Case: Middleton v. Ward

5:21-cv-00334 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

Filed Date: Sept. 10, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This class-action lawsuit challenges the conditions of confinement in the segregation units of the Georgia State Prison (GSP). The plaintiffs are men in held in the prison's "Tier II Program" and other solitary confinement housing units, many of whom suffer from serious mental illness. Represented by attorneys from the Southern Center for Human Rights and a private law firm, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on September 10, 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, wh…

This class-action lawsuit challenges the conditions of confinement in the segregation units of the Georgia State Prison (GSP). The plaintiffs are men in held in the prison's "Tier II Program" and other solitary confinement housing units, many of whom suffer from serious mental illness. Represented by attorneys from the Southern Center for Human Rights and a private law firm, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on September 10, 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, where it was assigned to U.S. District Judge Marc T. Treadwell. Bringing suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Declaratory Judgment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act (Rehab Act), they alleged that the conditions they were confined in violated the cruel and unusual punishments clause of the Eighth Amendment and the guarantees against discrimination on the basis of disability created by the ADA and the Rehab Act. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys fees.

Shortly after the complaint was filed, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class of people held in segregation at GSP and a subclass of people with mental health issues who had been confined in their cells for 22 hours a day.

The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, but within a week of filing, they asked the court to hold their request in abeyance in light of the Eleventh Circuit's ruling in Georgia Advocacy Office v. Jackson, where the Court of Appeals interpreted the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to require that preliminary injunctions be converted to permanent injunctions or expire after 90 days. 4 F.4th 1200. Because the plaintiffs did not believe they had time to litigate to a permanent injunction within 90 days, they asked the court not to rule on their request for preliminary relief.

Within the same time period, the defendants moved to dismiss the case. As of December 2021, that motion is still pending, along with several discovery disputes related to the plaintiff's exhaustion of their administrative remedies under the PLRA. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (12/5/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60379926/parties/middleton-v-ward/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Dec. 1, 2021 Docket
1

Complaint

Sept. 10, 2021 Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60379926/middleton-v-ward/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Plaintiffs Fee paid: Receipt # AGAMDC-3894379, $402 filed by All Plaintiffs (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons for Timothy Ward, # 3 Summons for Ahmed Holt, # 4 Summons for Robert Toole, # 5 Summons for Stan Shepard, # 6 Summons for Jack Sauls, # 7 Summons for Ioannis Ioannou, # 8 Summons for Trevonza Bobbitt, # 9 Summons for Charles Spinn, # 10 Summons for Josh Wicker, # 11 Summons for Deidra Edwards, # 12 Summons for Vikki Irwin, # 13 Summons for Juanita Sharpe)(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 09/10/2021)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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2 Summons for Timothy Ward

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3 Summons for Ahmed Holt

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4 Summons for Robert Toole

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5 Summons for Stan Shepard

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6 Summons for Jack Sauls

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7 Summons for Ioannis Ioannou

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8 Summons for Trevonza Bobbitt

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9 Summons for Charles Spinn

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10 Summons for Josh Wicker

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11 Summons for Deidra Edwards

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12 Summons for Vikki Irwin

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13 Summons for Juanita Sharpe

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Sept. 10, 2021 RECAP

Case REASSIGNED to CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL. (vs)

Sept. 13, 2021 PACER

US MAGISTRATE JUDGE CHARLES H WEIGLE no longer assigned to case. (vs)

Sept. 13, 2021 PACER
2

Summons Issued as to All Defendants. (Attachments: # 1 Summons 2 - Ahmed Holt, # 2 Summons 3 - Robert Toole, # 3 Summons 4 - Stan Shepard, # 4 Summons 5 - Jack Sauls, # 5 Summons 6 - Ioannis Ioannou, # 6 Summons 7 - Trevonza Bobbit, # 7 Summons 8 - Charles Spinn, # 8 Summons 9 - Josh Wicker, # 9 Summons 10 - Deidra Edwards, # 10 Summons 11 - Vikki Irwin, # 11 Summons 12 - Juanita Sharpe)(vs) (Entered: 09/13/2021)

Sept. 13, 2021 PACER
3

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by ALISON GANEM on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney ALISON GANEM added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney ALISON GANEM added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney ALISON GANEM added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(GANEM, ALISON) (Entered: 09/13/2021)

Sept. 13, 2021 PACER
4

MOTION to Certify Class by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by ALISON GANEM. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification)(GANEM, ALISON) (Entered: 09/16/2021)

Sept. 16, 2021 PACER
5

CONSENT MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,, by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER filed by ELIZABETH MCRARY CROWDER. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order ORDER ON CONSENT MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

Sept. 27, 2021 PACER
6

NOTICE Amended Certificate of Service by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON re 4 MOTION to Certify Class (PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

