Case: Johnson v. O'Brien and Bullington v. Moreland

4:76-00210 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Filed Date: March 9, 1976

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 30, 1979, Robert Burlington, a pre-trial detainee at St. Louis County Jail in Clayton, Missouri, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against St. Louis County officials regarding conditions at the jail. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all pre-trial detainees at the St. Louis County Jail. Burlington filed the lawsuit pro se. In 1980, this case was consolidated with a previous lawsuit filed in 1976. That lawsuit, Johnson v. O'Brien…

On May 30, 1979, Robert Burlington, a pre-trial detainee at St. Louis County Jail in Clayton, Missouri, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against St. Louis County officials regarding conditions at the jail. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all pre-trial detainees at the St. Louis County Jail. Burlington filed the lawsuit pro se.

In 1980, this case was consolidated with a previous lawsuit filed in 1976. That lawsuit, Johnson v. O'Brien, resulted in a December 30, 1977, order by District Judge John Nangle. Johnson v. O'Brien, 445 F. Supp. 122 (E.D. Mo. 1977). Judge Nangle ordered St. Louis County to complete renovations and alterations of the jail within one year from the date of the order. These renovations were to result in larger living areas for inmates. The district court also enjoined the number of inmates who could be housed at the jail prior to the renovations. The court ordered the jail to improve medical care, conduct a daily medical survey of inmates, allow inmates to clean their living areas and launder their clothes, and allow regular visitation. Judge Nangle's 1980 consolidation of the two cases aimed to determine the defendants' compliance with the 1977 order.

Mr. Burlington's initial pleading was a petition for temporary injunction. He claimed that jail officials were violating his First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights by not allowing him access to periodicals he received in the mail. In August 1979, other inmates petitioned the court to participate in the lawsuit and claimed numerous other constitutional violations, including overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, lack of recreation, denial of visitation rights, and inadequate medical care. An amended complaint was filed after the plaintiffs obtained representation by private attorneys, incorporating many of the inmates' claims. In February 1980, the district court approved the case as a class action, adopting a January 10, 1980, recommendation to that effect by U.S. Magistrate David D. Noce. Magistrate Judge Williams S. Bahn conducted a review of jail conditions, including a personal visit to the jail, and stated in an unpublished July 1980, order that he had determined that, in most areas, the jail was in compliance with the previous order. There was overcrowding and the facility lacked a proper library, however.

The parties subsequently came to agreement on many of the issues in the complaints. Their stipulation, dated August 12, 1983, reaffirmed the Johnson v. O'Brien order and set out the defendants' agreement to implement population limits, provide additional material in the law library, cease conducting strip searches in connection with visitation privileges, and segregate pre-trial detainees under the age of sixteen years. Judge Nangle ordered the stipulation posted in the jail. Litigation continued concerning attorneys' fees, with the two appointed counsel for plaintiffs receiving fee awards of $25,000 and $12,500, respectively, pursuant to Judge Nangle's November 29, 1983, unpublished order.

On August 2, 1993, due to flooding at another jail and the subsequent transfer of inmates to the St. Louis County Jail, the district court temporarily lifted the population limits in the jail. This emergency order was terminated on March 29, 1994, upon the defendants' request, by an unpublished order by District Judge Edward L. Filippine. The docket does not indicate any further litigation in this case.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (6/6/2007)

Related Cases

Bullington v. Moreland, Missouri state trial court (0)

Bruce v. St. Louis County Dept. of Social Services, Missouri state trial court (1982)

People


Judge(s)

Bahn, William S. (Missouri)

Filippine, Edward Louis (Missouri)

Nangle, John Francis (Missouri)

Noce, David D. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Thomas, James L. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Buckley, Eugene K. (Missouri)

Ross, John A. (Missouri)

Shuman, Michael A. (Missouri)

Wehrle, Thomas W. (Missouri)

Weyerich, Donald J. (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Bahn, William S. (Missouri)

Filippine, Edward Louis (Missouri)

Nangle, John Francis (Missouri)

Noce, David D. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Thomas, James L. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Buckley, Eugene K. (Missouri)

Ross, John A. (Missouri)

Shuman, Michael A. (Missouri)

Wehrle, Thomas W. (Missouri)

Weyerich, Donald J. (Missouri)

Other Attorney(s)

Emde, John P. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Bullington v. Moreland

March 29, 1994 Docket

Attachment 6: Inmate Rights at Institution Discipline Committee Hearing

Johnson v. O'Brien

Aug. 25, 1975 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

Attachment 5: Volunteer Schedule February 23-27, 1976

Johnson v. O'Brien

Feb. 23, 1976 Other

Attachment 3: St. Louis County Jail Inmate Regulations

Johnson v. O'Brien

March 18, 1976 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

Attachment 7: Improvement of Welfare Facilities - Annex

Johnson v. O'Brien

April 23, 1976 Correspondence

Attachment 1: Housing System, St. Louis County Jail

Johnson v. O'Brien

April 30, 1976 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Attachment 8: Contract for Service By/In a Nonfederal Facility

Johnson v. O'Brien

Dec. 8, 1976 Other

U.S. Postal Service Regulations

Bullington v. Moreland

Aug. 4, 1977 Internal memorandum

Judgment and Order

Johnson v. O'Brien

445 F.Supp. 122, 1977 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12096

Dec. 30, 1977 Order/Opinion

Judgment and Order

Johnson v. O'Brien

Dec. 30, 1977 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Defendant Compliance In Public Law Litigation: A Case Study of Bullington v. Moreland

Andrea Ebreck

The following case study of Bullington v. Moreland--No. 79-650-C(3), (E.D. Mo. Filed May 23, 1989, consent decree entered August 30, 1983)--analyzes the various factors that motivate defendants to co… Dec. 9, 2004

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 9, 1976

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Pre-trial detainees at the St. Louis County Jail

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

St. Louis County (Clayton , St. Louis), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Order Duration: 1977 - None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Law library access

Mail

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Strip search policy

Visiting

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run