Case: Berch v. Stahl

3:72-00053 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina

Filed Date: March 27, 1972

Closed Date: March 25, 1974

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Case Summary

In 1972, inmates of the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, North Carolina sued the County, the Sheriff, and other jail officials in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging conditions and practices in the jail as unconstitutional under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The inmates alleged they were put in solitary confinement and exposed to unsanitary conditions for weeks at a time without justification. Also, the inma…

In 1972, inmates of the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, North Carolina sued the County, the Sheriff, and other jail officials in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging conditions and practices in the jail as unconstitutional under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The inmates alleged they were put in solitary confinement and exposed to unsanitary conditions for weeks at a time without justification. Also, the inmates alleged failure of the Sheriff to deliver or allow them to receive mail. They sought damages and equitable relief. The United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (Judge James Bryan McMillan) held that the solitary confinement violated the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment when imposed for more than specified periods for certain types of solitary confinement. Berch v. Stahl, 373 F. Supp. 412 (W.D.N.C. 1974). The court also ordered that the inmates were not to be deprived of attorney visits, mail from courts and attorneys, telephone calls to attorneys, and writing materials. The decision was not appealed, and no docket is available on PACER.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (6/6/2007)

People


Judge(s)

McMillan, James Bryan (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Daly, George (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aycock, Frank B. III (North Carolina)

Cobb, James O. (North Carolina)

Judge(s)

McMillan, James Bryan (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Daly, George (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aycock, Frank B. III (North Carolina)

Cobb, James O. (North Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:72-00053

72-00220

72-00181

Memorandum of Decision and Order

373 F.Supp. 412, 1974 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9350

March 25, 1974

March 25, 1974

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 12, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 27, 1972

Closing Date: March 25, 1974

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, North Carolina

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

County Sheriff, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1974 - None

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Personal injury

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Type of Facility:

Government-run