Sept. 27, 2021 PACER
7

FIRST MOTION for Extension of Time to File RESPONSE as to 4 MOTION to Certify Class by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER filed by ELIZABETH MCRARY CROWDER. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 09/28/2021)

Sept. 28, 2021 PACER
8

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 5 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. The defendants shall answer or otherwise respond by October 11, 2021. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 09/29/21 (mbw) (Entered: 09/29/2021)

Sept. 29, 2021 PACER
9

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 7 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response. The defendants' response to the motion for class certification is due October 18, 2021. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 09/29/21 (mbw) (Entered: 09/29/2021)

Sept. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

Sept. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Sept. 29, 2021 PACER
10

MOTION to Dismiss Complaint re 1 Complaint,, : by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER filed by ELIZABETH MCRARY CROWDER. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Affidavit Deidra Edwards, # 3 Attachment 1 to Edwards Aff, # 4 Attachment 2 to Edwards Aff)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 10/08/2021)

Oct. 8, 2021 PACER
11

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by C ALLEN GARRETT, JR on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney C ALLEN GARRETT, JR added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney C ALLEN GARRETT, JR added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney C ALLEN GARRETT, JR added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(GARRETT, C) (Entered: 10/08/2021)

Oct. 8, 2021 PACER
12

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by JAMES F BOGAN, III on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney JAMES F BOGAN, III added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney JAMES F BOGAN, III added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney JAMES F BOGAN, III added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(BOGAN, JAMES) (Entered: 10/08/2021)

Oct. 8, 2021 PACER
13

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction, # 2 Exhibit A: Declarations, # 3 Exhibit B: Incident Reports Regarding Deaths at Georgia State Prison, # 4 Exhibit C: Logbook Excerpt, # 5 Exhibit D: Audit Reports Regarding Georgia State Prison, # 6 Exhibit E: Letter from Jeffrey L. Metzner, M.D., to Commissioner Timothy C. Ward, # 7 Exhibit F: Mortality Log, Homicides and Suicides, 2014 to Aug. 2019, # 8 Exhibit G: GDC Management Team Monthly Roll-Up, Aug. 2021, # 9 Exhibit H: Letters to Defendants Regarding Conditions at Georgia State Prison)(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 10/09/2021)

Oct. 9, 2021 PACER
14

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO.(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 10/09/2021)

Oct. 9, 2021 PACER
15

MOTION for Discovery by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A: Proposed Requests for Production, # 2 Exhibit B: Proposed Deposition Notices, # 3 Proposed Order Granting Expedited Discovery)(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 10/09/2021)

Oct. 9, 2021 PACER

Notice of Deficiency (related document(s): 11 Notice of Attorney Appearance, filed by COREY HOLBROOKS, JACORI HODGES, JOHNELL MIDDLETON ); Notice to Counsel - C. Allen Garrett, Jr. Your email address in CM/ECF is not current. Please update your email address via PACER.(vs)

Oct. 12, 2021 PACER

Notice of Deficiency (related document(s): 12 Notice of Attorney Appearance, filed by COREY HOLBROOKS, JACORI HODGES, JOHNELL MIDDLETON ); Notice to Counsel - James F. Bogan, III - Your email address in CM/ECF is not current. Please update your email address via PACER.(vs)

Oct. 12, 2021 PACER
16

MOTION to Hold Motion for Preliminary Injunction in Abeyance re 13 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO.(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 10/12/2021)

Oct. 12, 2021 RECAP
17

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 14 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 10/12/21 (mbw) (Entered: 10/12/2021)

Oct. 12, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages

Oct. 12, 2021 PACER
18

UNOPPOSED MOTION to Stay Stay Discovery by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER filed by ELIZABETH MCRARY CROWDER. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order Staying Discovery)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

Oct. 13, 2021 PACER
19

UNOPPOSED MOTION for Extension of Time to File RESPONSE as to 4 MOTION to Certify Class by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER filed by ELIZABETH MCRARY CROWDER. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order Extending Time For Response to Motion for Class Certification)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

Oct. 13, 2021 PACER
20

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by TAMARA SERWER CALDAS on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney TAMARA SERWER CALDAS added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney TAMARA SERWER CALDAS added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney TAMARA SERWER CALDAS added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(CALDAS, TAMARA) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

Oct. 15, 2021 PACER
21

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 19 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response. The defendants' response to the plaintiffs' motion for class certification is due twenty-one days form the date of the Court's ruling on the defendants' motion to dismiss. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 10/19/21 (mbw) (Entered: 10/19/2021)

Oct. 19, 2021 PACER
22

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 18 Motion to Stay Discovery. Any discovery sought by the parties is to be limited to the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies until the defendants' motion to dismiss is ruled upon. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 10/19/21 (mbw) (Entered: 10/19/2021)

