged excessive co-payments for prisoners, and did not adequately supervise prisoners on suicide watch.

On September 6, 2012, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a "Findings Letter", where it concluded that certain conditions at the Jail violated the constitutional rights of the inmates.

The parties filed a joint motion to enter into a settlement agreement on September 20, 2013. On October 1, 2013, the Court (Judge James Spencer) issued an order granting the joint motion for settlement and approving the settlement agreement in its entirety.

Under the agreement, the Jail is to provide more appropriate medical staffing, better screen and document prisoners' health issues, reduce or exclude co-payments, and implement comprehensive policies for suicide prevention. The Jail must file bi-annual compliance reports and must notify the Monitor, James Welch, and the plaintiff upon death of any prisoner, or any serious suicide attempt. If the Monitor finds non-compliance, the plaintiff shall give notice to the defendant and allow 30 days to cure the failure. If the failure is not cured, the plaintiff may initiate contempt proceedings without further notice.

The agreement provides that the Court (Judge John Spencer) shall retain jurisdiction over the action until the defendant is determined to have substantially complied with the agreement. The agreement shall terminate when the Jail has achieved substantial compliance with the provisions of the agreement and has maintained such compliance for a period of 18 months. If substantial compliance has been achieved and maintained for 18 months, the parties will jointly stipulate to dismissal of the case within 30 days. The agreement is binding upon all the parties, including successors in office. The parties do not foresee any further litigation and the parties have foregone their obligations to preserve potentially discoverable information.

On September 6, 2012, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued issued a "Findings Letter", where it concluded that certain conditions at the Jail violated the constitutional rights of the inmates.

The parties filed a joint motion to enter into a settlement agreement on September 20, 2013. On October 1, 2013, the Court (Judge James Spencer) issued an order granting the joint motion for settlement and approving the settlement agreement in its entirety.

Under the agreement, the Jail is to ensure medical staffing is sufficient and are properly licensed and trained, to ensure the initial screenings of incoming prisoners are fully documented and available to medical staff, to implement a system to provide each prisoner with a comprehensive health assessment with follow-up procedures, to ensure that all officers are trained annually in providing first-responder medical care and are trained on suicide prevention and mental health care, to exclude co-payment from health care at the Jail leaving only co-payment fee to see a nurse and is not to require co-payment if it results in effectively denying care to the prisoner, to provide sufficient mental health staffing and mental health screening including a chronic care program, to implement comprehensive policies for suicide prevention. The Jail shall file with the Court bi-annual compliance reports, the first of which is due within 180 days of the date when the Court (Judge John Spencer) signs and enters the agreement. Thereafter, the Jail is to file bi-annual compliance reports every six months. The Jail shall notify the Monitor and the plaintiff upon death of any prisoner, or any serious suicide attempt. If the Monitor finds non-compliance, the plaintiff shall give notice to the defendant and allow 30 days to cure the failure. If the failure is not cured, the plaintiff may initiate contempt proceedings without further notice.

The parties have jointly selected James Welch to be the Monitor of the implementation of the agreement. He is to have full and complete access to the Jail, records, staff and prisoners. The Monitor is to issue an initial report 120 days after the defendant files its first compliance report, and every 180 days afterwards.

The agreement provides that the Court (Judge John Spencer) shall retain jurisdiction over the action until the defendant is determined to have substantially complied with the agreement. The agreement shall terminate when the Jail has achieved substantial compliance with the provisions of the agreement and has maintained such compliance for a period of 18 months. If substantial compliance has been achieved and maintained for 18 months, the parties will jointly stipulate to dismissal of the case within 30 days. The agreement is binding upon all the parties, including successors in office. The parties do not foresee any further litigation and the parties have foregone their obligations to preserve potentially discoverable information.

The last action of the Court (Judge John Spencer) was an order granting motion for an extension of the time to file on February 3, 2014. The reporting deadlines under the agreement have been extended for 60 days.

Summary Authors

Zhandos Kuderin (3/18/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Spencer, James Randolph (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Mcintosh, Robert P (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cohen, Zachary Daniel (Virginia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Welch, James C. (Delaware)

Judge(s)

Spencer, James Randolph (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Mcintosh, Robert P (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cohen, Zachary Daniel (Virginia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Welch, James C. (Delaware)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

Oct. 9, 2013 Docket
3-2

Settlement Agreement

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

Sept. 20, 2013 Settlement Agreement
1

Complaint

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

Sept. 20, 2013 Complaint
1-2

Letter of Findings

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

Sept. 20, 2013 Findings Letter/Report

Piedmont Regional Jail Authority First Monitor Report

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

Oct. 9, 2014 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Second Monitor Report

United States of America v. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority

April 3, 2015 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Caged Canary

Elizabeth Alexander

The United States has experienced an explosion in the number of people in prison, an explosion that cannot be attributed to changes in the crime rate, but rather reflects changes in public policy, pa… Dec. 1, 2008 http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/...

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet)(jtho, ) (Entered: 09/20/2013)

Sept. 20, 2013
2

Motion to appear Pro Hac Vice by Aaron Saul Fleisher and Certification of Local Counsel by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (jtho, ) (Entered: 09/20/2013)

Sept. 20, 2013
4

SO−ORDER granting 2 Motion for Aaron Saul Fleisher to appear Pro hac vice on behalf of United States of America. Signed by District Judge James R. Spencer on 9/24/13. (jtho, ) (Entered: 09/24/2013)

Sept. 24, 2013
6

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority waiver sent on 9/23/2013, answer due 11/22/2013. (cmcc, ) (Entered: 10/07/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013
5

ORDER regarding 3 the parties' Joint Motion to Enter a Settlement Agreement; upon good cause, the Court GRANTS the Joint Motion and APPROVES the settlement reached by the parties, Plaintiff United States of America and Defendant Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Signed by District Judge James R. Spencer on 10/1/2013. Copies to counsel. (cmcc, ) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Zachary Daniel Cohen on behalf of Piedmont Regional Jail Authority (Cohen, Zachary) (Entered: 10/09/2013)

Oct. 9, 2013
8

Joint MOTION for Extension of Reporting Deadlines by Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(McIntosh, Robert) (Entered: 01/30/2014)

Jan. 30, 2014
9

ORDER granting 8 Motion for Extension of Time to File. The reporting deadlines contained in the Settlement Agreement [Dkt No. 3−2], which was approved by the Court by Order entered October 1, 2013 5 , are hereby extended for a period of sixty (60) days.Signed by District Judge James R. Spencer on 02/03/2014. (tjoh, ) (Entered: 02/03/2014)

Feb. 3, 2014

State / Territory: Virginia

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 20, 2013

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Government

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Piedmont Regional Jail (Farmville, VA), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

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: 2013 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Monitor/Master

Issues

General:

Counseling

Failure to train

Suicide prevention

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Mental health care, general

Self-injurious behaviors

Suicide prevention