Oct. 19, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Oct. 19, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Stay

Oct. 19, 2021 PACER
23

CONSENT MOTION for Extension of Time to File RESPONSE as to 10 MOTION to Dismiss Complaint re 1 Complaint,, : by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO.(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
24

This is a text only entry; no document issued. ORDER GRANTING 23 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response. The plaintiffs' response is due November 12, 2021. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 10/27/21 (mbw) (Entered: 10/27/2021)

Oct. 27, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Oct. 27, 2021 PACER
25

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by EMILIA STROMBERG on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney EMILIA STROMBERG added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney EMILIA STROMBERG added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney EMILIA STROMBERG added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(STROMBERG, EMILIA) (Entered: 11/01/2021)

Nov. 1, 2021 PACER
26

MOTION to Compel by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON filed by RYAN PRIMERANO. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A: Plaintiffs' Subpoena to Ga. Dep't of Corr., # 2 Exhibit B: Ga. Dep't of Corr. Objections to Subpoena, # 3 Exhibit C: Email from Ga. Dep't of Corr.)(PRIMERANO, RYAN) (Entered: 11/10/2021)

Nov. 10, 2021 PACER
27

***Refiled at 28 *** RESPONSE filed by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON re 10 MOTION to Dismiss Complaint re 1 Complaint,, : (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. A - Declaration of J. Hodges, # 2 Exhibit Ex. B - Declaration of J. Middleton, # 3 Exhibit Ex. C - Declaration of C. Holbrooks, # 4 Exhibit Ex. D - GDC Monthly Roll-Ups, # 5 Exhibit Ex. E - Letters to Defendants, # 6 Exhibit Ex. F - Declaration of T.K., # 7 Exhibit Ex. G - Declaration of K.J.)(GANEM, ALISON) Modified on 11/12/2021 to add docket text(vs). (Entered: 11/11/2021)

Nov. 11, 2021 PACER

Notice of Deficiency (related document(s): 27 Response to Motion, filed by COREY HOLBROOKS, JACORI HODGES, JOHNELL MIDDLETON ); The PACER login ID and password used to electronically file a document constitutes the Participants electronic signature for all purposes under the Federal Rules. Document must be re-filed using the user credentials of the name of the attorney in the signature block. See CM/ECF Administrative Procedures, page 7..(vs)

Nov. 12, 2021 PACER
28

RESPONSE filed by JACORI HODGES, COREY HOLBROOKS, JOHNELL MIDDLETON re 10 MOTION to Dismiss Complaint re 1 Complaint,, : (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. A - Declaration of J. Hodges, # 2 Exhibit Ex. B - Declaration of J. Middleton, # 3 Exhibit Ex. C - Declaration of C. Holbrooks, # 4 Exhibit Ex. D - GDC Monthly Roll-Ups, # 5 Exhibit Ex. E - Letters to Defendants, # 6 Exhibit Ex. F - Declaration of T.K., # 7 Exhibit Ex. G - Declaration of K.J.)(GANEM, ALISON) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

Nov. 12, 2021 PACER
29

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by STEPHANIE BEDARD on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney STEPHANIE BEDARD added to party JACORI HODGES(pty:pla), Attorney STEPHANIE BEDARD added to party COREY HOLBROOKS(pty:pla), Attorney STEPHANIE BEDARD added to party JOHNELL MIDDLETON(pty:pla)(BEDARD, STEPHANIE) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

Nov. 12, 2021 PACER
30

REPLY to Response filed by TREVONZA BOBBITT, DEIDRA EDWARDS, AHMED HOLT, IOANNIS IOANNOU, VIKKI IRWIN, JACK SAULS, JUANITA SHARPE, STAN SHEPARD, CHARLES SPINN, ROBERT TOOLE, TIMOTHY WARD, JOSH WICKER re 10 MOTION to Dismiss Complaint re 1 Complaint,, : (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit "A" Certified copies of movement histories, # 2 Exhibit "B" Affidavit of Heather M. Howard)(CROWDER, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 11/24/2021)

Nov. 24, 2021 PACER
31

RESPONSE filed by GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS re 26 MOTION to Compel (PIPER, TINA) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

Dec. 1, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Dec. 7, 2021 PACER
36

Order for Response

Jan. 26, 2022 PACER

Order on Motion to Stay

Feb. 3, 2022 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time (Misc)

March 4, 2022 PACER

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 10, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons who are now or will in the future be held in GSP’s Tier II Program segregation units or other segregation units that indefinitely confine persons to their cells for 22 or more hours per day.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

Georgia Department of Corrections (Reidsville, Tattnall), State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

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

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

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Administrative segregation

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Recreation / Exercise

Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general